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Atlas Peak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE90
  • W&S90
14.2% ABV
  • WW90
  • W&S90
  • WW90
  • WE90
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4.0 1 Ratings
14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon shows beautiful depth of color, and aromas of ripe, dark fruit with a touch of sweet vanilla. The wine offers deeper flavors of blueberry on the palate and echoes the lush fruit and vanilla bean essence brought forth by the nuances of French oak aging. This is a well-structured Cabernet with tannins that are soft and supple. This wine would perfectly complement a grilled rib-eye smothered with blue cheese or an herb-roasted rack of lamb.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A rich, satisfying Cabernet, packed with blackberry, cherry and mocha flavors, with a touch of herbs and mint. Not quite as dense or concentrated as the winery's mountain-appellated Cabs, but quite a good one.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Minerality courses through this tight, austere cabernet, balanced by a sweeter element of glossy, unctuous fruit. The structure is based on tannin rather than freshness, still needing time to mellow.
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Atlas Peak

Atlas Peak Winery

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Atlas Peak Winery, , California
Atlas Peak
Atlas Peak was established in 1987. Over time it became clear that Atlas Peak's most valuable hidden resource was literally underfoot: the elevation of its vineyards. The grapes growing at high elevation, and above the natural fog line, experience much lower daytime temperatures than those on the valley floor, allowing the grapes to stay cool while gaining maximum sun exposure. As a result, growers up on the mountain can afford to harvest later and pick for flavor with less worry about over ripening and excessive alcohol. No grape develops as well in mountain conditions as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Atlas Peak crafts Napa Valley mountain appellation Cabernet Sauvignon from such prestigious areas as Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain District and Mount Veeder, in addition to Atlas Peak. Atlas Peak’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines are driven by an appreciation of mountain-grown fruit and winemaking techniques that capture the distinct flavors derived from the mountain appellations in which they are grown.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

ULL392003_2005 Item# 103190

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