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Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • CG94
  • WE92
14.9% ABV
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4.0 1 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon is a terroir driven 100% California mountain cabernet sourced from the same grapes as previous vintages with a new Howell Mountain component.

2008 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon is a vibrant plum color with good clarity. Upon opening there is a distinct nose of orange peel and cinnamon resins due to the time the wine has been allowed to age in the bottle. A scent of heated stone, clay earth and spicy florals undulates to cherries, plums, cassis and a lingering of red berries.

Balanced flavors of cassis, plum, black cherry, tobacco and leather course across the sides of the tongue, up to the cedar and vanilla in the back of the mouth, to a bright finish of spice at the front again. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with firm, fine-grained tannins that provide excellent structure. It matches particularly well with garlic, rosemary, sage and nutty, aged-cheeses like pecorino-romano. It can be savored by itself or its leaner balanced acidity pairs well with grilled meats, gourmet burgers, rich seafoods (salmon), risottos, cream based sauces, charcuterie and cheese courses.

While accessible now, the wine will reward those with the patience to cellar it with increasing complexity, smoothness and character for a decade or so.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
CG 94
Connoisseurs' Guide
Rich and complex, deep and boasting plenty of still youthful yet outgoing curranty fruit, this wine is about as close to classic as a wine of its size and expressiveness is likely to get. Its keen focus on varietal character is matched by the supportive, wonderfully complementary oak in its makeup, and if a wine of size, it is also a wine of great sophistication. That it comes with a fairly evident wash of latter palate tannins is neither a surprise nor a problem because the wine's depth is matched to its lean underlying sense of balance. A decade or more of growth would seem to be in the offing with this one.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Aurielle’s Cabernets have been consistent over the years, offering lots of ripe, modern-style blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate and oak flavors in a wine that’s drinkable now. This ’08 is quite stylish and elegant despite the power, with near-perfect tannins. You could age it, but it’s really best enjoyed for flashy, youthful richness.
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Aurielle

Aurielle

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Aurielle, , California
Aurielle
Aurielle- from the Latin root AUR meaning "golden" and "sound" and inspired by the qualities of the golden ratio, the mathematical principle that describes perfection and balance in the most classical sense. The golden ratio is represented in the spiral of a Nautilus seashell and by the most pleasing compositions in music, art and architecture. It is where art and science blend to become one and it forms the essence of the no compromise wine-making philosophy that created this extremely limited production (only 358 cases) 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that Connoisseurs Guide rated 94 points. The 2008 follows the sold-out 2007 that Robert Parker rated 93 points and called "A new discovery".

This extraordinary new wine was hand crafted by Chad Alexander, Aurielle's rising-star winemaker, from fanatically tended grapes grown at two tiny, low-yielding vineyards in Napa's Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder appellations. The fruit was hand-picked and sorted, cold-soaked, fermented with natural yeast, then chilled and left to rest for an additional three weeks on the skins before spending two years aging in the finest new French oak barrels and an additional year in the bottle. A costly and time consuming process- but one that produces the elegant waves of flavor, deep purple color and silky texture that caused Robert Parker to describe it as "exuberance, opulence and pure fruit" and Wine Enthusiast to proclaim it as "delicious".

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

AURCABERNET_2008 Item# 120963

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