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Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • CG94
  • WE92
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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

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".

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

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.

AURCABERNET_2008 Item# 120963

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