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Blackstone Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    We are proud to release the inaugural vintage of our Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. As a Sonoma-based winery, we take great pleasure in crafting fruit-driven and approachable wines using Sonoma County fruit.

    Selecting top quality fruit from vineyards in Sonoma County's best appellations gives Blackstone its signature fruit-forward style along with backbone and complexity. 2002 was a fantastic growing season for Sonoma County. The Sonoma Valley vineyards provided bright fruit flavors. Grapes from our Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley vineyards provided fullness to the wine while the Sonoma Coast vineyards gave us classic structure and true varietal character. After the grapes were hand-harvested, Blackstone Winemaker Dennis Hill crushed and cold-soaked the grapes for three days to maximize flavor and color extraction. The grapes were pressed just prior to completing fermentation, emphasizing forward fruit characteristics. The wine was then aged in a mix of French (55%), American (40%) and Hungarian (5%) oak barrels for 15 to 20 months.

    The Blackstone Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon shows aromas and flavors of bright, fresh cherry with hints of spice, pepper and violets. This is a big, powerful Cabernet, but the tannins are smooth and round, making it enjoyable now. The wine has a long, flavor-packed finish.

    Enjoy this pleasing Cabernet Sauvignon with filet mignon with blue cheese and walnuts, barbecued tri-tip, creamy pasta dishes or cheeses, such as Parmesan Reggiano and smoked gouda.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Blackstone

    Blackstone Winery

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    Blackstone Winery, Sonoma County, California
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    Sonoma County has always been Blackstone's home and inspiration. Since our beginning we’ve established a reputation for consistently delivering balanced, reliable wines of uncompromising quality

    From the start, our goal has been to produce smooth, flavorful, harmonious wines with rich fruit, supple texture, and balanced oak. Early on, this approach found its ideal expression in our Merlot, which soon became — and still remains — America's favorite Merlot.

    Sonoma County

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    Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

    Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    WAL401569_2003 Item# 85443