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Brown Estate Chaos Theory 2014

Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
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3.8 9 Ratings
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3.8 9 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine dazzles in the glass as gemstone clarity reveals a still, deep, dark pool with oxblood core and scarlet rim. A swirl of the glass unleashes plumes of fragrance—flowering lilac, French lavender, eucalyptus, and brown sugar lead to a generous, juicy blackberry base. Evocative of early morning, a blend of blackberry jam and Chantilly cream lingers over toasted brioche, accompanied by hints of smoked bacon, flint, and pencil shavings followed by a subtle medley of dried kumquat, apple, and apricot. Medium-plus weight with a warm, enveloping, and engaging mouthfeel. Drink now through 2030.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
A potent blend, with expressive blackberry, tar and grilled anise aromas and concentrated yet polished raspberry and smoky cracked pepper flavors. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Best after 2018.
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Brown Estate

Brown Estate

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Brown Estate, Napa Valley, California
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In 1980, the family acquired land in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. They were farmers first, and farmers they remain. In 1995 they decided on the strength of the fruit to make wine under their own label. The following year the family produced the first vintage of zinfandel, and along the way we have added cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, petite sirah, and the occasional dessert wine.

In 2010 the Brown family celebrated thirty years in the Napa Valley and Brown Estate's fifteenth crush. Over the years the farming philosophy has not changed: Our fifty acres of vineyards are planted amidst 450 acres of roughneck wilderness that they strive to tend rather than tame – from the occasional inconvenient honeybee hive in the winery to the prickly star thistles in the vineyards that are a part of their ecosystem.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

BROB614NVZ_2014 Item# 186116