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Flat front label of wine

Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon 1994

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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  • WS97
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The enormously promising, potentially perfect 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those rare wines that possesses awesome aromatic, flavor, and texture dimensions. Totally dry, it comes across as sweet because of its highly extracted, ripe fruit. Opaque purple/black-colored, with a knock-out nose of black fruit (cassis and black-raspberries), this wine hits the palate with phenomenal concentration that brilliantly manages to be neither heavy nor overbearing. Plenty of velvety tannin is concealed behind the fruit's remarkable intensity. The wine's purity, presence, and finish are unbelievable.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A potentially perfect wine, the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a fabulous nose of cassis, cream, blueberries, violets, minerals, and spice. It smells like a hypothetical blend of a great vintage of L'Evangile, Clinet, and Mouton-Rothschild. The opaque purple/black color is followed by a full-bodied wine stacked and packed with fruit, glycerin, and extract. No component part is out of place in this formidably endowed, remarkably well-balanced wine. The purity, richness, sweetness and depth of fruit suggest that the wine's potential is limitless. Much like its cellarmate, the 1994 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon (also made by Helen Turley), the Bryant Family Vineyard's 1994 should evolve into one of California's legendary Cabernets. It will age effortlessly for 25-30 years.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Immense, thick, deeply concentrated, loaded with chocolate, black cherry, spicy, nutmeg and vanilla-scented oak. Finishes with bold tannins and impeccable balance. Approachable now, but should last 20 years.--non-blind Bryant Family vertical.
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Bryant Family

Bryant Family

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Bryant Family, Napa Valley, California
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Donald L. Bryant, Jr., is driven by the pursuit excellence and realizing the full potential of his extraordinary Pritchard Hill estate. Investing in his passion for wine, the St. Louis businessman acquired the 13-acre vineyard overlooking Lake Hennessey in the late 1980s and replanted it with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon using modern viticulture practices. The first vintage was released in 1992, and soon after Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon won critical acclaim and became internationally recognized as a world-class wine. Don Bryant’s goal is to celebrate the first-growth vineyard terroir while paying homage to the great winemaking traditions of Bordeaux.

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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

KTY29044_1994 Item# 29044