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Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WS97
  • RP94
  • ST94
  • V93
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Winemaker Notes

Our 2008 vintage Estate Cabernet Sauvignon's intrinsic aromatic notes of dry sage, black licorice and smoky earth terroir are wrapped in a cloak of dense black cherry and raspberry cream. Layered with provocative nuances of cracked peppercorn, tobacco, aged cinnamon stick, black tea and vanilla bean, this wine is seamlessly knitted together with fine, round tannins, balanced acidity and a brooding, lively finish.

Critical Acclaim

WS 97
Wine Spectator

Deep, rich and expressive, with a broad range of complex flavors, extending from fleshy currant to dark berry, mineral, cedar, mocha and espresso. Full-bodied, ending with a pleasant lift to all the flavors, giving this a supple, gracious aftertaste. Drink now through 2026. 748 cases made.

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (794 cases) shows more chocolate, roasted espresso, blueberry and blackberry characteristics in addition to more concentration and depth than I noticed last year and a big, powerful, glycerin-imbued, heady finish. It should drink well for 15 years.

ST 94
International Wine Cellar

Bright ruby. Pungent aromas of candied raspberry, licorice, espresso and graphite, with a hint of meat. Sweet, broad and voluptuous; lush, large-scaled and glyceral for the vintage. This compellingly creamy, seamless wine shows an almost confectionery quality to its raspberry and chocolate flavors. Finishes with utterly silky tannins and outstanding length.

V 93
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

Dark red-ruby. Aromas of plum, licorice, minerals and wild herbs, plus a whiff of spun sugar. In a distinctly plush, creamy-sweet style, conveying an opulent dried-fruit character complicated by a faint leathery quality. Not the last word in complexity but finishes with very smooth tannins and excellent length. This wine is carrying just 1.2 grams per liter of residual sugar but tastes sweeter than that. Not a classic style for this bottling, and certainly ready to drink.

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Bryant Family

Bryant Family

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Bryant Family, , California
Bryant Family
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.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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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.

RBKBRYCAB08_2008 Item# 109647

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