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Calafia Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    0% ABV
    • WW93
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    Winemaker Notes

    Aromas of black cherries, boysenberry, briary, some black pepper; hints of allspice, toast, and cedar. Flavors of berries, black figs, cedar, tobacco, and nutmeg. Finish is layered, rich and full-bodied. Tannins are round and velvety soft. Long, lingering finish with hints of oak.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Calafia, Napa Valley, California
    Calafia Cellars is owned by Randle Johnson. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Randle attended the University of California at Davis and graduated in 1974 with a masters in Viticulture. Randle's first position was as a viticulturist with Souverain Winery in Rutherford. A year later he moved into the winery division there and became assistant to winemaker Phil Baxter. In 1977 Randle moved to Mayacamas Vineyards in the capacity of Cellarmaster. He realized the unique vineyard environment of Mount Veeder and began to study the climate, soils, vineyards, and wines of the region. After three years at Mayacamas, Randle started Calafia Cellars. Using grapes from both the Napa and Sonoma sides of Mount Veeder, he made Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc under the Calafia label. In 1980 Randle accepted a position at the Stag's Leap Winery where he worked until 1982 developing the wine production at the Estate. In 1983 he began working as consultant to Donald Hess in his new wine venture on Mount Veeder and in 1985 he accepted a fulltime position as Senior Winemaker at Hess Collection. In order to avoid any conflict in his new capacity, he agreed to limit production under the Calafia label to his Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from a small vineyard situated on Mount Veeder. The vineyard is owned by James Konrad and has been the source of a series of powerful, yet elegant Cabernets. Today Randle continues his job at Hess as Senior Winemaker. He produces less than 200 cases annually of the Calafia Konrad Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

    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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

    LAU1204107_1996 Item# 38337