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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

As you would enjoy the varied nuances and subtle layers of a Fellini film, so you should enjoy Cardinale. The 2008 has an aromatic element that evokes violets and orange blossoms with a fruitcomponent of dark cherry combined with a palate that offers currant, ripe blackberry and toast with a velvety texture on a long, drawn finish.

Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Another fabulous Cardinale, better than the 2007 but short of the perfect 2006. This is so complete; it tastes like Cabernet on a cloud, light but ethereal, with ripe, polished blackberry and cherry flavors and touches of mocha, spice and cedar. The tannins are a wonder—soft and pliant—yet gorgeously complex. Drink now-2016, at least.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Over 1,000 cases of the 2008 Cardinale were made from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot. Interestingly, the To-Kalon portion is the only fruit source located on the valley floor, which is not surprising given Jess Jackson’s propensity to buy, plant and source fruit from high elevation hillside and mountain sites. The 2008 exhibits a dense purple color along with sweet kirsch, unsmoked cigar tobacco, toasty oak and black currant characteristics. The wine hits the palate with a resounding opulence, full-bodied richness, moderate, sweet, well-integrated tannins and a long, heady finish. There is a floral component in the 2008 that was not noticeable in the 2007. This beautiful, full-bodied wine was aged 21 months in 100% new French oak. Slightly more evolved than the 2007, the 2008 should last for 20-25+ years.
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Cardinale

Cardinale

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Cardinale, Napa Valley, California
Video of winery
In 1983, Jess Jackson, proprietor of Kendall-Jackson Winery, decided to produce a world-class red Meritage wine. The name comes from the original Cardinale vineyard site at Kendall-Jackson's Lakeport winery. The wine is made predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with small amounts of Merlot and, in certain years, Cabernet Franc. Grapes are harvested from hillside vineyards located in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak Chateau barrels to produce a forward, seamless oak character to match its intense fruit.

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.

BUS113996_2008 Item# 113996