Clos du Bois Briarcrest Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Briarcrest is a fine expression of the rich, supple texture typical of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This particular vineyard block produces fruit with deep blackberry and black cherry flavors, and a distinct "briary" characteristic. In a poetic moment, our winemaker Margaret Davenport described "briary" as "the smell of very ripe berries on a hot, still summer day walking through a vineyard that abuts a blackberry patch, overlaid with a woody/herbal aroma."
Though Briarcrest is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the extended maceration produces a smooth, richly textured wine; varietal flavors intensify and tannins soften during this additional time in contact with the skins following fermentation. French oak adds notes of toast, tobacco and chocolate. Briarcrest offers thick black cherry and blackberry flavors, balanced tannin and oak in the mid-palate, and a long, smooth, expressive finish.
Briarcrest pairs beautifully with tenderloin of beef, marinated in a red wine reduction sauce. Try it with a succulent roast leg of lamb that has been brushed with rosemary or Dijon mustard.
When Clos du Bois was founded in 1974, Sonoma County was better known for its prunes, walnuts and dairy farms than for its wine grapes. With more soil types than France, Founder Frank Woods recognized the potential of Sonoma County as a world-class wine growing region, and it is here in Sonoma's Alexander Valley where Clos du Bois has been making outstanding wines for more than three decades. Woods' vision was to marry the best of California wines, which were rich, fruit forward and robust, with the best of French wines, which had an undeniable elegance. With a focus on sourcing the best quality grapes from Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and the surrounding North Coast, the resulting collection of wines highlight the best of Sonoma County in a style that is both elegant and approachable - the signature of Clos du Bois.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.