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Eisele Vineyard Altagracia 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • WS90
14.8% ABV
  • WW96
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • JS96
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

At first, the nose reveals rose petal notes with a hint of peony, then it opens up with blackcurrant, dark cherry aromas and a pinch of licorice. The mouthfeel is unctuous and succulent with a savory black fruit sustained by tight tannins and a finish on blond tobacco notes. This may be the finest Altagracia to date, deeper and more concentrated than 2012, with a darker character and a great ageing potential. It is in essence the more approachable little brother of the Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Glorious aromas, like walking into a flower shop, from roses to lilacs. Lots of dark fruit too. Then goes to slate and dark mushroom. Full body, super refined tannins and refresh and ultra-clean finish. A thoroughly balanced and refined wine. 80% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, 6% petit verdot, and 4% malbec. So delicious to drink now.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Both 2013s are clearly the finest Eisele wines made under the administration of François Pinault and his top lieutenant, Frédéric Engerer, who also runs the show at Château Latour. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia is a beauty. Dense, opaque purple, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with forest floor and violets is followed by a lush, medium to full-bodied wine with terrific concentration, light tannin and an approachable style even for a 2013. It should drink well for 15 or more years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Charmingly supple and complex, with layers of earth- and mineral-laced currant and wild berry flavors. Impressive for the tender tannins, finishing clean and pure, if short.
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Eisele Vineyard

Eisele Vineyard

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Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley, California
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First planted to vines in the 1880s, Eisele Vineyard sits in the northeast Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga at the base of the Palisades Mountain range. Farmed organically since 1998 and biodynamically since 2000, the site has been principally dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon for the last fifty years. Beginning with the inaugural release bearing the Eisele name in 1971, this iconic vineyard has received consistent recognition for possessing one of the great terroirs of Napa Valley. The wines invariably express the exceptional depth, elegance and longevity which are hallmarks of the Eisele Vineyard.

When we arrived at Araujo Estate in 2013, forty vintages had already carried the Eisele Vineyard designation. We admire and respect these wines immensely. Their exceptional balance, elegance and restraint spoke to us, and we found the expression of terroir to be pure, honest and unmistakable. We were captivated and humbled, knowing that giving voice to this place would be both a privilege and a challenge.

As we continue to write the history of Eisele Vineyard, we build on the spirit of stewardship that defines its past. Our journey here is an exploration, a quest to understand this vineyard more deeply — its geologic construct, the variations in terroir, and the nature of its ancient soils. Changes, when considered, are only in service to letting the terroir speak more clearly. To this work, our experienced team brings creativity, curiosity, and an unflagging passion for excellence.

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.

PBC9192524_2013 Item# 165362