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Elizabeth Spencer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Deep, maroon red in color. The aromas are of dark, ripe red berries, and on the palate, the wine has initial notes of raspberry and wild strawberry which evolve into generous currant flavors with hints of tropical notes. There is still a brambly quality of red berry and plum, but also strawberry guava, and damson plum. The rich layered flavors are met with fine-grained, velvety soft tannins and a hint of red earth and caramel, while maintaining the impression of fresh-picked ripe fruits on the finish.

    Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

    Critical Acclaim

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    Elizabeth Spencer

    Elizabeth Spencer

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    Elizabeth Spencer, Napa Valley, California
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    Elizabeth Pressler & Spencer Graham began enjoying wine together in 1992, making wine together in 1997, established the bonded winery, Elizabeth Spencer, in 1998, & began selling these wines together in 2000. Previous to running their own winery, both Elizabeth and Spencer enjoyed long & successful careers in the wine industry.

    Elizabeth & Spencer share a love and respect for wine. We believe that wine should be delicious and representative of its appellation of origin. We make wines to drink—inviting wines that we and our friends (and by extension, our customers) truly enjoy. The model for all of our wines is intensity without excess weight, purity, persistence and length.

    Elizabeth & Spencer are “partners in life and partners in wine.” Our winery is built on the importance of strong relationships–starting with our own dynamic personal and professional bond and extending outward to our network of growers, our talented team of employees, and, ultimately to our customers, those who purchase and enjoy Elizabeth Spencer wines.

    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.

    HNYESWCSN11C_2011 Item# 137248