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Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE93
  • RP92
14.8% ABV
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • RP91
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon is deep dark red (think Matador's cape) in color. Bright fruit jumps out of the glass with a focused nose of blackberries, cassis, cherries, and wild plums along with notes of dried flowers, graphite and cedar. Warm and inviting on the palate, this full-bodied wine shows deep flavors of perfectly ripe red, blue, and black fruits accented by sweet tannins, and intriguing oak nuances. It finishes as it started and without pause - vibrant fruit flavors, silky tannins, and underlying oak nuances. True to form, it displays the power and elegance that is so characteristic of this vineyard.

Blend: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This wine contains a drop of Petit Verdot. At more than five years of age, it has shed its babyfat, and is starting to develop bottle complexity. You can certainly drink it now for its luscious red cherry, blueberry, licorice and spice flavors. The tannins are as velvety smooth as anything in Napa Valley. However, it's guaranteed to continue to develop well in the bottle. Hold until 2018, at the very least.
Cellar Selection
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard is a beautiful, if somewhat inward wine graced with exquisite finesse. Freshly cut flowers, mint, blackberries and cassis are some of the nuances that emerge from this delineated, finessed Cabernet Sauvignon. Today the wine is a bit tight, but it should soften with another year or so in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.
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Elyse
Elyse, Napa Valley, California
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In 1983, Nancy and Ray arrived in California from Cape Cod to fulfill Ray’s dream of making wine and Nancy’s taste for adventure. After working harvest at Mt. Eden Winery in Saratoga, they moved to Napa Valley and became innkeepers for a bed &breakfast. Ray then spent formative time at Tonella Vineyard Management, where he gained philosophical perspective and practical knowledge working in the vineyards. Ray’s nine year tenure at Whitehall Lane Winery under the tutelage of Art Finkelstein first as a cellar worker and then as head winemaker honed his skills in the art of blending and was the inspiration for Ray’s winemaking style today.

In 1987, Ray & Nancy started Elyse Winery with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard, which is still a cornerstone vineyard source for the winery. After a decade of nomadic winemaking at various custom crush facilities, in 1997 they purchased a small winery and vineyard on Hoffman Lane, the home of Elyse Winery and tasting room.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more 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 sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California 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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

EPC25115_2008 Item# 135655