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Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE96
  • WS90
  • CG90
  • RP90
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4.2 20 Ratings
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4.2 20 Ratings

Winemaker Notes

Inviting aromas of black plum, blueberry and licorice leap from the glass of this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and lead to layers of gingerbread spice and mint. This wine has the signature style of Etude with depth and richness of fruit and a velvety texture. The palate is full of dark fruit supported by supple tannins that are long and fine. An opulent Cabernet Sauvignon with powerful structure and intensity that underscores why this varietal is one of the major pursuits at Etude.

The Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is handcrafted from several unique vineyards representing the major benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley—Rutherford, St. Helena, Oakville and Calistoga. By deliberately sourcing fruit from this range of exemplary sources, the assembled wine attains the important range of expression and nuance that gives this wine its depth of character.

The blend for the 2005 bottling consists of Cabernet Sauvignon (98%) with a touch of Cabernet Franc (2%). The wine spent a minimum of 24 months in French oak barrels (80% new).

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

Etude's 2005 defines power and authority, Napa style. It's hard to imagine a Cabernet Sauvignon more explosive in blackberry, cherry and chocolate fruit flavor. Yet the structure is superb, with firm but ultrarefined tannins providing an architecture to house all that richness. Beautiful now, and should age gracefully for a decade.

WS 90
Wine Spectator

Very tightly wound, with a bundled mix of spicy dried currant, sage, mineral and deep, rich berry flavors that slowly unfold, offering more depth, richness and persistence on the finish. Best from 2011 through 2017.

CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide

Nicely outgoing and well-focused on fairly concentrated aromas of black cherries and creamy oak, this wine is full in body without giving itself over to heaviness and has a supple feel on the palate and appropriate structure in support. Its tannins are well within the bounds for Cabernet, and the wine needs only three to five years to reach its best.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

Deep ruby/purple hue is followed by notes of black currants, lead pencil, tobacco leaf, and spice box. Well-made, with medium body as well as good fruit, texture, and depth, it should drink nicely for 12-15+ years.

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Etude
Etude, , California
Etude
The underlying philosophy at Etude Wines is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Winemaker, Jon Priest, believes that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression.

Barbaresco

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Often compared to Barolo but worthy of its own separate conversation, Barbaresco is home to the softer side of Nebbiolo. For a long time, consumers viewed Barbaresco as a more affordable alternative to the wines of neighboring Barolo, but advances in viticulture and resulting improvements in quality have allowed this region to build a superior reputation all its own. With a warmer, drier, and milder climate and compact, fertile soils, the wines here are powerful yet soft, fruit-forward, and elegantly perfumed. Barbaresco needs some time to mature before being ready to drink, but less so than Barolo, and the typical bottle is best enjoyed between five and 15 years from the harvest.

Barbaresco wines are highly aromatic and complexly flavored, with notes of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, and spice. Bottle aging can add more savory characteristics of iron and tar, as well as dried orange peel. The modern style of Barbaresco relies on new oak to add flavor and soften the texture for early drinking, while more traditional versions aim to highlight the purity of the Nebbiolo grape by using large, neutral oak vessels.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

SOU179793_2005 Item# 97039

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