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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.

Best known for sweet, fizzy white wines but also producing some more serious reds, Asti is both a town and a province in the northeastern Italian region of Piedmont. The best vineyard sites are reserved for Barbera, which can produce some of its best and most age-worthy iterations here as Barbera d’Asti. Other red varieties grown here include Freisa, Grignolino, and Dolcetto, which can be bottled varietally or blended into Barbera.

The wines consumers most commonly associate with Asti, however, are Asti (formerly known as Asti Spumante), and Moscato d’Asti. Both are playful, aromatic, and made from the Muscat grape, but Asti is less sweet, fully fizzy, and more alcoholic (yet still clocking in at only around 9% ABV) while Moscato d’Asti is sweeter, gently sparkling (“frizzante”), and closer to 5 or 6% ABV. Each is produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh and fruity flavors of the grape, which include peach, apricot, lychee, and rose petal.

Singularly aromatic, often sweet, and always enjoyable, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related while others are not. The two most important versions are Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, the former being of considerably higher quality. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles, from dry and aromatic wines to sweet and richly perfumed dessert wines. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling semi-sweet wine that is refreshing and low in alcohol.

In the Glass

Muscat wines possess intense aromatics of peaches, rose petals, geranium, orange blossom, and lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice, and always with a uniquely grapey character that is uncommon in other wines.

Perfect Pairings

Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.

Sommelier Secret

Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.

SOU179793_2005 Item# 97039

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