Fortress Knights Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Syrah, 2% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
His sense of adventure brought him to California to study at UC Davis. After graduating with a B. S in Viticulture and Enology, he planned to return to Europe. However, California’s wine, countryside, innovative winemaking practices and climate kept him Stateside.
Charly has focused his career on making ultra-premium Napa and Sonoma wines and has worked with prestigious boutique wineries such as Round Pond, Hartwell and Alpha Omega. He joined Jackson Family Wines in 2012 to work with the legendary Kendall Jackson Chardonnay program and in 2014 he returned to his roots as a Winemaker in the Bordeaux program. He continues to travel the world’s wine regions seeking inspiration and fresh thinking including harvest travel to his home country of Germany, Italy, France and South Africa.
A small and picturesque valley separating Napa Valley on its south border and Alexander Valley to its north, Knights Valley excels in similar varieties as the two aforementioned appellations, namely red Bordeaux varieties and blends, as well as Sauvignon blanc. Originally established by Beringer Vineyards, today several outstanding producers claim acreage here. The circadian cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean create a nighttime respite for vineyards during the hot growing season.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.
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.
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.