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Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • D95
  • JS93
  • RP92
14.2% ABV
  • RP92
  • JS92
  • RP93
  • JS92
  • WE90
  • W&S90
  • JS90
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WE93
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  • RP89
  • CG89
  • RP90
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4.3 22 Ratings
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4.3 22 Ratings
14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Opaque, dark ruby color introduces this wine that expresses dark fruit aroma and flavors. With spicy sweet oak complexity, the wine exudes dark fruit such as blackberry, black currant, blueberry and dark cherry. There are nuances of dark chocolate, chocolate berry truffle dusted with cocoa powder, cola, aromatic cedar, cinnamon, clove, graham crackers and a hint of tobacco. The body is very full with a soft entry, coupled with dark cherry/berry flavors that develop from start to finish. With great texture and mouth feel, this Cabernet is full-bodied, rich and opulent. In one word… delicious.

Blend: 78.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5.6% Malbec, 2.2% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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D 95
Decanter
The estate known today as Freemark Abbey was established in 1886 by one of the first female wine-growers in Napa. Today Ted Edwards is head winemaker, working for the past three decades to develop relationships with growers, allowing exclusive sourcing rights to specific plots, which is crucial to the winery’s success. This wine has been aged for 28 months in a mixture of French and American oak. Stephen Brook: Powerful blackcurrant nose, with slightly charred oak. Very rich without being jammy, it packs a punch. An assertive and very youthful style, but good acidity and tannins mean this should go the distance. Alex Hunt MW: A bit Port-like on the nose to begin with, but there is good depth and the brightness increases in the glass. The palate is succulent, appealing, and has potential to age. Very good. Stefan Neumann MS: Intense, youthful and fruit-forward nose. This is softly structured but with a good level of tannins. Violets and rose petals lead up to a lengthy finish. Great purity and clarity here.
JS 93
James Suckling
This shows hot stones, ash, undertones of citrus, slate and oyster shell. Lots of blue fruit on the palate with licorice character to define the full body, tight yet grippy tannins and fruity yet minerally finish. Drink in 2019.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley—blended of 78.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5.6% Malbec and 2.2% Cabernet Franc—has a compelling perfume of dried roses, fragrant herbs and dusty earth over a core of crushed plums and blackberries with a waft of tobacco. Medium-bodied, lively and expressive in the mouth, it has a pleasant pluminess accented by herb and earth notions, finishing long and chewy.
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Freemark Abbey

Freemark Abbey

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Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, California
Video of winery

The history of Freemark Abbey began in 1886, when Josephine Marlin Tychson became the first woman to build and operate a winery in California. The historic site where Josephine's winery, Tychson Cellars, once stood is now known as Freemark Abbey.

Josephine, a native of San Lorenzo, California and her husband, John Tychson, a Danish immigrant, moved to St. Helena in 1881. For $8,500, they purchased 147 acres north of St. Helena, which later became known as "Tychson Hill".

Shortly after her husband's untimely death, Josephine began construction of a fifty square foot redwood winery which would grow to hold a capacity of about 30,000 gallons. In addition, she hired Nils Larsen, an experienced vintner, as her foreman. Josephine successfully produced wine for the next eight years and then sold the winery to Larsen in 1894. In turn, Larsen leased the winery to Antonio Forni, a good friend of Josephine's. Forni later purchased the property in 1898. Forni is responsible for building a new winery on the old site of the Tychson structure.

In the years that followed, Freemark Abbey went through a period of several different owners until 1966, when a group of partners purchased the winery. In 1993, Winemaker Ted Edwards became a partner. Edwards assumed the role of managing partner in addition to maintaining the responsibilities he has held as winemaker since 1985.

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.

RGL40014330_2014 Item# 371749