Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Dark ruby in color, the flavors such as blackberry, boysenberry, and Bing cherry dominate with nuances of milk chocolate, chocolate berry truffle dusted with cocoa powder, aromatic cedar, and Herbs de Provence. The sweet oak spice is very well integrated, adding to the overall complexity. The body is very full, with a soft entry, coupled with dark cherry flavors that develop from start to finish. With great texture, integrated tannins, and a pleasant mouthfeel, this cabernet is full bodied, rich, and opulent. In one word…. delicious.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This impressive wine possesses just over 16% Merlot and touches of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Using a small percentage of new French oak, it offers dusty texture and well-defined flavors of dark cherry, plum, rock and earth. A sweetness of oak doesn’t get lost in the overall structure and cohesion.
Aromas of blueberries, currants and flowers follow through to a medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a delicious finish. Shows some hazelnut and walnut undertones. Very fine-toned. Drink or hold.
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley reveals fresh blackberries, blackcurrants and black plums with hints of dark chocolate, menthol and fertile soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers delicious, crunchy black fruits and harmonious structure, finishing softly textured and spicy. 36,588 cases were made.
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.
Ted Edwards is one of the longest tenured winemakers in Napa Valley. After forty years as director of winemaking at Freemark Abbey, Ted transitioned to the role of Winemaker Emeritus in 2020. In his new role, Ted is charged with ensuring the Freemark Abbey wines retain the continuity of style and excellence that the winery has built its reputation on. He continues his involvement in all aspects of winemaking and vineyard practices, and more, imparting his wealth of knowledge and experience with winemaker Kristy Melton.
Kristy Melton has more than a decade of experience crafting wines with structure, finesse, and age-worthiness. Before joining Freemark Abbey, Kristy held winemaking roles at several Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries including Clos Du Val, Bootleg, Kendall-Jackson, Saintsbury, and others. In her role as Director of Winemaking at Napa Valley’s iconic Clos Du Val, her exceptional ability to craft modern wines of balance and elegance was widely credited for the winery’s reemergence as a leader in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon production.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wines. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.