Goldschmidt Vineyard Yoeman Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
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The buxom wine smelled of the savory notes of a barrel room, which reminded us of a Napa Cab. It may have big tannins, but it glides sleekly along the palate. I think Cabernet should be spicy,” said Goldschmidt. “But when you’re over 14.5%, you are removing not only the terroir but also the flavor of the grape.
Yolyn and Nick Goldschmidt are owner/vintners, and Nick is the winemaker. The winery offices are located in Healdsburg. Both originally from New Zealand, Yolyn and Nick have spent time living and working in the wine areas of New Zealand, Australia and South America.
Their focus is Cabernet Sauvignon from two prestigious vineyards in Northern California — Vyborny Vineyard, located on the northeastern slope in the Alexander Valley, and Game Ranch, located on an old river bottom on the eastern bench of the Silverado Trail. Both showcase the optimum silhouettes of Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and Napa Valley.
The rolling hills and gentle slopes near the town of Sebastopol were once home to apple orchards filled with songbirds. By the early 1990’s though, most of the orchards were replanted with grapes. The factors that define a quality Chardonnay vineyard are numerous, but Nick Goldschmidt believes matching varietal and rootstock to the right vineyard site yields the most flavorful grapes.
High quality grapes grow only under certain optimum soil conditions, including a balance of nutrients within certain clays. These clay minerals play a critical role, as they can retain water and act as harbors for nutrients better than other soil types. Clays that offer slow nutrient transfer to grape vine plants are preferred. The highest quality grapes grow on the fine-grained, shallow marine quartz sandstones of the Wilson Grove Formation, where Singing Tree is located. These formations tend to produce soils that are well balanced in nutrient content and water retention.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.