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Kinsella Estates Spencer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
  • WS94
14.4% ABV
  • RP91
  • WS90
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

While it was the third consecutive year marked by limited rainfall,the 2014 vintage offered a perfectly temperate growing season characterized by long, moderate days and cool, clear nights. The year began with warm spring conditions that gave way to an earlybudbreak and the consistent, dry weather afforded an optimal fruitset of small berries with incredible concentration. Crop yields weredown a bit from 2013, but the quality was magnificent. It was atextbook growing season, every winemaker’s dream.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot, with 345 cases produces, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Spencer Vineyard is equally impressive, exhibiting more graphite notes along with licorice, underbrush and copious quantities of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. The wine is full-bodied, with sweet tannin (characteristic of all of these Kinsella Cabernet Sauvignons). Readers know that sometimes Dry Creek Cabernets can be rustic in their tannic framework, but that is not the case here.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A rich, juicy, seductive style, with tiers of blackberry, licorice, dusty, loamy earth and anise notes, showing touches of flowers and herbs. Engaging and deftly balanced. Drink now through 2030.
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Kinsella Estates

Kinsella Estates

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Kinsella Estates, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Kinsella Estates is an organically-farmed vineyard situated in a private valley in the foothills of the western edge of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Elevated 500 feet above the Russian River, the valley enjoys a warm climate that virtually never sees winter frost (the hills even harbor occasional citrus trees!). The East-West running valley is planted with 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the steep eastern hillsides composed of loamy, metamorphic soil. The valley drains a large watershed where a winter stream rapidly fills up Spencer Lake, which provides irrigation water in summer. The Kinsella Estates vineyard is composed of three blocs: The Heirloom Vineyard -- a steep-sloping, two acre, 17-year-old parcel, wedged in between an arroyo and a knoll of Spanish oaks -- the six acre Jersey Boys Vineyard, and the four acre roadside Spencer Vineyard. The arroyo that runs between Jersey Boys and Spencer vineyards feeds the lake. In the summer of 2008, the latter two blocs were ripped out and replanted with four different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, handpicked by winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Two thirds of an acre of Wente clone Zinfandel also was planted, as well as eight rows of Petit Verdot. All Kinsella Estates wines are produced from organically grown grapes -- grown without pesticides or herbicides.

Dry Creek Valley

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A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles both red and white. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days bookended by cool nights allow grapes to reach full ripeness while retaining acidity and balance.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here, often grown on vines aged 35 to 100 or older, taking on a powerful, voluptuous character favored by fans of the variety. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhône varieties, and Italian varieties. Petite Sirah and Carignan are commonly blended with Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California 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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

AUT14KINSCABSV_2014 Item# 311582