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Kobalt Wines Port Styled Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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        Kobalt Wines

        Kobalt Wines

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        Kobalt Wines, California
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        By 1998 Kevin Carriker wanted to make wine on his own and focus solely on Cabernet Sauvignon. A friend of his, Merus winemaker Mark Herold, told him of a small vineyard in Coombsville (south/eastern Napa) that had the characteristics he was seeking. It took a couple more years to realize his dream and in 2001 he was able, with the help of Mark, to put everything together and make his first Cabernet Sauvignon. This, and the subsequent years of Kobalt, mark the culmination of untraditional education and desire to produce fine wine. The current production of Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon is twenty barrels.

        From vineyard to table, Winemaker Mark Herold, Ph.D. has incredible wealth of experience and an in-depth, scientific knowledge of the wine business. A true renaissance artisan with a healthy dose of accomplished scientist, Mark’s background is storied in successfully developing new, highly esteemed wine estates, as well as reinvigorating established wineries. Making wine and advising both larger institutional wineries, such as his work with Joseph Phelps Vineyards, along with his successful efforts at boutique wine properties, such as Harris Estate and Hestan Vineyards, provide Mark with the unique ability to assess the specialized needs of both large and small wineries.

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        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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

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        Other Dessert

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        Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

        Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

        Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

        Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

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