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Lake Sonoma Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
This rich Cabernet is the ideal partner for grilled and roasted meats or for savory mushroom dishes.
Lake Sonoma Winery focuses on the individual appellations in Northern Sonoma County where California’s top grape varieties achieve their ultimate expression of character. Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc come from Dry Creek Valley, where gravelly soils and a climate of warm days and cool nights produce intense fruit and impressive balance. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are grown in the very cool, often foggy Russian River Valley, where they develop rich, crisp character. Cabernet Sauvignon is drawn from Alexander Valley, where fertile soils and very warm climate result in mouthfilling character and smooth texture. The intrinsic excellence of these regions is enhanced by sustainable farming techniques in the vineyards, which uses natural amendments and controls to enrich the soil and combat pests.
To preserve and complement the extraordinary character of these grapes, Lake Sonoma Winery meticulously handcrafts each wine. Vineyard lots are kept separate until blending and aging in small oak barrels is tailored to each individual wine. Lake Sonoma Winery produces less than 25,000 cases annually, but every Lake Sonoma wine – through its bold flavors and intriguing complexity - makes a statement.
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 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.
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.
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.