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Monthaven Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Monthaven Winery

    Monthaven Winery

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    Monthaven Winery, North Coast, California
    With almost 30 years of experience working exclusively at wineries in California's Central Coast, artisan winemaker JeffYamamoto knows a thing or two about the area's dozens of microclimates. Starting in quality control roles, moving into the cellar, then onto general management responsibilities, Jeff's hands-on experience in every step of the winemaking process has created a stickler for the details. Crafting Monthaven at California's "largest small-lot winery" allows Jeff to keep grapes from different microclimates and vineyard blocks separate. He then uses his decade of cellar management experience to customize his barreling approach for each wine. Based on their individual characteristics, specific lots are selected for barrel fermentation or barrel aging to maximize the distinctiveness of each blend. Jeff largely prefers American oak for Monthaven wines to assure that the fruit flavors shine through, accented by balanced oak notes and agreeable tannins. The winemaking techniques applied to Monthaven wines are usually reserved for wines over $20 bottle. "My goal with these wines is to balance the fruit, acid and oak components in a way that allows the fruit to shine in the best possible light, reflecting the Central Coast expression of each varietal's nature."

    North Coast

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    Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

    Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

    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 Washington, 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.

    SWS24617_1998 Item# 14482