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Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

  • RP93
  • W&S92
  • WE91
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Mt. Brave Cabernet presents notes of roasted espresso, blueberry, anise, and violets with a cleansing minerality, expansive mouth feel, and great balance.

Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Absolutely stunning, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is a beauty. Notes of charcoal, blueberry liqueur, black currants, licorice, incense and violets jump from the glass of this 93.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc blend that was aged in 91% new French oak. This full-bodied 2011 is a tremendous success for the vintage, again reflecting that mountain sites often did very well, and taste like a completely different vintage than the valley floor 2011s. This savory, fleshy wine has low acidity and ripe tannin, so it can be drunk now or cellared for a decade or more.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Chris Carpenter makes this wine at a Jackson family vineyard above the fog line in northern Mt. Veeder, a remote spot that was one of Jess Jackson's favorite places in his stable of mountain sites. The vineyard produced a delicious 2011 cabernet, a cool, black wine that shows none of the damp challenges of the vintages. Scents of anise meet crucnchy dark red fruit in a lush and approachable wine, its tannins forming fine layers of chocolate in the spaces between the fruit. It's approachable now and suited to several years of cellaring.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
From high-elevation vineyards, this is a lean, dusty wine driven by dried herb, blueberry and savory tobacco, with a floral flirtation on the bouquet. Integrated tannins are still sizable and structured, the midpalate touched by a gamy, meaty suggestion akin to charcuterie.
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Mt. Brave

Mt. Brave

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Mt. Brave, California
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Mt. Brave is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who settled the rugged terrain of Mt. Veeder during the 1800s and an homage to the Wappo Indians, "the brave ones," who were the original inhabitants of this extraordinary place. The Mt. Brave Vineyard, once the Chateau Potelle Vineyard, was established decades ago at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. While Mt. Veeder is cool, Mt. Brave sits above the fog line, with morning sun warming the grapes each day. Soils are a sparse, gravelly loam. Nutrients and minerals are scant, resulting in tiny berries with concentrated and complex flavors. At harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down the steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers.

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Mt. Veeder

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Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.

Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.

The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.

Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.

Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.

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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

LIM462640_2011 Item# 136461