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Neal Family Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
14.6% ABV
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This year has the most intense concentration of flavors and aromas to date. Rich, ripe fruit and complexity sum up this Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas and flavors include black cherry, plum, cassis, floral notes, chocolate, black licorice, tea and spice. The generous and velvety tannins allow the fruit and candy flavors, along with an earthy (Rutherford Dust) character, to evolve into a delightful finish that provides great depth to the wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Don't even think of opening this Cab now. The tannins are hard, and they lock down the considerable blackberry, black currant, anise and dark chocolate flavors. It's a very fine wine. The 100% Cab grapes come from Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, Mt. Veeder, Rutherford, St. Helena and Coombsville, making this a sort of international citizen of Napa Valley. Cellar Selection
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Neal Family

Neal Family

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Neal Family, Napa Valley, California
Neal Family Vineyards was created with the intention of producing the best wines - most notably the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Mark Neal built the winery out of his desire to share his love of winegrowing and winemaking with wine enthusiasts the world over. Every aspect of the winery's construction began and ended with these two objectives.

Every wine produced by the Neal Family Vineyards winery is made entirely from Napa Valley fruit and crafted specifically to express the unique terroir of the vineyard from which it is grown. Our philosophy: The flavors inherent in ultra-premium wine grapes should be allowed to speak for themselves; therefore, we choose not to blend varietals in any of our wines. It is important to be able to custom-tailor vineyard practices to the needs of each individual winemaking project, and Mark only uses grapes from vineyard sites cultivated to his exacting specifications.

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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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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.

SIM180205_2005 Item# 180205