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Palmaz Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • CG91
14.5% ABV
  • W&S90
  • WE92
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 vintage was exceptional for the Mt. George region of Napa Valley. Our cooler climate ensured wines of great depth and structure. The 2005 Palmaz Estate is deep, lush and wonderfully aromatic. The palate is generous and silky with flavors ranging from dark fruits and cassis to earth and spice. This is a complete wine that drinks well in its youth and will continue to improve over the next decade.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
Solidly fruity and well-endowed with varietal notes of currants, black cherries, and dried tobacco accents, this well-proportioned bottling is both supple at its heart and firm at its margins in the manner of ageworthy wines. Its fruit is ripe yet mannerly and it shows through at every stop even as youthful tannins push into the wine from mid-palate to finish. Allow this one a few years of cellar aging to come fully into its own.
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Palmaz, Napa Valley, California
2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
The Palmazes bought a forgotten stone winery, a fine old house badly in need of renovation, and acres of land that had once produced fine Napa wines. The little valley had been the site of Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery, founded in 1881 by Henry Hagen, one of Napa Valley's pioneer winemakers.

The vineyards grow within more than fourteen unique terroirs at three elevations — 400, 1200, and 1400 feet above sea level and are nurtured under the respectful tenets of sustainable agriculture. They thrive on the slopes of Mount George at the southern end of the Vaca Range. The foundation for it all is base rock laid down during the Pliocene volcanic age. Vineyard geography ranges from steep slopes with shallow nutrient-poor soils, which produce concentrated grapes, to stony colluvial deposits made up of cobbles, gravel, and sandy loam. Variations of soil type, sun exposure, and elevation produce a robust range of flavors and concentration to create a wine with balance and complexity.

The winery's 24 fermentation tanks accommodate the yields of individual blocks within the estate, vinifying each parcel’s grapes separately to preserve the unique characteristics intrinsic to the parcels. This provides a complete and pure palette for the winemaker’s art — tasting, appreciating, and blending individual lots to bring balance to the wine.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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 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.

SWS239875_2005 Item# 98977