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Palmaz Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (3.0 L) 2004

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

Ripe concentrated fruit are the core of this estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon with layers of blackberry, cocoa and plum mingled with toasty oak. The rich flavors are balanced with ripe supple tannins adding elegance and complexity to the persistent finish. This wine has great potential and will continue to develop thru 2014

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Few Cabs on earth are riper than this, with its enormous flavors of black currants, cherry-pie filling, plum jam and chocolate that overwhelm the mouth with decadence. It's modern in tannins, which are soft and finely ground, and opulent in smoky, spicy new oak. It is, in short, the very model of a Napa cult Cab.

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Palmaz

Palmaz

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Palmaz, , California
Palmaz
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.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing and there is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

SWS185381_2004 Item# 100817

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