Pepi Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
The screw cap will keep the wine fresh while eliminating the possibility of cork taint.
A winding path through the world of wine brought Johnson in January 2001 to Pepi (owned by Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates in Napa Valley). Chris went to work in 1996 for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates. Less than two years later he took on the job of winemaker at the original Kendall-Jackson winery in Lake County.
Pepi is something different, however, Chris said he loves its spontaneous, risk-taking approach to wine. He favors the crisp, unfettered and natural character of those varietals in his Pepi bottlings. And his experience with Pinot Grigio in New York and Sauvignon Blanc in Lake County prepared him to master two of Pepi's leading wines. It's all part of forming a closer kinship with the creative magic/science of winemaking. "The natural cycles, the creatively, skill, great people, beautiful land - all the connections come together in wine," Chris said. "Just punching down, you see the skins, the red juice bubbling away. There's something about that whole transformation. It's cool."
Covering the most vine acreage in the state compared to any other red wine variety, Cabernet Sauvignon produces as much wine in California as Merlot and Pinot Noir combined. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates, as well as the freedom of its winemakers, allow for an incredible range of wine styles from this single grape.
California’s most famous region—and especially for Cabernet Sauvignon—is the acclaimed Napa Valley. While Cabernet is successful throughout the world, rarely has it achieved such merit as it does from the Napa Valley. At this point the two are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other.
Napa’s closest neighbor, Sonoma County, does an impressive job keeping up with Napa’s fame and glory. Alexander Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Moon Mountain and Knights Valley contribute to the lot of some of California’s top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lake County in California’s North Coast has become a focus for some of Napa’s more respected growers. From the Central Coast come iconic examples of classic California Cabernet; Lodi and the Sierra Foothills are great budget-friendly sources of amicable Cabernets.