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Robert Sinskey SLD Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The wine is visually impressive with a deep, almost opaque, purple hue. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, and violet are offset by cool dried herb notes of thyme, pepper, green olive, and leathery tea. Deep, dark, and brooding, this wine needs some air to show its full potential. Firm, dusty, ripe tannins balanced by vibrant acidity provide balance and the suggestion that this wine will age gracefully for decades to come.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Robert Sinskey

    Robert Sinskey Vineyards

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    Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
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    With a humble beginning of just 15 acres of vineyard land in the early eighties, RSV’s has grown to just under 200 acres of prime vineyard in five Carneros locations and a small 4.8 acre estate vineyard next to the winery in the Stags Leap District. The wines are 100% estate-produced. Rob Sinskey, Winemaker Jeff Virnig, and Vineyard Manager Kirk Grace, have created unique methods to grow and produce Pinot Noirs that are silky, elegant, and complex. They also make two California Bordeaux style proprietary reds (the RSV Vineyard Reserve from the Carneros and the RSV Stags Leap District Claret) that have a sense of place and exhibit incredible tactile qualities. The vineyards are farmed and the wines are made 100% organically. RSV also produces limited quantities of Merlot, that explodes with bright fruit character, a non-malolactic Chardonnay that is full flavored with natural, mouth-watering acidity, a whole cluster pressed Pinot Blanc that is free of oak influence, a delicate salmon-colored Vin Gris of Pinot Noir and a few other goodies… just for the fun of it.

    Stags Leap District

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    Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didn’t really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.

    When a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.

    The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.

    Stags Leap soils—eroded volcanic and old river sediments—encourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.

    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 Washington, 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.

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