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Scenic Root Winegrowers Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
The core of our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon comes from three sites situated within the Stag’s Leap, Oak Knoll and Oakville AVA’s. The Stag’s Leap site delivered deep color, structure and depth. The Oak Knoll Cabernet site exemplifies its provenance with incredible balance. It is not “over-the-top.” Our Oakville District site, next door to Screaming Eagle, again strutted its stuff, delivering deep color, high-quality grape tannin and aromatics. Collectively, TEXTBOOK 2016 showcases superlative “Napa Valley Cabernet” in a classic, delicious and well-mannered way.
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Jonathan lived, worked and studied in France and later earned a BS degree in Agriculture and an MBA here in California. He enjoyed a career in the ultra-premium wine industry and has worked with some of the best – Domaine Louis Jadot (Burgundy), Robert Mondavi & Schramsberg (Napa Valley), Australia's iconic Penfolds and several Bordeaux chateaux.
Susan is a recognized leader in the "service" side of the wine industry with extensive training and experience in California and Europe. After attending university in Italy, she earned her BA degree in the US and soon began working as Wine Director for a large & prestigious Bay Area-based restaurant group. Today she is one of the most prominent restaurant wine buyers in North America. She tastes and evaluates hundreds of wines per week – something that almost no other winemaker can bring to the table, yet she brings this insight to bear on our wines.
Together, Jonathon and Susan Pey bring decades of education and experience to their "small lot" winegrowing. Unlike the big wineries that produce every varietal under the sun, they specialize in a handful of wines – all in small quantities. As a CCOF - Certified Organic winery, they encourage environmentally friendly practices at many stages, from conserving soils and water, managing pests and using a natural approach in winemaking. For the winemakers, natural winegrowing means producing the finest quality wines while working in harmony with nature and protecting the health of the earth and its people.
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.
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.
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.
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.