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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 as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.