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Schweiger Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1995
Situated at an elevation of 2,000 feet with rich volcanic soil and a unique microclimate, the Schweiger family realized the potential for successful wine production. The laboring process to clear the heavily forested property began in 1979.
During the two years of clearing, old redwood hand-split stakes were discovered spaced a meter by a meter, reaffirming the stories that the area was once a prime viticultural area in the 1880's. With a "hands on" approach, the Schweiger family laid out and planted the 34 acres of Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1981.
Schweiger Vineyards was successful from the beginning with the first harvest in 1984 bringing great demand for grape contracts from Cafaro Cellars, Stags' Leap Winery, ZD, and other highly esteemed wineries. In 1994, Schweiger Vineyards received its bonded winery permit and kicked off their first release of Chardonnay in the fall of 1995. This was followed a year later with the release of the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Schweiger Vineyards is a family operation, with each family member contributing different areas of expertise in the winemaking process. The family prides itself on growing, producing, and bottling their handmade estate wine with extreme measures of care.
Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.
A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.
During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.
Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.
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.