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Sherwin Family Vineyards Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    This flagship wine is made entirely from fruit from the 16-acre vineyard at the top of Spring Mountain. The intensity, lushness, and complexity of the mountain fruit take center stage.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Sherwin Family Vineyards

    Sherwin Family Vineyards

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    Sherwin Family Vineyards, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    Natives of Clayton, CA, in San Francisco's East Bay, Steve and Linda Sherwin yearned for a quieter, more relaxed setting to raise their three children. A series of weekend visits to the Napa Valley in 1996 finally uncovered a 30-acre property near the top of Spring Mountain. The property featured a beautiful home and a serene lake, but the real prize was 2.5 acres of mixed old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This small vineyard was in the same location that was originally part of a 500-acre estate producing sought-after grapes from the late 1800s through Prohibition.

    With a successful career in construction development behind him and a true hands-on approach, Steve began clearing and planting vineyards around the original acres virtually by himself. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and finished 14 acres later.

    Sherwin Family Vineyards released their first wine, a 1996 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, in late 1999. A scant 140 cases were produced and quickly discovered by several local restaurants, retailers, and individual customers.

    Marked by the firm backbone of Spring Mountain fruit, their Cabernet Sauvignon shows remarkable density and concentration. Produced and cellared on the property in a new gravity-flow winery, Steve employs traditional winemaking methods of fermenting in one-ton bins, along with hand punch downs and hand racking.

    Spring Mountain District

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    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.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. 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 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 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.

    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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    NDE208631_1999 Item# 208631