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St. Clement Oroppas 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS90
  • WE88
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Winemaker Notes

This vintage has a greater portion of Merlot and Cabernet Franc than previous blends, showing off the youthful fruit qualities without detracting from its ageability. It is a rich ruby, dense purple color and in the nose there are flavors of coconut, caramel, chocolate, and almond; almost like a Mounds candy bar.

The denseness and concentration of the vintage shows in the black cherry, cassis, and rich blackberry flavors from the Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Cabernet Franc offers blueberry and violet characters. The Merlot adds a slight green tea-like character and big, intense cherry ending, making this an unusually complex wine. The sweet fruit qualities carry through with a hint of spicy, toasted flavors. Although the 1999 Oroppas offers a soft entry, it is very weighted and full in the mouth, with hints of leather, toffee, and spiced flavors of allspice, cinnamon and dried herbs.

Critical Acclaim

WS 90
Wine Spectator

WE 88
Wine Enthusiast

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St. Clement

St. Clement Vineyards

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St. Clement Vineyards, , California
St. Clement
This historic Napa winery was purchased by Beringer in 1999. Beringer Wine Estates also owns Meridian Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean, Napa Ridge, Chateau Souverain and Stags' Leap Winery. St. Clement Vineyards will continue to produce small lots of premium wines under the same winemaking staff, with the universal goal of producing the best wines possible from exceptional regional fruit.

New York

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An often-overlooked wine-producing state that has recently begun to garner widespread attention

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An often-overlooked wine-producing state that has recently begun to garner widespread attention, New York trails significantly behind California and Washington in volume produced but is ahead of Oregon. The vast majority of its produce is dedicated to large-scale production of wines made from Vitis labrusca and French-American hybrid varieties, like the common table grape Concord. The quality of New York’s best wines, however, should not be underestimated. Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York, and Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over the borders into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are cold and can carry the risk of frost well into the growing season.

The Finger Lakes region has long been responsible for some of the country’s finest Riesling, and is gaining traction with elegant, light-bodied Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Experimentation with cold-hardy European varieties is common, and recent years have seen the successful planting of grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Saperavi. Long Island, on the other hand, has a more maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and shares some viticultural characteristics with Bordeaux. Accordingly, the best wines here are made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Niagara Escarpment is responsible for excellent ice wines, usually made from hybrid variety Vidal.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from...

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

AMR70249_1999 Item# 43320

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