St. Clement Oroppas 1999
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.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.