St. Clement Oroppas 2005
Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards on Diamond and Howell Mountain, as well as Mount Veeder, contributed to the blend along with valley floor fruit from Rutherford and St. Helena. The addition of seven percent Merlot from Star Vineyard in Rutherford adds a bright red fruit component and length in the mid-palate. Each lot was aged separately in fifty percent new French oak barrels for nineteen months, and then blended together before bottling.
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.