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St. Clement Oroppas 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP91
  • WS90
14.8% ABV
  • JS93
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • RP90
  • WE94
  • WS92
  • WS93
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • WS92
  • WS92
  • WS93
  • WS91
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot. The Oroppas opens with enticing aromas of blueberry jam, red cherry, raspberry, milk chocolate, clove and brown sugar. Black cherry, raspberry jam, caramel, and dark chocolate flavors greet the palate, and the rich fruit flavors are supported by structured, yet velvety tannins. Black pepper, candied apple and dark chocolate linger on the palate for a long, complex finish.

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WS 90
Wine Spectator
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St. Clement

St. Clement Vineyards

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St. Clement Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
2005 Oroppas
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

AMR70249_2005 Item# 95435

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