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St. Supery Elu 2009
Blend: 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery is a 100% Estate Grown, sustainably farmed winery located in the renowned Rutherford growing region in the heart of Napa Valley. The winery combines French château estate tradition with Napa Valley terroir and a focus on Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varieties.
Committed to producing the highest quality estate wines without compromise, St. Supéry Estate Winery and Vineyards is proud to be certified Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery. With St. Supéry’s reputation based on its valuable Napa Valley properties, a primary goal is to support biodiversity and sustainability while continuing the founding vision of a Napa Valley château for generations to come. St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1982. After a decade of researching properties with the advice from Napa Valley’s most respected vintners, the founding family purchased Dollarhide Ranch, over 1,530 acres of unplanted land high in the northeastern mountains which today is the source of St. Supéry’s distinctive estate Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The diversity of Dollarhide’s terroir contributes to the successful farming of red and white Bordeaux varieties.
The winery in Rutherford is home to winemaking, visitor facilities, and 35 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. All the estate acreage owned by St. Supéry is farmed sustainably using minimal intervention and cultivation. In addition to being recognized for award winning wines, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery champions wine education and exploration, offering a series of interactive wine experiences designed for all levels of wine enthusiasts.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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.
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.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.