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Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2009

Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Antaeus, the son of Water and Earth in Greek mythology, is the symbol of strength derived from the soil. So too this wine, deriving strength from the matching of site and grape on every part of our land. The aromatics are primarily Napa Cabernet, with all the richness that connotes; the body has Zinfandel's sensual fruit and fullness, but the finish comes through with the structured, sinewy aspect of the Bordeaux varieties.

    Blend: 51% Zinfandel, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot

    Critical Acclaim

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    Storybook Mountain

    Storybook Mountain Vineyards

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    Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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    Storybook Mountain is a winery totally dedicated to Zinfandel and has established a worldwide reputation for consistently high quality. The Zinfandel tradition began at Storybook Mountain in the early 1880s when its red clay-loam hillsides in the Mayacamas Range were first planted to this varietal. Here, the perfect match of estate and grape allows Zinfandel to show its true potential. Storybook Mountain's sought-after estate wines are carefully hand-crafted from choice grapes grown without the use of insecticides or herbicides. They are aged at least 12 months in the best French and American oak barrels, inside century-old caves dug deep into the mineral-rich volcanic rock underlying the hand-tended vineyard. Proprietor Jerry Seps' Zinfandels are famed for elegance and longevity. Raspberries, black cherries and spice are the keynote of these complex, well balanced wines.

    Napa Valley

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    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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

    Other Red Blends

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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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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.

    CWMSB0219_2009 Item# 120541