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The Counselor River Pass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
With a degree in Viticulture and a Post Graduate of Oenology from the University of Adelaide at Roseworthy, Nick began his career in 1982 with research positions in horticulture and viticulture. Nick then embarked on harvests abroad travelling to Australia, New Zealand, California, and Chile and Argentina, giving him an amazing range of winemaking experiences.
In 1990, Nick and his wife, Yolyn Goldschmidt, settled in Healdsburg, CA, as Nick assumed the role of Vice President and Chief Winemaker at Simi, pioneering their Land Slide program with a strong passion for the Alexander Valley region. Simi was first owned by LVMH and subsequently Constellation while he was there. Nick then mover on to hold Vice President and Executive Winemaker roles at Allied Domecq Wines and Beam Wine Estates overseeing Buena Vista, Clos Du Bois, Gary Farrell, William Hill, Mumm Napa and others covering eight countries.
In 1998 Nick and Yolyn established their own family winery with the release of Goldschmidt Vineyards. Their company has grown to include Forefathers, Boulder Bank, Three Daughters, Chacras, Fidelity and The Counselor. Goldschmidt wines are all single vineyard, 100% varietal, handcrafted; small production artisan wines that truly express their unique site.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.