The Counselor River Pass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Very dark, almost opaque violet-black color. Red cherry and red raspberry aromas segue into juicy blackberry, fig, and plum flavors. Mocha, spice, and toasty oak further round out the profile, all within an elegant, smooth, and medium bodied framework. The fully ripe tannins will continue to soften over time creating a silky texture to the finish.
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It is the land that provides the ultimate counsel. With more than 20 years of experience in the Alexander Valley, winemaker Nick Goldschmidt takes his time, listens to the land for guidance, interprets the elements, and shares the creation. The River Pass Vineyard (part of Passalacqua Ranch, 5th generation Sonoma farmers) is located just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Nick Goldschmidt has been working this site for 15 years. The site is divided into three sections, north, middle, and south and faces southeast. It receives gentle morning sun which permits longer hang-times and greater flavor development. The three blocks are fermented separately and then blended for best expression. Alexander Valley reds typically show red fruits in the nose and notes of herbs.
Nick Goldschmidt is an esteemed winemaker with over 30 years of experience. A native New Zealander based in Healdsburg, California, Nick is renowned locally and globally for his contributions to winemaking and viticultural advances. 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 enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.