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TOR Mast-Cimarossa Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
15.1% ABV
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The year started out with heavy rain, but a dry spell in March put bud break right on time. May and June were wet months with up to 8’’ falling in many of the vineyards. July was warm, before we settled into a long cool growing season that lasted well into November for our Cabernet harvest. This extremely long hang time developed very mature flavors and dark colors, but at lower alcohol levels than 2001-2004. I was quoted in a futures tasting article for the Wine Spectator as saying the vintage was “Bordeaux-like.” I’ll add to that, “Bordeaux-like in a great year.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Offering up notes of blueberries, black raspberries, and currants in a soft, Pomerol-like style, the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Mast-Cimarossa possesses sweet tannins, adequate acidity, and a plush texture as well as finish. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
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TOR
TOR, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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We make great wines simply because we love making them. Wine is irresistible, it is fun, and it is about sharing passion, good fortune and community. TOR exists today because of the relationships we’ve cultivated over decades with mentors, grapegrowers and friends. This is indisputable: Tor knows a great vineyard. Less is always more when it comes to bottling some of the best grapes on the planet. In the tussle between the will of nature and the winemaker – our work is staying out of the way.

Howell Mountain

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Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of this part of Napa’s rugged, eastern hills, but Zinfandel was responsible for giving the Howell Mountain growing area its original fame in the late 1800s.

Winemaking in Howell Mountain was abandoned during Prohibition, and wasn’t reawakened until the arrival of Randy Dunn, a talented winemaker famous for the success of Caymus in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early eighties, he set his sights on the Napa hills and subsequently astonished the wine world with a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly thereafter Howell Mountain became officially recognized as the first sub-region of Napa Valley (1983).

With vineyards at 1,400 to 2,000 feet in elevation, they predominantly sit above the fog line but the days in Howell Mountain remain cooler than those in the heart of the valley, giving the grapes a bit more time on the vine.

The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils, shallow and infertile with good drainage, are volcanic ash and red clay and produce highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The resulting wines are full of structure and potential to age.

Today Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah thrive in this sub-appellation, as well as its founding variety, Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secrets

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.

LSB208587_2005 Item# 208587