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Wattle Creek Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
14.6% ABV
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3.6 4 Ratings
14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon explodes with seductive aromas of prunes, dark chocolate, plums and cassis that are complimented by touches of cinnamon, cigar box and dried herbs. The aroma is rich and expressive and alludes to the depth and complexity of this wine. The wine is an impressive opaque purple-red color. Once tasted this Cabernet immediately presents tiers of dark chocolate, dark cherry and black berry fruit. The tannins are full and supple with tremendous weight and structure, yet remain graceful.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is classic Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon—in an old-fashioned way. That's not a back-handed compliment, it's a testimony to the wine's dryness and herbaceousness, and the soft quality of its tannins. The blackberry, olive and cedar flavors are delicious, and the wine will develop bottle complexity over the next 10 years or so.
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Wattle Creek

Wattle Creek

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Wattle Creek, , California
Wattle Creek
In March of 1994, a bit of Australia moved to California, and Sonoma County grew even more welcoming and friendlier. An Australian family brought its infectious love of life and exuberance to 56 acres of land just south of the small town of Cloverdale in Alexander Valley. This family, the Williams, also brought with them a zeal and fervor for wine, in particular wines from the Southern Hemisphere.

Led by Christopher and Kristine, the vineyard selection was anything but happenstance. They sought and discovered a piece of land reminiscent of the warm Barossa Valley of the land down under. Here, the perfect union of climate, soil, and geography permit the infusion of the best of Alexander Valley with Australian vitality and heritage of winemaking.

On the heels of the success of their Alexander Valley site, the family added an extraordinary piece of land in Mendocino's Yorkville Highlands. In 2001, under the guidance of a new Aussie winemaker for both estates, Michael Scholz, they released their first Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc. In the next few years the vineyard promises to produce fruit for a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz as well.

This was the inception of Wattle Creek, an American winery that derives its logo and name from the yellow blossom of the Australian Wattle tree and its essence and style from Australia.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank as far as number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

Bordeaux Blends

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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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS325680_2009 Item# 131046

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