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Woodbridge Select Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Cabernet Sauvignon from California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Winemaker's Notes The nutrients and water from this vineyard encourages vines to develop Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with complex, concentrated flavors of luscious blackberry fruit, dark chocolate and spice. As one of our new Select Vineyard Series wines–the top tier of our Woodbridge portfolio-- Cabernet Sauvignon comes from vineyards with great personality, balance and structure. Because of the quality of the grapes, Winemaker David Akiyoshi took extra steps to develop their attributes, including four weeks of extended skin contact and a full 15 months of aging in small oak barrels. A large percentage of new oak barrels added delicious nuances of vanilla and toasty oak from the aromas to the lingering finish. Vintage This vintage was a great one for Cabernet. The growing season in Lodi gave us everything we wanted: warmth early in the spring to promote vine development, and cool temperatures late in the year to retain grape acidity and balance. We thinned the Cabernet grape clusters to encourage the vines to ripen a smaller amount of fruit to the highest quality, and it paid off with superb fruit development and flavor concentration. Cabernet Sauvignon, usually the last grape variety to ripen, wraps up harvest. We began crushing grapes at our winery on August 8, and had finished the Lodi grape harvest by October 20. The last gondola of grapes arrived from the Central Coast on November 7. Vineyard The Jahant District in the Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) has both sandy and clay loam soils, with some areas appearing rusty red from high iron content. The high mineral content and lean soils of these vineyards influence flavors in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. One of the shining stars in the blend is our Twin Oaks Vineyard, which has received awards for sustainable agriculture practices that protect the environment. Favoring the synergy between Lodi and Central Coast fruit, David chose to add grapes from Monterey County. Fermentation & Aging During winemaking, Select Vineyard Series wines receive special attention, including longer skin contact and longer aging than our classic Woodbridge wines. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were gently crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. As with all Woodbridge wines, each vineyard lot was kept separate until blending so that we could determine the best winemaking procedures for each vineyard. For this vintage, the wines received an average of four weeks' extended skin contact after fermentation to naturally soften the tannins and develop varietal complexity. After gentle pressing, the wines were transferred to small French and American oak barrels (30% new) for 15 months of aging. A small amount of Merlot was added to enhance the soft, fruity character.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Woodbridge

    Robert Mondavi Woodbridge

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    Robert Mondavi Woodbridge, , California
    Woodbridge
    The town of Woodbridge is nestled between the Sacramento River Delta and the Sierra Nevada Foothills, surrounded by acres of grapevines. The gnarled old vines you pass along the roads to the winery speak to the history of the Lodi area. Lured by the abundant sunshine that ripened grapes for wine, many Italian immigrants came here in the 1800s. Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, of Sassoferrato, Italy, first immigrated to Minnesota but soon traveled west to settle their family in Lodi, where Robert, his brother, and two sisters grew up among these vineyards. Robert established the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley in 1966. Looking for a place to produce quality wine for people to enjoy with every meal, he returned to Lodi. In 1979 he acquired the Cherokee Wine Association, established by several Lodi grape growers as a cooperative for producing wine after the repeal of Prohibition. He renamed the property Woodbridge Winery. Today, Woodbridge remains one of a few surviving wineries in the Lodi area that began as a cooperative. In 1979, Woodbridge Winery became the first in the region to convert to single-label wine production with Robert Mondavi red and white wines, affectionately known as Bob Red and Bob White. In 1985 the winery pioneered the gentle, direct-to-press operation for white wines, now practiced industry-wide. In 1986, Woodbridge became the first winery in the popular premium category to produce and vintage date varietally-labeled wines, highly regarded for their complex flavor and character.

    St. Emilion

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    Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

    St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

    Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

    The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

    Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

    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.

    HPR606244_2000 Item# 75296

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