This is a real classic, and therefore by definition premium quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Best vintages have been tasted off against the finest in Bordeaux and stood head and shoulders alongside.
It's expensive we know but a taste of it will prove why and also you be able to learn what a good Napa Cabernet is really all about. You get what you paid for as the old adage goes.
Drink now + 5 years
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011
International Wine Challenge 2011
International Wine Challenge 2010
California region of United States
The fruits of California’s wine industry are vast. There’s quite a responsibility on California’s wine shoulders for it produces a good 90% of its country’s entire wine volume, even though wine is made in every single one of the USA’s 50 states.
We are starting to see a change in the Californian wine scene over here. California has historically, and wrongly, had a reputation for producing wines at opposite ends of the price spectrum, when in truth it has always made wines at all price levels. However, because demand was so high back on home turf we never saw any of the mid-priced wine here, but this is all starting to change.
Changing too, is the increasing use of different clones of grape varieties, in an attempt to make the most from its hugely varied climate. We say hugely varied, because it’s easy to think of California as one big, hot and dry land mass. In reality, it is only what is known as the Central Valley which endures such climatic extremes, if only because is too far inland to benefit from any effect of the cooling fog for which the county is almost famous.
This fog is critical in determining much of California’s wine styles, as it cools regions like Carneros to such a degree that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this region can be as cool and crisp as any other region in the world.
Perhaps most famously though, is the AVA of Napa, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme and which has a particularly fine reputation for class and concentration.
California is split into approximately 100 AVAs, American Viticultural Areas, which some producers value as a geographical mapping and others pay little attention to at all!
Home for this varietal is the Bordeaux region of Western France, where some of the greatest red wines are created at Châteaux Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Mouton-Rothschild.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a late ripening grape that requires more sunlight and a warmer climate, so it is found in many areas of the New World. Napa Valley California, Hawke’s Bay New Zealand and Coonawarra Australia make superb Cabernet wine, where the levels of ripeness achieved make blending unnecessary. It’s bunches are loosely formed and the grapes are thick skinned and have a high skin to pulp ratio.
Classically this varietal gives low yields of full bodied, high acid, tannic wines. The classic flavours are blackcurrants. In cooler regions, this can be accompanied by notes of green capsicum and cedarwood, which become more accentuated as the wine ages. Warm climate Cabernet Sauvignon can have more of a black cherry, and even olive, fruit character.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the best grape varietal for ageing, what with its strength in tannin, fruit structure and fruit concentration. Cabernet wines (and the blended wines) can improve over decades, often developing complex, integrated secondary fruit flavours.
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Salads & Vegetables
This wine would work well with a Thai style beef salad or a shredded duck equivalent. It suits most barbecued and grilled meats so a Mexican dish would work well.
Fish & Seafood
This wine is generally too heavy for fish and seafood.
Pasta & Other Sauces
Rich creamy sauces, such as cheesy carbonara, work well with this wine.
Casseroled game such as pheasant and venison work well with this wine but it is also perfectly suited to duck, beef, lamb and boar!
Herbs & Spices
The strong flavours of black pepper, garlic and chives make an excellent match for this wine. It would also stand up well against mint, rosemary and thyme.
Oaky wines can be tricky to pair but we think paprika flavoured foods would work well with this wine.
This wine works well with Brie, Camembert, Edam, Red Leicester and Chaume cheeses.