L’Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Walla Walla Valley
This wine is a blend of seven prestigious vineyard sites representing four unique soil types in the Walla Walla Valley. Its old world structure, dense dark fruit flavors and elegant tannins exemplify the best of Walla Walla. With an elegant, old world structure, this sophisticated Cabernet shows aromas of dark fruit, earth, and fresh herbs. A seamless core of blackberry, plum, and dark cherry mingle with notes of tobacco and leather on a dusty tannin, richly structured finish.
Sean Minor Four Bears Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Paso Robles California USA$20.00
Sean Minor was born in Kansas but he began his career in the wine industry after a formal education in finance from Arizona State University where he also met his wife, Nicole. They moved to California after graduation, where he began working for Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard. At the same time he took classes at U.C. Davis in Viticultural and Enology in hopes of developing a further understanding of grape growing and wine production. Then Sean moved to the Pacific Northwest after being recruited by King Estate Winery (widely renown for producing Oregon’s largest and most highly regarded Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) to manage the Estate. He met Will Bucklin, King Estate’s then winemaker, and developed an even stronger knowledge of winemaking and gained a lifelong friend. Sean learned firsthand the importance of site-specific viticulture, and ended up leaving King Estate to lead Benton Lane Winery then the family returned to California in 2001 where Sean had the opportunity to manage Renwood Winery and enhance his wine experience growing and marketing some of the Golden State’s best Zinfandel and Syrah. Four years later, he founded Sean Minor Wines.
This lovely Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color and displays aromas of lavender, cedar and raspberry fruit. Flavors of blackberries and raspberries combined with hints of savory spices coat the palate. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering finish.
Oakville Winery Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley USA$59.00
In 1903 the Pelissa family purchased 35 acres between the Napa River and the Napa Valley Railroad in Calistoga with a single $10 gold coin. Thus began one family's history in the Napa Valley. Today the same family owns approximately 1,000 acres in Napa Valley with over 300 acres designated as a preserve intact with its natural state and 635 acres farmed as certified organic vineyards. Throughout the 20th century, the family grew and their experience expanded across the valley. Then in 1993 the heirs of the Pelissa family acquired the Oakville Winery property from Heublein – Inglenook. The winery was originally built in 1877 by two Frenchmen, Jean Adolphe Brun and Jean Chaix and it was the 9th bonded winery in California. The “Brun and Chaix Oakville Winery” passed through various hands in the 20th century and when the Pelissa family acquired it they formed the Napa Wine Company and Bonded Winery #9. The winery and adjacent Pelissa Vineyard, totals 62 acres on the corner of Highway 29 and the Oakville Cross Road. In 2009 the first vintages of Oakville Winery Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel were released. This delicious Cabernet Sauvignon is a style that reflects modern Oakville, while at the same time captures the classic flavors of the region. Rich with notes of cassis, cherry, and ripe plum. A beautiful, well rounded mouth feel. Medium bodied with an elegant finish.Layers of dark red fruit flow effortlessly from this radiant, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. 92 Pionts – Robert Parker.
Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Spring Mountain District$58.00
In spite of the drought and the Napa earthquake, the 2014 harvest produced an abundant crop and excellent expectations for the vintage. The 2013/2014 winter was one of the driest on record in California and rainfall totals on Spring Mountain were approximately half of normal. A long-term benefit of the drought is that berry sizes are typically smaller and have more concentrated flavors, which may explain the terrific quality of the 2014 harvest. This wine opens with a concentrated nose of dark fruits, leading with notes of boysenberry and plum. The palate is remarkably seamless, an elegantly integrated mouthful with a velvety, silky texture which leaves you realizing how winemaking can ‘distill’ a grape into a powerful perfume, the essence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Old school and old world in its approach, this wine projects finesse, grace and balance, all supported by the backbone of a mountain vineyard pedigree. Superb now, with a finish which almost doesn’t finish, this wine will certainly age wonderfully for at least twenty-five years.