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94 points- Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis
The Alexander Valley & Dry Creek Valley have become known around the country as a great areas to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, the King of Red Wines.
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- Tasting Notes: This wine is youthful and exuberant and expresses bright Satsuma plum, clove spice and roasted oak characteristics. In the mouth, it is ripe and medium-full bodied and has loads of blue fruits such as plum, blueberry jam, crushed hazelnuts, vanilla bean and cedar box. It has grainy, soft tannins and is approachable now with slight aeration in the glass or in a decanter.
- Alcohol by Volume: 13.9%
- Appellation: Alexander & Dry Creek Valley, California
- Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage: 2012
- The 2012 vintage was long, cool and challenging in Sonoma County. Winemakers earned their money by using critical thinking to make harvest decisions on the spot. Rains that would have harmed thin-skinned varietals only “washed the dust” off these hearty, well established vines. The Alexander Valley has become known around the country as a great area to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, the King of red wines. The Dry Creek Valley, while more known for Zinfandel, produces excellent Cabernet as well. The alluvial soils in Alexander Valley and the red, iron laden soils of Dry Creek help to create an exceptional blend. The fruit for this wine was gently destemmed and fermented in tank for 20 days each prior to pressing and placing in small, new and once used American and French oak cooperage. It was aged for over 12 months prior to bottling in November of 2012.
- Aged: 12 Months in 70% new and 1x used French & American Oak
Chris Dearden has been crafting fine wines in Napa Valley for over 25 years. The third generation Californian was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley town of Porterville. Chris discovered a great way to combine these two disciplines and artistry in the field of Enology and Viticulture at UC Davis. After winemaking positions with William Hill, Madonna Estate, and Beaulieu Vineyard/Inglenook/Christian Brothers, he went back to obtain an MBA at the prestigious Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. During this period, he spent three years at Seguin Moreau Cooperage where he credits learning more about winemaking than in the previous years as a day-to-day winemaker. Representing the company, he traveled to the finest winemaking regions in France, South America and California, Oregon and Washington State helping winemakers make better wines and learning how the best wines are made around the world. Yearning to produce wine again, he began a fourteen-year journey developing a Napa Valley winery from the ground up. He established the vineyard, brand, wine style and identity. Dearden’s Carneros vineyard property, which is fondly referred to as “Las Amigas Partners,” is planted to five different clones of Pinot noir and a small amount of Chardonnay on an 11.6-acre parcel. Chris Dearden is also a highly sought consultant whose clients include Chanticleer, V Madrone, and Biale among others.
- Braised Lamb Shank
94 Points,Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis, aka Grape Goddess: With a softer texture than most Napa Valley Cabernets, this captures the essence of Sonoma Cabernets perfectly. Fans of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab or Jordan Cab will enjoy this warm, inviting and gently structured wine. It has notes of cassis, plum, fig paste, black licorice, cigar box, mocha, vanilla, cedar, and potting soil. On the palate it is full bodied and with notes of red and black fruits along with forest floor, moss and underbrush. There is a gentle chewiness from fine-grained barrel tannins on this soft but powerful wine and this finish is long and flavorful, with lingering earthy and berry notes.