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Classic Tier Reserve Tier Limited Release Wines

Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

  All the vineyards used in this wine are from well drained low vigor sites. Because these thin rocky sites drain away our spring rains so quickly the vines and their berries stop growing early in the season. Only the small berries produced from sites such as these can make wines intense enough to become our Reserve. The mountain top Atlas Peak and cool climate Coombsville and Carneros vineyards provide deep color and focused fruit while the Calistoga and Oakville blocks bring elegance and openly expressive fruit. All our vineyards require extensive hand work to manage correct shoot positioning, crop load and sun exposure. During harvest our winemaker spends 40% of his time inspecting and tasting our vineyards so that everything is handpicked at the peak of ripeness.

At the sole discretion of the winemaker's taste and experience the grapes from vineyard blocks going into this wine were hand harvested in early morning. The berries were gently de-stemmed and barely split open. Fermentation occurred in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Full extraction of berry flavors and phenolics was accomplished through a combination of mechanical punchdown, gentle pumpover irrigation and delestage. An extended maceration period built the mouthfeel and structure of this wine. Only free run is used in this wine. The wine goes directly to barrel for malolactic fermentation and was allowed to mature in 60% new French oak for 21 months. The wines were racked several times to incorporate air into the evolving wine. The final blend and every barrel was carefully assembled by our winemaker for this wine. A small amount of Cabernet Franc was used to increase aromatic complexity and some Malbec to help round the finish.

Tasting Notes
Wonderfully exuberant raspberry, cassis and blackberry fruit is complimented with cedar, clove, nutmeg, dark chocolate and vanillin aromas and flavors. An elegant wine with smooth supple tannins, perfect acid balance and a long lingering finsh. This wine is a treat in its youth, but the joyfullness of the fruit combined with its ample tannin structure means this wine will reach its zenith 10+ years after release.

Alcohol content, 14.4% by volume
8,891 cases produced

Wine Spectator

"(James) Laube rates some exciting late-release Cabs from the monumental 1997 vintage Ė donít miss... The rich and seamless Artesa Napa Valley Reserve.

A rich, seamless, beautifully integrated wine, brimming with spicy black cherry, blackberry, currant and plum and framed by pretty, toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Long, polished finish. Drink now through 2008." 92 score.

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