Monday, January 6, 2014

Updated Review: ***** $$$ Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, 2005 = BEST VALUE

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By way of background:Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic California cabernet from Napa Valley, and one to which I gave a whopping five stars for the prior 2003 vintage.  The winery had high hopes for the 2005 vintage, reporting, "The 2005 vintage started out wet and cool, followed by heat in August and a cool autumn. Harvest finally wrapped up just before Thanksgiving – one of the longest harvests on record."

Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon for 2005 is 98% cabernet sauvignon plus 2% petite sirah, both from the Louer Family Vineyards of St. Helena, CA.  Harvest was completed October 19, 2005, after which the wine spent 18 months in 100% French oak. The 2005 vintage was finished at a hearty 14.9% alcohol.

Original tasting, five years from vintage date, January, 2010:

In the glass: Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon shows as deep dark purple, opaque to within a quarter inch of the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, the wine shows a cool, calm and collected aroma of dusty purple ink.

On the palate: The first element is a sweet, black ink attack on the mid-palate and the back of your tongue.  It brings sweet but very dark chocolate, lush tannins and a balanced tone.

And the finish: Solid, tucked into your cheeks with a lengthy, dark ink tone.

In summary: Overall, awesome deep, new world cabernet experience.  Makes me want to hug the bottle for the evening, thus a full five stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this an awesome value.
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Updated review, exactly four years later, now nine years from vintage date, January, 2014: Consistent color, with the tiniest hints of brick glinting through the purple.  Nose of purple fruit, oak and chocolate dust.  Yummy. Still fresh, black fruit with mouth-hugging tannins.  Growing younger, tighter and brighter with age!

Find Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon pricing and retail availability.

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