Wine Last Sold on: December 19, 2011
Grgich Hills Estate
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley|
|Total Allocation:||Operative's Choice: Top Napa Cabernet|
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The Winery Says:
Awards & Accolades:
96 Points – Robert Whitley – Given the inflated cost of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the marvel of Grgich’s ‘07 vintage is that it only costs $60. That’s chump change in a region where Bryant, Scarecrow, Grace Family, Screaming Eagle and the like go for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. But no Napa Cab over the past two decades has been more reliable than Grgich Hills, whose Cabs from the late 1980s and early 1990s continue to hold up very well. The ‘07 is beautifully structured with dense layers of dark fruit and spice, firm tannins and a hint of cedar and vanilla on the finish. It is truly an astonishing Napa Cab for the price
About This Wine:
We fermented the grapes using only yeasts that naturally occur on the grapes and allowed the wine to gain favors and color from extended skin contact. Each lot is aged separately for several months, and then blended to create a wine that is more complex than the individual parts. After blending, the wine spent another year and half in barrel to completely harmonize before bottling. This is an elegant wine with rich aromas of black berries, black licorice and a hint of cocoa powder. Velvety smooth, it’s the perfect partner with grilled steak, rack of lamb or roasted duck.
Vintage: The 2007 vintage was almost perfect for grapes with a long, dry growing season. The warm spring brought early budding and bloom, followed by a relatively cool summer that allowed even ripening on the vine and then a heat spike at the end of August that jump-started harvest. Because we received only 60 percent of our normal precipitation, the grapes were smaller, reducing yield but giving us concentrated favors.
Vineyard: Our Yountville vineyard provides the heart of our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with our Rutherford and Calistoga vineyards rounding out the blend. All vineyards are certifed organic and Biodynamic®. Biodynamics is a holistic farming practice that uses the earth’s cycles and natural preparations to grow balanced, healthy vines without artifcial fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides. The result is a full-bodied, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon with pure favors and a pronounced sense of place.
About The Winery:
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills. It was an ideal partnership. Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet. Mike, with his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, began producing what immediately became our signature wine: the exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays that win awards and delight wine lovers across America and throughout the world.
Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
As always, we treat each of our six different wines as a special child, carefully nurturing their development and character. Our main pride and joy is our Chardonnay, an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay, we also produce a refreshingly crisp Fumé Blanc, a rich and spicy Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, a lush and richly fragrant Merlot, and a luscious dessert wine named “Violetta,” in honor of Mike’s daughter, Violet.
Now 85 years old, and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike was inducted into the Vinter Hall of Fame in March 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch. This strategy continues to pay significant dividends. Many wineries buy their grapes from outside vineyards. Grgich Hills now owns all of its own vineyards, all of which are certified organic and Biodynamic. Beginning with the 2003 vintage, all Grgich Hills wines are labeled “Estate Grown.” This guarantees a consistently superior level of quality, and it guarantees that Grgich Hills will remain a shining symbol of prestige and good taste. In recognition of that important milestone, the winery changed its name in 2007 to Grgich Hills Estate.
Varietals: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot
Total acidity: 5.9 g/L
Fermentation: indigenous yeast, 5 weeks of skin contact
Time in oak: 21 months in French oak, 60% new
Harvest date: Sept. 12 to Oct. 8th
Sugar: 25.5˚ Brix (average)
Bottling date: April 28, 2010
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The Wine Spies Say:
Operative’s Choice: Top Napa Cabernet
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Grgich Hills Estate is truly an exemplary Cabernet Sauvignon. At today’s one-day-only price, it is a true steal on a wine that not only is delicious but also organic and BioDynamic.
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Mission Codename: The 96er
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Revisit our friends at Grgich Hills Estate to acquire their delicious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Grgich Hills Estate
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Miljenko “Mike” Grgich
Backgrounder: In 1976, Mike Grgich rocked the wine world by creating a California that beat out French Chardonnays in the now famous Judgment of Paris. The French were outraged, and Mike Grgich earned the respect of wine drinkers and critics, worldwide. Today, Mike continues to oversee production of what have been heralded as “the finest wines in the world”. We are very proud to be able to bring you today’s fantastic Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winewriter Robert Whitley gave today’s wine a 96 point score, calling it a ”cure for the Cult Cab affliction.”
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby hues, with a deepening heart of dark black cherry juice. Color maintains concentration, right out to the fine pinkish edges of the wine. On swirling, tight clusters of chubby, wine-stained legs collect high on the glass – and then move very slowly down the glass.
Smell – Deep and very aromatic, with dark layers of ripe blackberry, black cherry and red plum. After some swirling, aromas of soft cedar, chocolate dust, soft exotic spice and violets emerge.
Feel – Plush and very smooth, with a wonderful roundness at the initial entry. At the mid-palate, a chewy crushed velvet feeling spreads to the corners of the palate, introducing a slight dryness as the feeling coats the mouth.
Taste – Dark and complex with delicious black and red fruit. In the lead are blackberry, black cherry and cassis. Beneath these, black cherry, blueberry and a hint of black fig are revealed. As the wine opens up, soft spice, anise and soft oak make an appearance, mostly at the back palate.
Finish – Complex, flavor-filled and very long, with black fruit giving way to red fruit, chocolate dust, spice and a hint of peppery oak at the very end.
Conclusion – This is yet another masterpiece from our friends at Grgich! Their 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkable wine from one of our most popular wineries. Rich, deep, flavorful and aromatic, this wine delivers the sort of exciting experience that is often found in ultra-premium Napa Cabs. That is, those that deserve the higher prices that they command. Today’s wine seems like a bargain, comparatively. If you love classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, we encourage you to stock up on this wine. Overall, the 2007 vintage was a stellar one for Napa Cabernets (Robert Parker, Jr. gave the vintage a 96 point score), and this wine exemplifies the best of the vintage. Enjoy with a grilled steak, a hearty pasta dish – or all on its own.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Grgich Hills Estate can be seen in this satellite photo.