Wine Last Sold on: October 4, 2012
2009 Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley|
|Total Allocation:||Very Limited|
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
We only showcase wines that we love. While our emphasis is on quality first, every now and again we come across a real standout wine that rises above. When we do, we issue alerts like this one.
Mission Codename: Le coup de foudre
- Agent Red
- Return to Swanson Vineyards, a long-standing Operative favorite, and secure an ample allotment of their ultra-exclusive, limited-production Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Mission Status
- Chris Phelps
We fell in love with today’s wine, the instant we first inhaled it!
Lush, plush, soft and sexy, today’s 2009 Swanson Vineyards Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a true delight for the senses. With every swirl, this special 25th anniversary cuvee seems to grow in the glass, gaining dimension and complexity. Flavors and aromas keep coming alive and with each sip, the wine gets better and better.
It is a real thrill for us to bring you this very distinctive, limited-release wine and we really hope that you treat yourself to a few bottles.
While this young 2009 is drinking beautifully, we have the grandest expectations for it in the future. We’ll be enjoying a few bottles now, but you can be sure that we’ll be socking a case away to enjoy over the next decade - and beyond.
Deepest ruby red with a slickly darker core. Color remains evenly concentrated from core to edge. Spin the wine, and marvel as wave after wave of skinny legs fall swiftly down the glass.
Aromatic and very inviting. Sweet cherry, blackberry and cassis are the lush forerunners for cocoa powder, supple leather, espresso bean, subtle tobacco, toasty oak and subtle anise.
Smooth and soft at first sip. Plush, ripe tannins give the wine a very silky, medium-body on the palate. At the mid-palate, a soft dryness appears after a few moments, spreading slowly outward to the entire palate.
A delicious rush of balanced sweet and subtle savory flavors spread across the palate. In the lead, black cherry, ripe blackberry, smoky blueberry and cassis. These are followed, closely, by dried violets, dried fall leaves, earthy bramble, subtle leather, clove spice, anise and dried marionberry.
Ultra long and very balanced, with fruit and earthy notes slowly fading in even proportion. Bright acids provide great support in sustaining flavors.
What the Winery Says
Take a father, a daughter, a winemaker + add a Parisian illustrator — all characters of great taste, humor, and talent…and voila! You have Swanson Vineyards’ 25th anniversary cuvee, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, “Instant Napa.” This wine of distinction celebrates the remarkable 35 mile track of terroir and its most unusual agrarian community, known as the NAPA VALLEY.
2009 “Instant Napa” is a limited production wine made by the skilled hand of Swanson winemaker Chris Phelps, formerly with Caymus and Dominus. With his Bordeaux training, sophisticated palate, and deep connections, Phelps sourced grapes from five top-flight vineyards. Phelps believes “all successful endeavors are based upon human relationships of mutual respect, and we place great value upon our growers who have committed to the long-term success of this new wine.”
The au courant wine label reflects the true convivial spirit of the Swanson Salon in Rutherford and was illustrated by artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme, known for working with various well known curators of lifestyle.
Uncork and enjoy its instant gratification.
The 2009 Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was not fined or filtered thereby preserving its seamless texture and flavor intensity. Deep red ruby color with a purple hue. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, coffee and cocoa. In the mouth, sweet fruit and an immediate sense of a silky, firm texture. The wine is very complete on the mid-palate as the ripe tannins provide a rich, luxurious backdrop for cassis and black cherry fruit to re-emerge. Very well integrated French oak gives a hint of clove, black licorice and espresso from mid-palate through the finish. The 7% Petit Verdot component contributes an aromatic top note of violet to the finish and adds a firm natural acidity to the overall balance of this wine.
We carefully selected small blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot for this inaugural release of Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from the following sources:
- Rutherford Vista Vineyard, mid-valley, near Caymus Vineyards
- Schenecker Vineyard, adjacent to our winery in Rutherford
- Sleeping Lady Vineyard, at the base of the Mayacamas range in Yountville
We chose one block of Merlot at the Taddei Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. The Petit Verdot is from a small parcel at the La Monica Vineyard in the Oak Knoll appellation.
All of these vineyard sources reflect a rigorous selection of vineyard sites known to consistently produce a small crop of very intense, concentrated fruit.
FROM TIM HANNI, MW
“Have you ever traveled to an exotic destination and upon exiting the plane found yourself blasted with a rush of sensations that filled you up and became indelibly etched in your mind’s eye? And now any time you get even a hint of those same aromas your memories transport you back to that place and time? This is what Instant Napa is all about.
Stick your face into a glass of this wine and you are immediately blasted with the experience of a great Napa Cabernet that transports you right back to Napa. And, if you’ve never been to Napa, now you know what is in store for you! Distinctive layers of ripe fruit coupled with deep complexity and toasted French oak run as deep as the rocky soils of the Napa Valley. Swanson Winemaker Chris Phelps has sourced terrific fruit to provide you with the ultimate Napa experience any time you are ready to go – even if you are just sitting at your dinner table in Peoria! Déją vu all over again to be sure…”
About the Winery
We are a family winery founded on a passion for evolving the existing standards of wine and food. In the 1950s, long before founding Swanson Vineyards, the Swanson family introduced the first lifestyle product, Swanson frozen dinners, which helped women get out of the kitchen and enjoy life.
In 1985, at his 25th Stanford University reunion, W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. was inspired by a tip from a fraternity brother and successful vintner to purchase a parcel of vineyard land on the Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley.
Clarke immediately hired André Tchelistcheff, one of the century’s most influential winemakers, as a consultant to help determine how to make the best use of the vineyards. For André the answer was to plant the then relatively unknown variety merlot—a move that would shape the future of Swanson Vineyards.
The family continues to expand the simple and sensual pleasures of life through Swanson Vineyards. With an eye toward quality, relevance and innovation, the next generation is enticing a whole new audience with a progressive approach to wine, food and the good life.
About The Winemakers
By the summer of 1987 the vineyards were replanted, and André made another influential suggestion—to hire the young novice talent Marco Cappelli to oversee winemaking. Marco, a first-generation Italian-American, was 26 and hired based on André’s gut instinct. It was a wise decision; Marco’s distinctive wines became the founding flavors of Swanson Vineyards.
For the rest of his life André lent his visionary talents to our winemaking pursuits, meeting with Marco biweekly and consulting on matters of the vine and winery. Marco remained Swanson’s winemaker for seventeen years, after which he purchased his own vineyard in the California Foothills. Marco is currently making four dessert wines for Swanson, which include Angelica, Crepuscule, Arsene, and Les Trois Filles.
In 2003, Swanson Vineyards was fortunate to obtain the talent of Chris Phelps as its new winemaker. Chris has had an illustrious career in the wine industry, first as winemaker at Dominus for twelve years and at Caymus Vineyards for six years. His wines are more refined and sophisticated than ever, yet they remain delightfully accessible and approachable—the perfect embodiment of our trademark decadence with a wink.