Wine Last Sold on: January 22, 2013
Erba Mountainside Vineyards
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley: Atlas Peak|
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.
SUPER QPR ALERT:
At today’s special Wine Spies price, this wine delivers tremendous value - and a drinking experience that exceeds expectations, easily earning it this special QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) Alert.
Mission Codename: Mountainous
- Agent Red
- Send Agent Red back to Erba Mountainside Vineyards, and world-famous winemaker, Denis Malbec, producer of highly-rated red wines in the Napa Valley. This time, secure their fine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Mission Status
- Denis Malbec
Today’s 2005 Erba Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that is classic Napa Valley. We can’t help but offer up our hearty recommendation on this wine, to any Operative that enjoys the bold but elegant flavors that only mountainside Napa fruit can produce.
2005 was a classic Cabernet vintage, and this wine is a textbook Napa. With long aging potential, enjoy this wine now - or for the next decade. Serve this fantastic wine at room temperature for best results. Decant and be rewarded with softer and fuller fruits. This wine is a special find that you can share with a group of discerning wine friends.
Denis Malbec proves well-worthy of his reputation with this terrific, food friendly Cabernet. Pair with a rare Filet Mignon, Elk tenderloin or a juicy Kobe beef burger with plenty of fixings.
Dark burgundy hues, with brilliant magenta edges. After a good swirl the burgundy hues turn to a dark garnet. Once the wine settles, viscous legs creep slowly down the glass wall.
Bold stewed spiced blackberry and dried plum lead the way. Followed by dates, cassis, dried fig, and green pepper, and subtle herbal notes of dill and black olive.
Dark and rich, with dark cocoa, espresso, and black cherry. After the wine breathes for a while, it expands, revealing additional flavors of cassis and dried currants. The body of the wine is big and chewy yet flawlessly balanced.
Very long and flavor packed with lingering dark fruit and cocoa powder. The tannins are grippy but slowly fade leaving the palate longing for more.
About Atlas Peak, Napa Valley
The Atlas Peak AVA, located in in the Vaca Range just east of Napa Valley and south of Lake Berryessa is well known for its high elevation, well drained volcanic soil, long sunny days and cool nights which provide excellent conditions for bold and rich red varietals and specifically Cabernet Sauvignon.
What the Winery Says
Planted to all five Bordeaux varietals as well as Syrah, the Erba Mountainside Vineyard team has been blessed with a ‘next to perfect’ setting nestled well above the fog line. The vineyard is a twenty acre parcel consisting of fourteen blocks. Each row receives abundant sunshine through the early morning and mid-day, followed by forgiving Westerly breezes and cooling shade in the afternoon. To put it simply, each acre of Erba Mountainside wines consistently display a dark and richly complex, site specific character that you would only expect from the most seasoned wines. It all begins in that ‘next to perfect’ setting.
Located on the Eastern slope of Atlas Peak, Erba Mountainside Vineyard typically receives early morning and mid afternoon sun. The soils are volcanic and porous enabling the heat to radiate. Cooling breezes typically rush through the mountains at times taking the temperature down 30° F by late afternoon. The temperature change is vital to maintain acid structure in the grapes.
At harvest, clusters are hand picked, destemmed and sorted prior to crushing. Malolactic fermentation is done in barrique. 100% French Oak is used throughout, and Cabernet is exposed to 80% new to enable the vineyard characteristics to come through in the wine.
2005 Tasting Notes
The 2005 vintage was characterized by a long perfect growing season without temperature extremes which allowed long hang time to develop full physiologic ripeness of the grapes.
A bouquet of cassis liqueur,graphite,violets and smoke introduces the wine to bold blackberry,blueberry and plum flavors with subtle spice,tobacco and leather accents giving a supple lush mouthfeel.The finish reveals polished tannins with a perfect balance of vanilla and toasted oak.Our best Cabernet Sauvignon to date.
Oak: 100% French, 80% New
Total Production: 1095 cases
Varietal Composition: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot.
About the Winery
In 1998, after two years in searching for a site that could be developed into a premium,world class vineyard,the goal was finally achieved. This site possesses the attributes for a unique terroir with features of steep slopes at high elevations of 1100 to 1550 feet above sea level with very rocky volcanic soils.
The vineyard has a unique microclimate next to Atlas Peak.It is above the morning fog which allows abundant sunshine throughout the day to ripen the grapes fully. Cooling westerly breezes come over the mountainridge midday and in the late afternoon the mountainridge shades the hot afternoon sun.
The vineyard was developed into 14 blocks with a total of 20 acres planted. Each block has varying row direction and slope and therefore each block is harvested separately for optimum ripeness. Tight vineyard spacing was used to give the vines more competition to improve grape quality. Rootstock and varietal recommendations from Paul Skinner, PhD, matched the soil to the rootstock to keep vigor low and balanced. With much research the highest quality, low yielding clones were used including many of the ENTAV-INRA clones from France. All five Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, as well as Syrah were planted. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for approximately 70% of the vineyard plantings.
All wines are made from the estate grapes. 2003 was the first commercial vintage for Erba Mountainside Vineyards. We are very enthusiastic about the quality of the new releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah to be released in 2006.
- Paul S Erba
- Denis Malbec