Wine Last Sold on: December 3, 2009
Astrale e Terra
2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley: Atlas Peak|
|Total Allocation:||Extremely Limited|
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The Winery Says:
The first release of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Extremely Limited Production.
About This Wine:
We celebrate the launch of our Estate Wine program with the 2003 vintage. The long, cool growing season in 2003 resulted in small wine lots that were distinctive in both structure and quality. Delightfully balanced between lush fruit and velvety tannins, the 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant wine that opens with intriguing aromas of wild blackberries and black currant layered with clove and cedar characteristics. On the palate, the dense blackberry is accompanied by red licorice, tobacco and a bit of bay leaf. Hints of spice and black licorice linger on the long and luxurious finish.
The long, cool growing season in 2003 resulted in small wine lots that were distinctive in both structure and quality.
About The Winery:
Whether we were traveling abroad or eating at our favorite local restaurant, we enjoyed experiencing a diverse array of wines and determining our own criteria for what made a wine special.
For a long time owning a winery was just a dream, until the day we found the piece of land that we knew could be the home of a very special wine. We were driving up a peaceful, winding road in a small valley in northern California, 1,250 feet above the main valley floor and sheltered by stony, majestic hills. As we gazed at the cloudless azure sky and the softly rolling hills laced with grapevines, it felt as though we were in another world. We knew this was where our dreams of winemaking were going to be made a reality.
That day, we sensed two powerful forces at work: heaven and the earth. ‘Astrale e Terra’ is Italian for ‘heaven and earth,’ and with our interest in astronomy and archaeology, the name’s inspiration seemed only natural. We look forward to sharing the fruits of our labor of love with you!
About The Winemaker:
SCOTT HARVEY - Consulting Winemaker, Scott Harvey ranks among California’s most celebrated and accomplished winemakers. He fi rst came to the attention of wine lovers and the wine trade as winemaker at Santino and Renwood where he crafted wines from some of California’s oldest vineyards and helped put the Sierra Foothills on the winemaking map. In 1996 he partnered with Richard Peterson, Ph’D at Folie a Deux winery in Napa Valley. There the winemaking duo garnered a reputation for outstanding Napa Valley wines produced from estate fruit as well as from vineyards across the Valley.
After selling Folie a Deux in 2004, Harvey created a series of new brands that took advantage of his experience in both the Sierra Foothills and Napa Valley. One reason Scott chose to work with Astrale e Terra is his extreme admiration for Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Atlas Peak appellation. According to Scott, “some of the best wines I’ve made have been produced from Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Atlas Peak Appellation.”
As Astrale e Terra’s Consulting Winemaker, Scott is charged with overseeing harvest, winemaking procedure and the blending of the various lots that Astrale e Terra bottles from its estate vineyards.
Varietals: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Winemaker: Scott Harvey
Production: 85 Cases
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The Wine Spies Say:
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Astrale e Terre and winemaker Scott Harvey is an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Be sure to stock up as our allocation is extremely limited.
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Mission Codename: Earth and Heaven Above
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Astrale e Terre and return with their delicious Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Astrale e Terra
Wine Subject: 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley Atlas Peak
Winemaker: Scott Harvey
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. Lesser known, is that the region accounts for nearly 25% of the Sangiovese planted in California.
Today’s selection, from Astrale e Terre is made by one of our favorite winemakers, Scott Harvey, who’s wines have been featured on The Wine Spies several times over the last couple years.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark purple with a dense but clear heart that reflects garnet and violet hues when held to the light. Along the edges, the color remains deep fading to a slightly lighter garnet and when swirled, the wine leaves behind tightly spaced fat legs that descend purposely down to the wine below.
Smell – Redolent and medium in intensity with well developed aromas of dark wild berries including blackberry, currant and a hint of blueberry. Subtle cigar box notes of cedar and rich sweet tobacco are layered over exotic spice and hints of black licorice.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine spreads gracefully over the palate with its velvet smooth but firm tannins and extremely well balanced acidity. The distinct mountain soil minerality lingers into the finish.
Taste – Rich and elegant in character with flavors of vivid wild dark fruit that integrate perfectly with the cigar box flavors detected on the nose. A touch of exotic and herbal spice and soft toasted oak and subtle hint of black licorice integrate with the earthy minerality that is felt more than it is tasted.
Finish – Clean and focused with lingering focused fruit and other complex flavors that are perfectly framed by this wine’s expectational structure.
Conclusion – The 2003 Astrale e Terra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley Atlas Peak is a delicious and mature Cabernet Sauvignon that is drinking perfectly right now but will continue to develop and evolve for many years to come. Rich and elegant on the nose and palate with a structure that begs for another sip. While 2003 may not be as celebrated as the previous two vintages in Napa Valley, this is a wine that shouldn’t be dismissed. Cheers!
What follows if our first Astrale e Terra interview wine winemaker, Scott Harvey. Below, Scott mentions an Astrale e Terra wine that we featured previously.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scott Harvey
DATE OF BIRTH: 3-24-54
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bamberg, Germany
WINE EDUCATION: 1975, I apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt, Germany. Returned to Amador County to apprentice from Cary Gott at Montevina winery.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Montevina, In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Being European trained, I make wines to go with food—good acidity and low pH. The is considered old world style of winemaking.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Barbera
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Named 1 of the top 10 Winemakers in CA by Dan Berger
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: 2003 Scott Harvey Reserve Barbera being selected as 3rd best Barbera in the world outside of Italy.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “This wine will get you laid” (This is Scott’s famous quote but I’m not sure you’ll want to use it”)
AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing the wine you made for Astrale e Terra today. You know that we have already shown your wines before – and that we are already devoted fans! Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOTT: Thank you, Red! Thanks for selecting another one of my wines for your Operatives
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOTT: When I was sent to Germany as an AFS exchange student in high school, I was sent to a winemaking region of Germany. On my first day there, my “German family” handed me a glass of wine. I looked out the window at the vineyards below, got my German dictionary out and said, “does this wine come from those grapes?” They said “yes, do you want to see where it’s made?” ….and the rest is history.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
SCOTT: I got my basic training in Germany but my recent winemaking style I attribute to my mentor, Dr. Richard Peterson.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
SCOTT: Old world style. Wines that are drunk with food.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOTT: Dr. Richard Peterson
RED: How long have you been making wine?
SCOTT: 37 years
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOTT: Myself, my wife, and our consumers
RED: Tell me, what makes Atlas Peak so special?
SCOTT: Only 2% of the world has a Mediterranean climate like Napa Valley with the warm days and cool nights along with its unique soils and geography.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
SCOTT: You need to be a very clean and neat person. 90% of winemaking is janitorial.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SCOTT: Bottling the wines in the barrels. Getting ready for the 2009 harvest.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
SCOTT: It’s a full bodied Napa Valley Syrah from one of the best appellations in Napa Valley for Syrah—Atlas Peak.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOTT: Duck breast.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
SCOTT: I like to iron my own shirts.
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
SCOTT: People drink experiences. Have fun with the wine.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
SCOTT: Whatever my wife wants to drink.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
SCOTT: Question: Do you plan to make any new wines? Answer: I’d love to make a Gewurtztraminer but my wife won’t let me.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work!
SCOTT: Thanks, again, Agent Red. Scott Harvey, over and out!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Astrale e Terre in Napa Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
The location of the Atlas Peak AVA can be seen in this satellite photo.