Cabernet Napa: A Reference Resource for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Appreciation

 

Napa History   Napa Today   Napa Stats   What's New in Napa Wine

 

Napa Valley makes some of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon wines world wide.  It also produces more Cabernet Sauvignon wines than any other varietal type.  Visit many of the sites listed on the Napa Valley Wineries page of this site and you'll find wine ratings often in the 90+ point range. Napa Valley has many things going for it including micro-climates and great soil conditions. It also has very ingenious owners and vintners. You'll find that Hollywood has its hand in Napa too, with individuals like Francis Ford Coppola owning wineries.

 

Napa History

 

Napa Valley got started in wine making with the establishment of the first commercial winery: John Patchett in 1858. Shortly thereafter Charles Krug was established in 1861 and is still in existence. This kicked off the first expansion of Napa Valley wineries and by the 1880s there were about 160 wineries. During this period other great wineries were founded including Beringer. During this time California wines started to gain attention world wide and even win awards internationally. Napa winery expansion continued rapidly up until the start of the great wine plague called prohibition. The survival of all US wineries was at stake and this after the California wines survived vine devouring insects years before. When prohibition began there were about 700 wineries operating in CA and at the end roughly 160 remained. Thankfully prohibition was abolished in 1933 and thus began a new age of Napa winery growth. In the 1960s new wineries were being established by the likes of great people like the late Robert Mondavi.  In fact Mondavi's winery which was established in 1966 was the first new winery since prohibtion was abolished.  The year of the Bicentennial (1976) was also a break through for Napa Valley wine. This year at the Paris tasting Napa Valley wineries won hard fought awards and first put American wines on an even keel with European wines. The 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon had won against great French red wines. 1982 was also a special year for Napa Valley as it was the year it became recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). To list an AVA on its wine label, wineries have to meet certain rules. These rules are in regards to where the wine came from region wise and how the wine label reads. AVAs do not guaranty quality. Later the idea of the sub AVA was born with even stricter specificity on where wines are produced. This happened in Napa Valley first in 1989 with the Stags Leap District AVA. Today Napa Valley has 14 sub AVAs: Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oak Knoll District, Oakville, Rutherford, Spring Mountain District, St. Helena, Stags Leap District, Wild Horse Valley and Yountville.

 

Napa Today

 

Today Napa Valley receives several million visitors yearly and it is only second to Disney Land as a California tourist attraction.  The Napa wineries produce world class top shelf quality wines.  This includes not only the larger wine makers but also the boutique/cult vintners.  Once a year there is a large charity event called Auction Napa Valley. This event raises millions of dollars for good will and in 2008 included Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey.

The price of Napa Cabernet Sauvignons has a large range.  The higher prices have to due with the world class reputation Napa has for producing some of the greatest wines.  Add the fact that it has some of the most talented people producing these fine specimen.  Production methods and the low yield of fruit play into the price too.  With all that said you can still find reasonable prices by some of the larger producers. 

If you plan a trip to Napa Valley not only can you taste the finest Cabernet Sauvignons in the world but you can also enjoy the beautiful landscapes!

 

Napa Stats

 

Average price per bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet: $45

Better vintage years: 1985, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005

Charitable contributions given away: 85 million dollars

Employees roughly 40,000 people in the wine industry full-time

Home of the most famous cult Cabernet wines

Population is around 125,000

Represents 4% of the state of California's wine production

9.2 million cases of wine produced annually

13 billions dollars in retail sales

43,000 acres of grape producing land

 

Whats New in Napa Wine

 

Jess Jackson (Jackson Enterprises) tries to change the name of Black Mountain to Alexander Mountain with the idea of creating a new appelation.

 

Black Stallion Winery wins double gold award for pre-release of 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Chef Casey Thompson who was a Top Chef finalist will be visiting Conn Valley Vineyards on July 25, 2009 to prepare meals paired with wines.  Contact Dave@connvalleyvineyards.com. 

 

Black Stallion Winery will be officially releasing their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon in July.  Tasting notes as per the winery: "This full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas and flavors of blackberry, Italian plums, red currants and cranberries. The rich fruit is accented with both savory and baking spices of sarsaparilla, cassis, cardamom, ginger, lavender, vanilla cream and dark chocolate. This wine, with rich concentrated fruit, has soft integrated tannins and a long finish."  Contact phone: (888) 200-9756

Cafaro Cellars has come out with their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.  The low production wine's (520 cases) makeup is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot.  The winemaker has this to say about their wine: "has a dark ruby red color, aromas of cherries and dark chocolate all framed by sweet vanilla oak. Flavors are concentrated and complex with polished tannins that are true to its mountain origins."  Cafaro Cellar 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon can be purchased on their website: cafaro.com.

 

Conn Valley Vineyards will be hosting their wine bottling party (2nd annual) on July 25th, 2009 starting at 1pm.  They have a list going because they are limited in the number of people they can attend the event  (so if interested or for more information contact them at: dave@connvalleyvineyards.com).  Conn Valley Vineyards may also make available packages that include travel, party, wine shipping etc. 

 

 Auction Napa Valley: an annual great fundraising charity event hosted by Napa Valley Vintners will take place between June 4 and 7th 2009

 

Beaulieu Vineyard (official wine of 2008 Emmy Awards) will be releasing their 2006 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in September 2009.  More information on this release to come.  Contact  (800) 264-6918 x5233

 

Vincent Arroyo Wineries released their 2006 Bodega (Bordeaux Style) vintage on May 2, 2009 at an open house.  The winemaker has said the following about the new vintage: "A classic Bordeaux-style wine named after our Chocolate Lab , this wine is a well-balanced blend of 60% Cabernet, 30% malbec, 6% petite verdot, and 4% merlot. We harvested and vinified each of these Bordeaux grapes separately and barrel aged them for over 12 months. At the beginning of 2008, we blended the different lots to create a wine with hints of black cherry, dark chocolate and nuances of our characteristic Calistoga TERROIR. The wine is then aged in 100% new French oak for the final year to give it a light toasty, vanilla mid-palate."  Contact information: phone (707) 942-6995 fax (707) 942-0895 www.vincentarroyo.com

 

Arger-Martucci Vineyards won a Silver Medal for their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2009 San Diego International Wine Competition.  This wine is due to be released publicly in June of 2009.  Contact Information email: info@arger-martucci.com and phone: (707) 963-4334 www.arger-martucci.com

 

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