Sunday, 30 October 2011

TN : Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, USA

This wine is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot. The total acidity is 0.63%, final pH was 3.64, and residual sugar is 0.5.

Napa Valley’s 2006 vintage began with a wet winter that extended into spring, delivering more than twice the average rainfall for March and nearly four times the April average. The precipitation delayed bloom, but once the skies cleared, the vines had good fruit set and progressed slowly and steadily through slightly warmer than usual June weather. In July, a brief hot spell of four consecutive days over 100°F had the effect of putting the vines “on hold” before ripening continued when mild weather returned in August. Lower temperatures extended through September and October, with some fog and cloudy days. Overall, the 2006 growing season was significantly cooler than average, and harvest began generally later. Picking began in Oakville on September 28 and finally finished on October 31 when the leaves were turning yellow. All the fruit was in the winery before light rains came in early November.

The majority of grapes, 86%,  for this wine came from the To Kalon Vineyard surrounding the winery in Oakville. To Kalon’s older Cabernet vines are 25-35 years old and yield small-berried clusters; newer vines are planted in higher density for enhanced flavor intensity. The balance of the fruit, 14%,  was sourced from nearby Oakville Bench vineyards. The average Brix was 26.4 with 0.70% initial acid and initial pH of 3.5.

Designated an American Viticultural Area in 1993, Oakville lies in the geographic center of Napa Valley and is distinguished by an alluvial fan extending from the base of the Mayacamas Mountains on the valley’s western border. Oakville Bench vineyards along the Mayacamas foothills have well-drained soils that allow deep rooting and development of complex flavors. To Kalon soils are thinner and rockier, producing fruit with intense concentration.

After harvest, the grapes were hand sorted in the To Kalon Fermentation Cellar, then destemmed and lightly crushed directly into 17-ton oak tanks for fermentation. The wine received an additional 36 days of extended skin contact (maceration) to soften tannins. After the free-run wine was drained, the pomace was conveyed by gravity into a gentle basket press, then followed the flow of gravity to the aging cellars. After a secondary malolactic fermentation, it aged 18 months in French oak barrels of which 70% were new. Cabernet Franc and small portions of Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot were blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon midway through aging to marry flavors and enhance the flavor profile.

This wine received 93 points from Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Colour : Dark red, blue hues

Aroma : Coffee, blackcurrant, herbs, mineral

Taste : Concentrated sweet blackcurrant and cherry, coffee, minerals, noticable tannins on long finish, this wine opened up after 30 minutes

Alcohol : 15.4%

Price : 349 SEK (The Wine Company, Hamburg, Germany)

Website : Robert Mondavi Winery
Website : The Wine Company

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