Vitus Napa Valley
2008 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Oakville (Napa)
What we say
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Mission Codename: Saint of Good Fortune
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit or friends at Vitus and secure a limited allocation of there delicious Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Vitus Napa Valley
Wine Subject: 2008 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: John Gilpin
Backgrounder: The Oakville AVA, centrally located and adjacent to Napa Valley’s famous Rutherford AVA, was established in July 1993. Oakville is considered on of the most diverse AVA’s in the Napa area and grows some of the best Merlot in California. Napa Valley is revered worldwide as the ultimate area in which to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2006 vintage, in particular, has produced some of the finest wines of the recent vintages.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and dense purple and almost black with a dense but clear heart. Along the edges, the color becomes deep garnet and when swirled medium thick and color stained legs ring the glass and hang for several moments before descending to the wine below.
Smell – Fruit forward with rich and spiced black fruit including blackberry, plum, dark cherry and other dark berries are framed by sturdy spiced and toasted oak aromas. A touch of fennel, toasted vanilla, spice, floral violets and a subtle herbal component round out the complex nose of this wine.
Feel – Initially smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine becomes immediately chewy and expansive on the palate with firm and youthfully textured tannins. This wine’s lively acidity, spice and dark textured minerality provides an etched feeling on the palate that frames the rich fruit and lasts long into the finish
Taste – Ripe blackberry, plum, dark cherry and red currants and lead the way and blend with the spiced and toasted oak found on the nose. Tremendous depth of youthful flavors including toasted vanilla, anise or perhaps black licorice, herbal, spice and floral notes linger with savory and mineral flavors emerging as the fruit slowly fades.
Finish – Extremely long with the dark fruit lingering on as the other complex flavors found on the palate make their appearances in succession. This wine’s chewy and nearly rustic texture invites another sip.
Conclusion – The 2008 Vitus Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious and youth Cabernet that is drinking well now but will continue to evolve as it ages. Great dark black fruit and other complex flavors on the nose, a chewy and full mouth-feel, generous on the palate with fantastic fruit and other flavors that just last and last. Enjoy this wine right away giving it time to open up (or decant) cellar for five to ten years. This is definitely a grilled steak wine.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: John Gilpin
WINE EDUCATION: Cal Poly B.S U.C Davis – Oenology
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker for three labels
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Blending will always produce a better wine!
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ” Be Patient”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 6-1-04
We were unable to secure an interview with winemaker John Gilpin so here is the interview that Agent Red conducted when we featured the previous vintage of this wine.
AGENT RED: Greetings, John. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Oakville Cabernet today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
JOHN: Thanks, Agent Red, we are excited to be sharing our wine with your operatives.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
JOHN: My very first taste.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
JOHN: Helen Turley – she really got what Napa really was all about: Big, ripe wines.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
JOHN: I make the wine first for myself, because if I don’t like the wines I am making why bother.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
JOHN: Within all my years of winemaking the this is by far my favorite vintage. The 2007 Cabernet from the Oakville area of Napa Valley is truly the best vintage I’ve ever tasted.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
JOHN: Beef short Rib Bourguignon.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Oakville so special?
JOHN: The cool foggy mornings that preserve the acidity then warm afternoons that ripen the grapes.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
JOHN: Getting ready to bottle the 2009 vintage.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
JOHN: With an open mind and with no preconceived ideas about the wine. Let the wine speak for itself!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
JOHN: I hope you enjoy the wine because there is a part of myself that goes into each bottle! Cheers!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
Vitus Napa Valley can be tasted at the tasting room of our friends at Napa’s Bourassa Vineyards, the location of which can be seen in this satellite photo. Be sure to mention you are a wine spy when visiting.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Our Signature Oakvile Cabernet offers rich vibrant currant and blackberry with a hint of vanilla and anise. It has a long soft finish and is ready to drink now, but should age gracefully for five to seven years.
About The Winery:
The name Vitus, comes from the word ‘viticulture,’ meaning the study of wine. We have adopted the patron St. Vitus to bless our good fortune and our wine. St. Vitus symbolizes good fortune, great wine and a gladdened heart. Vitus started as a mere passion by the Hearn Family and their friends in the Solano County area. Winemaker, John Gilpin, whom has a knack for blending, is excited to bring this exclusive wine to market.