2009 Sempre Vive Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
Under $20 for a 92 Point Napa Cab? You better believe it! Today’s Romeo Vineyards 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunner on its own, but with today’s unbelievable price, this is truly a can’t miss opportunity.
The incredible balance of today’s wine really stuck with our tasting panel. Braised dark fruit sits in perfect harmony with hints of terroir and spice, resulting in a wine we just couldn’t put down. We paired ours with an Asian inspired dish of braised pork belly, but the structure and acidity of this wine make it a perfect companion for any number of dishes.
Sempre Vive means Always Alive, and with this in your glass, you’ll feel that moniker.
Great depth of color, from the dark scarlet core to the lighter ruby edges.
Wonderfully balanced and rich on the nose, this wine leads with notes of mixed dark berry compote, red currant, aged cherry wood and cured meat. As the wine opens up it reveals additional aromas of dried violets, dried fall leaves and black pepper.
Rich and dark on the palate, leading with braised plum, braised mission fig, cherry compote and subtle blueberry. These sit atop an earthy underlayer of stewed black fruit, dark spice and dark minerals.
Dark, braised fruits cling to the edges of the palate where grippy tannins and dark spice usher in a plush and drying finish. At the very end, hints of black pepper and dried blueberry make a lingering appearance.
Enjoy this dark and plush wine with a pork belly braised in a fresh lemon-infused soy sauce and served with oven roasted potatoes.
What the Winery Says
Our more than quarter-century old vines lie in the Napa Valley, south of 9 acres of reservoirs sandwiched between two Forest at Knolls. These geographic conditions led to hot days, cool nights and an extremely long hang-time in our Calistoga Vineyard. This allows our grapes to develop full flavors, deep color, and intense complexity. Our thick, gnarled old vines produce from their hearts. The vines live on in our wine…bud to flower to berry to wine…Sempre Vive!
92 Point Review - Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis This classic Napa Cab has inviting notes of black currant, plum, bing cherry, tobacco, oak spice and a background note of Margaux-like bell pepper. On the palate it is full bodied with rich cassis, fig, and earth notes, and has powerful and slightly chewy oak tannins and a long, juicy finish with notes of tobacco and spice.
- Alison Green Doran
- 92 Points - Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis
- Napa Valley, California
About the Winery
The small Romeo family vineyard in Calistoga has some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the Napa Valley It was purchased in 1996 by Frank and Eugenia ‘Gena’ Romeo. Motivated by a desire to create and live a lifestyle that represented the Romeo family’s entrepreneurial spirit, they began their journey to craft a legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Frank and Eugenia Romeo are deeply committed to protecting and preserving the natural state of their vineyard.
As a result, the artisan wines produced from the old vines, dating back to early seventies, reflect the unique and inspiring way in which the Romeo family lives – Sempre Vive!
Winemaker Alison Green Doran
Alison Green Doran was drawn into winemaking in 1973. Her father, Oil man and long time Alexander Valley vineyard owner, Russell Green, had bought the Simi Winery in 1969, and brought in Mary Ann Graff, the first woman winemaker anywhere to be hired from outside a family, as well as Andre Tchelistcheff, who had been the winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyards for 35 years, as consultants soon after. By working as a harvest intern beside Andre and Mary Ann for 6 months at Simi in 1973, Alison found both her life’s work and her mentors.
Andre found her a 5 month “cellar rat” position in Alsace for the crush of 1975, and then an enologist position with a start-up winery in Paso Robles. After finishing her Fermentation Science degree at UC Davis, she began working for the Firestone Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1976. Starting as lab technician, she worked her way to bottling supervisor and then to cellar master, and finally in 1981, to winemaker. The fourth woman winemaker ever.
The Firestone Winery created many award winning wines during her tenure and Alison became well acquainted with how to extract maximum potential for wine quality from a vineyard site. Now a winemaking consultant with many clients in Napa, she has also started her own family label; Hoot Owl Creek Vineyards.