Chateau Marie Antoinette
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Marie's Reserve
California: Monterey County
What we say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Chateau Marie Antionette.
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Mission Codename: Let them drink wine
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red down California’s Central Coast, in search of a delicious and representative Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Chateau Marie Antionette
Wine Subject: 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Marie and Bill Temple
Backgrounder: According to Thomas Jefferson, Marie Antionette may have been responsible for starting the French Revolution. While that may be true, the Marie Antionette Winery is far easier to love. Founded by Marie and Bill Temple, the wines that they produce run the gammut from casual daily drinkers to more sophisticated and refined gems. Their winemaking mission is to deliver wines of quality and distinction, without sending you to the poorhouse. Today Agent Red returns with one of their best wines, a special 2003 Reserve Cab. Read his tasting notes and mission report below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red in color with a dark but still clear heart and solid color-concentration right out to the edges of the glass. The wine has a bouncy surface, but settles fast when swirled. The wine’s fat but tightly-spaced legs move down the glass very slowly
Smell – An initial hit of green pepper or chile relleno tells you that this is a Central Coast Cabernet, but right behind that big aromatics of red apple, cherry, blackberry and powdered chocolate round out the nose
Feel – Cool and smooth at the front of the mouth, then the wine’s medium tannins bite down softly on the mid-palate
Taste – Balanced and biggish flavors of dark cherry, black plum, dark chocolate and mildest green pepper with the a slight smoky herbal taste and light oak
Finish – Flavors last a long time here and the wine tails off with a mouth-watering acidity and soft to medium tannins
Conclusion – Central Coast Cabernet almost always share a vegital characteristic that fans of the region and the varietal really love. This wine certainly delivers the expected green pepper, but this is balanced by its fruit and the Merlot included within, which makes up 24% of the wines composition. If you have never tried a Central Coast Cab, please add this one to your must-imbibe list. If you are a fan of the Central Coast, this wine will surely please.
“Qu’ils mangent de la vin!”
I awoke with a start. These words which rang clearly in my head were obviously French, but were beyond my comprehension.
Immediately, I grabbed for my Wine Spy Handheld, which allows me to check the mission status of any ongoing mission and to communicate with my other Agents in the field. I could see that our resident French expert, Agent Franc, was deep under cover in the Loire Valley in France, and so I could not reach him immediately. Instead, I queried our W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) and found that the phrase was actually a misquote. The original phrase, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, originally attributed to Marie Antoinette, meant…
Wait a second! Marie Antoinette! I had overslept and would now be late to my appointment to meet with Marie Temple of Marie Antoinette Winery.
Dashing out the door I puzzled at my subconscious and its ability to dredge up an actual French phrase without my ever having learned more than a word or two of the language.
Fumbling for my keys, a voice called to me, “Hey, Red! Where are you off to? Need backup? Maybe I can provide cover for you!”
Agent Sparkle was a sight to behold. Even at this early hour she was dazzling, her flowing hair set slightly aloft in the morning breeze.
“Well?”, She said.
“Oh, sorry”, I replied. “Sure, hop in.”
15 minutes later we were in the parking lot of a local restaurant, a spot we sometimes use as a dead-drop or for trunk-to-trunk transfers of juice. I had arranged to meet Marie Temple here, to pick up samples for our review and analysis.
Marie arrived a minute later, husband and partner Bill in tow. The pair was jovial and exuberant, even this early in the morning. After a few minutes discussion, samples secured in my vehicle, we bid the pair adieu. On parting, I asked Marie if she had anything special to convey to our Operatives.
Her reply, “Qu’ils mangent de la vin!”
What the winery says
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About This Wine:
A beautiful Cabernet from grapes grown in upper Carmel Valley. The softness results from a 24% blend of Carmel Valley Merlot. Very aromatic, oak-barrel-aged 19 months. Has all the elegance and harmonious balance of big, ripe, juicy fruit and lavish oak. Fragrant aromas of blackberry, ripe plums and chocolate. Well-balanced with classic Cabernet richness and complexity. A robust, well-built and beautiful wine. Wonderful with dark chocolate for a perfect finish.
About The Winery:
Marie and Bill Temple have grown grapes and made wine for over forty years. They planted their Monterey County Vineyard in 1977. Varietals include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Chardonnay. Marie and Bill have been sharing their wines with friends, who encouraged their venture into marketing their favorite varietals.
Marie is the daughter of pioneering grape growers in the Yakima Valley in Washington. After 100 years of growing grapes, she and her siblings recently sold their family’s vineyard in Prosser, Washington.
When Bill retired in 2005, after a fifty-one year career as a general insurance broker, he and Marie decided to travel. Having been to the major wine-producing countries (during harvest season), they thought it would be fun to follow their dream to begin a wine business. Hence, Chateau Marie Antoinette was launched.
Marie and Bill’s mission is to produce and sell premium quality wines. They also wanted to serve the Latino, Asian, and the Gay Lesbian Communities with specialty wines. These wines are specifically blended to the tastes of the ethnic characteristics of the foods that these groups enjoy. Chateau Marie Antoinette offers a family of fine wines to achieve this mission.
All grapes come from the Central Coast appellations of Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. Marie and Bill have a partner with vineyards in the Arroyo Seco and Paso Robles areas growing 49 acres of premium grapes. Marie and Bill supplement their own grapes with selected fine wine from several specialty wineries in Carmel Valley, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties in California.