VinRoc Wine Caves
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
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Mission Codename: Rock the House
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate VinRoc Wine Caves, raid their cellar, and secure all remaining cases of their limited-production stunner, the 2006 R.T.W.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: VinRoc Wine Caves
Wine Subject: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michael G. Parmenter
Napa Valley is perhaps best know for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and while the lush valley floor produces some of the best wine fruit in the world, its the vines on the hillsides and mountain tops that ring the valley where our operatives’ favorite grapes grow. Volcanic soil and a slightly different climate provides ideal, albeit more difficult, growing conditions, limiting yields and producing wines of exceptional quality and character. Today’s selection from VinRoc Wine Caves is no exception.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Extremely dark and dense purple and almost black with an inky core that shows just the slightest streaks of dark garnet when held to the light. Along the edges, the color remains a deep garnet-purple and when swirled cluster of fat legs hang for just a second or two before thinning and falling to the wine below.
Smell – Medium bold with classic aromas of dark berries and a touch of dried cherry and raisin layered over pleasant cigar box notes of cedar and tobacco. Hints of spice, dark minerals and pepper emerge but don’t overpower you.
Feel – Rich and smooth, this full-bodied dry wine has finely textured and expansive tannins that coat the mouth and linger long into the finish. Balanced acidity, spice and minerality offers a superb tactile feel to this wine.
Taste – Not overly complex, but delicious and bold in its simplicity of dark fruit including blackberry, and black cherry along with other dried dark fruit that are layered over notes of mocha and the cigar box cedar and tobacco found on the nose. Subtle notes of forest and savory spice linger on the palate along with hints of wild berries.
Finish – Extremely long with lingering and softly fading black fruit that disappear and leave this wine’s finely textured tannins and minerality behind.
Conclusion – The 2005 VinRoc Wine Caves Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious wine that is generous and expansive in its classic dark and black fruit with a fantastic structure and mouth feel. it showed a little tight for the first 10-20 minutes but once it opened up, wow! Rich, smooth and bold – just perfect!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Michael Parmenter
DATE OF BIRTH: 3/28/49
PLACE OF BIRTH: Kansas City, MO
SUBJECT: Michael Parmenter, Owner / Wine maker, VinRoc Wine Caves
WINE EDUCATION: Having dirt under finger nails plus 3 years of study at Napa Valley College,
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: This is my first, only, and last job as a wine maker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Less is more.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: I make my VinRoc Cab in the Vineyard
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Having my cab picked as one of the 10 best at last year’s Auction Napa Valley Barrel Auction
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your Napa Valley Cabernet today. We are super impressed with the wine.
MICHAEL: I have been a bit of a recluse, working hard up in my wine caves, I am surprised you found me.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: I grew up in the Midwest, not exactly a bastion for wine back in then, but when I was in my early 20’s I moved to the east coast. My neighbors were an Italian family who took me under their wing. I was like an adopted son. They served wine with every meal and for every social occasion. They even made wine in their basement. I fell in love not only with wine but with the culture and life style surrounding wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your wine making style?
MICHAEL: Initially I became very enamored with French wines, especially Bordeaux. I loved the big rich tannins and the full mouth feel and earthiness of these wines. This really hooked me.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MICHAEL: Me, no question. I have no other way of judging my wines that what I like.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MICHAEL: Oh, this is my signature wine, it is 100% Cab from our singular vineyard on Atlas Peak in Napa. I call my method of wine making Micro crafting. Our vineyard is in a real micro climate, at an elevation above the fog line at 1600 ft. Our vineyard receives more sun light than the valley floor, but we have cooler nights. This is the perfect combination for growing Cab.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MICHAEL: I love to do cheese pairings for visitors to our winery. My favorite with my Cabernet is Comte, Rochlette (both cow), and Petite Basque (sheep).
RED: In your opinion, what makes the [REGION] so special?
MICHAEL: As I mentioned, Atlas Peak is a real micro climate, sunny days, cool nights. The soil is volcanic and very rocky. We don’t have to “stress” our vines as they do on the valley floor. We only get 2 tons per acre. Very low yield. But, the fruit we do get is very intense and I think the character of the fruit reflects the rocky red soil.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MICHAEL: The way we make our wine is very labor intense. We harvest each ton separately. We ferment each ton separately. Instead of large fermentation tanks, we have 16 one ton fermentation bins. From each ton we get two barrels, which are kept separate for at least a year before blending. So, I am managing what is actually 9 different wines for each vintage even though they are all Cab from the same vineyard. This keeps me very busy as each two barrel lot requires different and unique management. I am always happy to reach the point where we are ready to blend as it makes my life easier.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MICHAEL: When it comes to any big Cabs like ours….Decant. This has become almost a lost art. But, for big reds if you are going to drink them young, and 2005 is still young, you must decant
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MICHAEL: I am very proud of my 2005.
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!
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast – The 2005 vintage was challenging for many, so this wine really shines through. It is a big, yet balanced wine with notes of black currant, chocolate and cedar. “Shows a structural integrity that’s increasingly rare in Napa, and suggests aging…Best after 2011. Decant before then. – S.H. (2/1/2009)”
About This Wine:
This is the second vintage of our Cabernet Sauvignon and we are proudly announcing the release of this rich powerful wine. Its exciting, its big, yet its balancedwith expressions of black fruit and chocolate combined with hints of cedar and leather. The tannins are smooth enough to enjoy now, but bold enough to make this a terrific wine to age & cellar. The personality of this wine really reflects the rocky volcanic soil where it was grown, it will Roc~U.
About The Winery:
“High on the east slope of Napa Valley
nestled below the majestic Atlas Peak,
we carved our wine cave & petit vineyard,
braving the steep & rocky terrain.
Blessed with sunny days & cool nights,
nurtured by hands on labor & love;
prevails an intense Cabernet Sauvignon.
Born is the elegant & opulent VINROC"
VINROC derives its name from our rock strewn mountain vineyard, where the elevation provides the perfect climate; and our rock hewn wine cave, where the consistent temperature & humidity is ideal for storing and aging our wine.
-Located on the eastern slope of Napa Valley at an elevation of 1600 feet, our vineyards are above the fog line and experience sunny days and cool nights.
-Our vines struggle through the volcanic rock & red soil,
producing low yields of highly complex & intense fruit.
-We pick one ton at a time, and harvest only those clusters
which are at the peak of ripeness.
-The grapes are carried into our adjacent wine cave in small picking boxes, rather then dumped into large harvest bins, and are immediately hand sorted and de-stemmed.
-Our winery is completely self-contained within our cave which was specially designed with custom European equipment for a low volume, high quality boutique operation.
-Each ton harvested is separately fermented and barreled for two years in French Oak, which allows us to track individual batches from the vineyard and throughout the winemaking process until blended.