2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
LIBRARY RAID ALERT:
Yes! Once again, we prove how crafty and charming we Wine Spies are, by sweet-talking our pals at St. Supery into lettin us get our hands on today’s wine – which you can’t buy anywhere else, but at the winery itself. But, even then, not at today’s great price.
CABERNET DAY ALERT:
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Mission Codename: Hooray for Cabernet Day!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exceptional Napa Valley Cab at a recession busting price.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: St. Supery Vineyards & Winery
Wine Subject: 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michael Beaulac
Backgrounder: Today, we are proud to return to our good friends at St. Supery! They gave us exclusive access to their library, and we selected their fantastic 2002 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Together, we are celebrating Cabernet Day, and we invite you to take advantage of this very exclusive opportunity to partake of this great, and perfectly aged Cabernet.
The grapes for this delicious wine comes from vineyards in Rutherford as well as another vineyard in Napa Valley. Rutherford is, of course, the most famous AVA’s in Napa Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon. Located at the center of Napa Valley its soils are of volcanic ancestry combined with sediment from the San Francisco bay’s ancient original boundary and are primarily gravel, loam, and sand. This combined with exceptional winemaking and a nearly ideal climate results in vineyards of the highest quality and esteem.
Food & Wine Pairing: Below in our review we speak of pairing the lovely wine with grilled lobster. That fantastic creation was assembled of our good friends at Sass from My Glass. We encourage our agents to investigate Laurie-Beth to learn more about her clever wine and food insights.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and dense garnet purple with reddish streaks with a dark heart. At the edge of the glass, a skinny ring of fine purple catches the light. When swirled, the wine shows a tight surface that settles quickly, leaving behind medium-width legs that march steadily down the glass.
Smell – Very well integrated and medium in intensity with restrained toasty oak notes layered over fantastic rich dark fruit of blackberry and dusky black cherry. Hints of tobacco and meaty/gamey leather blend with other classic herbal and vegetal Cab aromas. A touch of earthiness, too.
Feel – Full-bodied and dry, with plush silky smooth tannins that are expansive on the palate without knocking you over. Well balanced acidity that grasps the rich ripe fruit into the finish make this wine exceptionally well structured.
Taste – Ripe, rich and sweet dark fruit including cassis, black cherry, currants and blackberry meld perfectly with soft toasted and smoky oak flavors. A touch of vanilla, spice, cocoa, earthiness and anise round out the flavor profile.
Finish – Long and clean with ripe wild berries along with its herbal, floral and spice notes that linger and slowly fade inviting another sip.
Conclusion – This is a pretty ‘classy’ Cabernet with great aromas and a fantastic and exciting attack on the palate. Not overly complex but everything falls into in place well. We paired this with the wood grilled lobster and while that isn’t a traditional pairing, the smokiness of the wine perfectly complimented the toasty oak and rich ripe fruit. If you love classic Napa Valley Cabernet, you will love this fantastic wine.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Michael Scholz
WINE EDUCATION: Roseworthy College, Australia
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker at Iron Horse, St.Supery from 1996-2001, Wattle Creek then returned to St. Supery in 2009
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Full, vibrant expression of fruit, reflective of distinct terroir
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “G’day and cheers!”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: Happy to have our Cabernet Franc featured on Wine Spies!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: I grew up on a family estate vineyard in the Barossa Valley in Australia, near Adelaide. After five generations of physicians, my brother and I are the first Scholz’ to become winemakers.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: People who love wine, love food and good times.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
WINEMAKER: This 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon is a library release from our cellar. We like to hold onto small lots of our Cabernets to see how they develop in the bottle over time. This wine is very approachable now, with long, soft tannins, still has bright black cherry fruit with hints of cedar and tobacco aromas. It’s a very pleasant wine to drink before, during and after a summer barbeque…
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: Do I always recommend lamb?! I love grilled rack of lamb, rubbed with garlic and olive oil, salt and pepper…simple and delicious.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
WINEMAKER: Napa Valley is one of just a few perfect places on earth to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa Valley Cabs have a certain tannin structure and and the climate is ideal for rip and mature fruit flavors.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: Preparing 2008 red wines for bottling. Monitoring progress on the 2009 vintage crop with our vineyard team…Also, bolstering our red wine production facility so that we can give special care to smaller and smaller parcels of fruit while making wines this harvest.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
WINEMAKER: They are drinkable now, yet have the capacity to age nicely for several years. I suggest approaching it eagerly, with a corkscrew, since if you like it and think it will taste good in two years also, you can buy another bottle!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WINEMAKER: You’re welcome to come visit St. Supery Winery in Napa Valley, we’d love to show you our vineyards and pour you our wines in person.
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:
The location of St. Supery Vineyards and Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dense wine loaded with rich plum, black cherry and briar. There is a slight hint of rose petal that is very seductive. On the palate bright cherry, cassis, currant and a touch of tobacco are mixed together to form wonderful flavors that last and last. The fine tannins and beautiful balance show signs that this wine will age for years to come. Drink now through 2012.
Winemaking: The 2002 growing season started out with frost in some areas followed by light rains in May. The season was long and mild with only a few manageable heat spikes in late September and early October helping to finish harvest. We thinned the crop more than usual and opened the canopy to expose the fruit to sunlight, which helps intensify color and flavor of the grapes. Overall the fruit quality was exceptional with yields slightly below average.
The fruit for this Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested mostly at night or in the early hours of the morning to maintain the delicate fruit flavors. Crushing and pressing occurred in our cellar prior to fermentation. Once fermentation completed, the wine was aged in barrels for 18 months.
About The Winery:
Two vineyards – one in Rutherford at the heart of Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon country, the other in a serene corner of the Napa Valley – gave rise to the divine wines of St. Supéry, most notably, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blanc.
Every day, wine aficionados from around the world visit our winery estate in Rutherford, one of Napa Valley’s best-known appellations. A tour of our winemaking facility gives visitors a look at the state of modern winemaking, while a visit to the historic landmark 1880 Victorian Atkinson House (now a living museum) gives them a sense of the Valley’s past. Yet perhaps the biggest attraction is the uniquely informative and engaging St. Supéry Winery and Gallery
About The Vineyards:
St. Supéry first invested in vineyards in 1982 with the acquisition of Dollarhide, a 1,500-acre property in northeast Napa Valley. The winery has continued to invest in vineyards since that time, knowing that only through close management of the grapes in the vineyards can we ensure the highest quality wines in the bottle. In total, St. Supéry has over 500 planted acres in Napa Valley. It is in these vineyards, with very diverse terrains, that St. Supéry wines get their start.
Dollarhide – Dollarhide is St. Supéry’s largest vineyard estate with over 1,500 acres of rolling hills, oak-covered knolls and seven lakes in a private mountain valley in northeast Napa Valley. About one third of the acreage is planted to winegrapes.
Rutherford Estate – St. Supéry’s estate vineyard surrounding the winery in the celebrated wine growing region of Rutherford in the Napa Valley on Hwy 29 is also the winery site. Thirty-five acres are planted with red Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The climate and soils of Rutherford are ideal for these grape varieties, which often are blended with Dollarhide fruit to create St. Supéry’s refined and elegant Élu and Virtú wines.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Total Acidity: 6.70 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.04 g/L
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%