Mission Codename Cupbearer
“Ganymede is the site of the oldest vines on Chimney Rock Estate and the vineyard planted in hillside benchlands. There is a wonderful sucrosity and richness to the inner core of this wine, which is a positive characteristic that bodes well for its future.” – Robert Parker
One two three o clock, four o clock, CHIMNEY ROCK!
According to our watch, it’s GO TIME.
A month ago, we shattered Wine Spies records into oblivion with the Chimney Rock Elevage. Now we’re back with another 94-point direct exclusive. Plucked straight from the winery library, Ganymede is normally only available to members or visitors and has NEVER seen a retail shelf.
But neither club members nor visitors can get anywhere near our price. $125 upon release. Was last seen at $160 as a limited library release.
And from us… not $100. Not even $75.
In his raving Vinous review Galloni called it “seriously beautiful” and said *“those who can wait will be rewarded.” Well, ten years later, it’s in a PRIME spot, and you can reap the rewards.
Chimney Rock is a stalwart in Napa’s Cabernet scene, a fixture on the Silverado Trail, and well known for their precise, powerful, and expressive wines. Elizabeth Vianna has been making these wines since 2005 and has the process down.
And Ganymede Vineyard is the cornerstone of Chimney Rock’s Reserve Cabernet program, where the oldest vines on the estate property live. A prime Stags Leap vineyard split between hillside and valley floor; it’s named after the Greek mortal who served as a cupbearer to the Gods. Incidentally, you’ll feel like a God when you bust this open and serve it to your friends and family. And they don’t need to know you paid WAY less than the advertised price.
Well, Galloni called it with his ideal drinking window 2021-2032. With the ten years of age, this shows beautifully and has another ten EASY. Still packed with fruit, but the tannins turned into buttery soft little things, and some nice tertiary notes are developing. It’s just singing with black plums, black cherry, pencil shavings, dusty earth, and cedar. Deep, saturating, and expansive with a long finish, it’s a prime example of Stags Leap fruit. Get a case! Pop one each year, and marvel at the pure staying power of great Napa Cabernet.
But she got her start at Napa Wine Company, a custom crush facility that spawned more than a few famous labels. That’s where she was exposed to Heidi Barrett, Pam Starr, and Celia Welch among others. And when Heidi Barrett calls you over to help with tasting and blending, well, you take notes.
Try finding this wine anywhere else.
94 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Ganymede Vineyard is seriously beautiful. Graphite, sweet herbs and violets open up in the glass, followed by tobacco, mint and dark fruit. The 2011 is reluctant to show all of its cards. Today it is dark, mysterious, and imposing. The finish alone is drop-dead gorgeous, but readers will have to be patient. Those who can wait will be rewarded with a fabulous bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink 2021-2032.”
Plum, black cherry, pencil shavings, dusty earth, cedar
Gorgeous deep cherry red with a translucid ruby rim
Black plums, black cherry, pencil shavings, dusty earth, and cedar
Still packed with fruit, but the tannins have turned into buttery soft
Deep, saturating, expansive with a long finish, prime Stags Leap
So gorgeous and complex on its own, a meditation Cabernet
What the Winery Says
2011 Ganymede Vineyard Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
- Elizabeth Vianna
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
- Ganymede Vineyard
- 18 months
- 100% new French oak