Summers Estate Wines
2007 Andriana's Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Summers time in Napa
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Summers Estate Wines to secure an allocation of their award-winning Andriana’s Cuvee.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Summers Estate Wines
Wine Subject: 2007 Andriana’s Cuvee Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Ignacio Blancas
Napa Valley is widely acknowledged as ultimate area in which to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2007 vintage has already produced some fantastic examples that are just now beginning to shine as they realize some bottle age. Today we send Agent Red back to Summers Winery, where winemaker Ignacio Blancas makes wines of great quality and remarkable distinction. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dense garnet with dense ruby red and purple hues through its clear and slightly darker core. When swirled, wide, wine-stained legs appear on the side of the glass, and then slowly make their way downward.
Smell – Bold and rich with fresh sawn oak and cedar notes leading the way as dark red and black fruit follow. Tangy black cherry and raspberry along with vanilla and dark chocolate linger with perfumed dried rose floral notes.
Feel – Full-bodied and dry with expansive young tannins and lively acidity that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Rich and bold with dark and black fruit layered over cedar and oak notes. Dark chocolate with hints of coffee and spice.
Finish – Long with its youthful tannins clinging to the palate while the dark fruit fades in unison with its oaky and other flavors.
Conclusion – Dark and bold, this wine possesses plenty of complex Napa character, in a package that won’t break the bank. Decant for best results, and be rewarded with fruit that softens as the wine opens up. Big perfume on the nose is your first indication that the wine will deliver bog flavors. We really loved the complex black fruit and the espresso notes, on the palate. Pair this beauty with a grilled steak or a nice roast.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Ignacio Blancas
WINE EDUCATION: Napa Valley College, SRJC, Continuing Education at UC Davis. Certificate in Enology/Viticulture from NVC
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Summers Estate Wines – 1997 to present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Know the vineyards, grow the grapes expertly so you know what to expect in the wine
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Wine quality is made in the vineyard
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Summers 1st release was 1993 Merlot in 1995. Ignacio Blancas’ first release was in 2000.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ignacio. It’s great to see you again. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Adriana’s Cuvee today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
IGNACIO BLANCAS: I like when people taste my wines, and even more so when they love the wine and say nice things about it.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
IGNACIO: Working for a Catering Company and going to wineries for 7 years to put on events. I started tasting wine during those 7 years, and here I am making and enjoying the Art of winemaking.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
IGNACIO: The wine and winemaker are related – Scott McLeod –Winemaker at Rubicon Estate, Rubicon Cabernet Sauvignon
RED: Who do you make wine for?
IGNACIO: I make wine for the consumer – and for myself, and for the Summers family. We work as a team to blend our wines to a certain flavor profile so our vintages are consistent from year to year. Having our own vineyards makes this job much easier for me.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
IGNACIO: Andirana’s Cuvee is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes procured from three select vineyards in the northern Napa Valley, including Summers’ own Villa Andriana Vineyard. The unique microclimate of the vineyards combine to yield a deep and complex Cabernet. The terroir, barrel aging and judicious use of new oak make this a wine that is enjoyable young, with light yet firm tannins.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
IGNACIO: Andriana’s Cuvee is a great food wine, which pairs best with London Broil, roast chicken or dark chocolates, mmm good!!
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Calistoga region so special?
IGNACIO: Calistoga, at the northern end of the Napa Valley, has a unique recognizable grape growing and winemaking history, unique soils, climate and geography.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
IGNACIO: We are currently bottling 2008 red wines and 2009 white wines. We are also preparing crush equipment for the 2010 Harvest which will start in late September.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
IGNACIO: We recommend that people taste our wines while obtaining the information from our staff as to what to expect with regard to flavors, aromas, and food pairing suggestions. We love to share our winemaking history and winemaking style as well as the story of our long-time crew in both the cellar, office, and ownership.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
IGNACIO: Thank you for taking the time to read about our wines. We hope that by tasting them you become part of our Summers Fan Club – come visit us soon in Calistoga.
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 approximate location of the Summers Estate Wines can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Summers Andriana’s Cuvee is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes procured from three select vineyards in the northern Napa Valley, including Summers own Villa Andriana Vineyard. Unique microclimates of the vineyards combine to yield a deep and complex Cabernet that is a signature of its extraordinary terroir. Barrel aging and judicious use of new oak make this a wine that is enjoyable young. Firm tannins make for wine worthy of cellaring. Serve with roast chicken, London Broil or simply indulge with dark chocolates.
Suggested Food Pairings: London Broil
Cellaring: Enjoy now or can be aged for 7 to 10 years
About The Winery:
Imagine . . . a day in Calistoga enjoying all that northern Napa Valley has to offer . . .warm hospitality, refreshing wine and bubbling springs. The Summers family (Beth, Jim and Andie) invite you to partake in the beauty and genuine good cheer that is Summers Estate Wines. Spend some time tasting our gold-medal-winning wines, playing bocce ball, or relaxing with your picnic on our patio — all with scenic vistas of Mount St. Helena and the “Old Faithful” Geyser.
Jim Summers purchased a 28-acre vineyard in Knights Valley in 1987. At that time it was mostly Merlot grapes with some Muscat Canelli. The first production of Summers Ranch Merlot was the 1992 vintage, and we increased the yield to reach a maximum of 2000 cases.
In 1996 we expanded our vineyard holdings to include 25 acres at the corner of Highway 128 and Tubbs Lane. This Napa Valley property carries the name Summers Estate Wines, with the vineyard designation of Villa Andriana Vineyard, named after our daughter. The property has been completely transformed to recognize its full potential. With a winery/tasting room, entertainment center, bocce ball court, picnic area and 22+ acres of vines (Zinfandel, Charbono, and Cabernet Sauvignon) we think it a perfect balance of pleasure and productivity.
Creating red-wine from grapes grown on small acreages in both Napa Valley and Knights Valley is the passion of Beth and Jim Summers. The signature, “unique” wine offered by Summers is Charbono. The name is thought to be an early Italian immigrant version of Charbonneau, a French varietal. Some strongly believe that this variety is a close relative to the Dolcetto variety, widely grown in northern Italy. The vine bears very large berries that are used to make a very dark red wine that, when subjected to extended skin contact during fermentation, is full of fruit flavor and low in tannins.
Ignacio Blancas, the Winemaker and Vineyard Manager for Summers Estate Wines has worked with us for ten years now. In addition to working full-time with Summers, Ignacio has continued his education, and completed his Certification in Viticulture and Enology in 2004. Ignacio remains up-to-date with all current best-practices by attending seminars about viticulture and winemaking.
Ignacio has been instrumental in the replanting of most of Summers’ 50 acres of grapes in the past 7 years. Great wine starts with great vineyards, and Ignacio has helped Summers’ produce the best grapes possible in relation to our soils and location in the warm, northern end of Napa Valley. At Summers Estate Wines, Ignacio has discovered ways to enhance the volcanic soil to best take advantage of one of the qualities that gives Summers’ wines their distinctive taste — our long list of award winning wines attest to his talents.
In addition to his duties as one of the busiest winemakers in the valley, he is a busy family man, too. He is married to Josephina and has a daughter, Rosa Elena, and a son, Ignacio, also known as Junior.
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Total Acidity: .58g/100mL
Aging: Fermented 20 months in French Oak, 50% New Oak