St. Clement Vineyards
2004 Star Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Star Vineyards
California: Napa Valley: Rutherford
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon from our good friends at St. Clement Vineyards is an exceptional wine that beautifully captures the Terroir of Rutherford. This one belongs in your cellar collection and on your table.
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Mission Codename: The Shining Star of Rutherford
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exception Rutherford Cabernet for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: St. Clement Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2004 Star Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Danielle Cyrot
The Rutherford AVA is among the most famous names in the valley and is primarily know for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the other big Bordeaux varietals. Ironically, Rutherford was the last of the major districts to receive AVA status and is home to about 30 wineries. Its well drained soil made of a combination of marine sediment and volcanic gravel, sand and loam is distinct and contributes to its famed ‘Rutherford Dust’ component found its its great wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark purple and nearly black in color, with a dark but clear core that shows garnet highlights when held to the light. Dense garnet along the edges and when swirled, this wine shows a slow cascade of medium-thick along the edge of the glass.
Smell – Bold in intensity, not overpowering with subtle complexity. Fruit forward initially with a plethora of ripe and candied black, blue and red fruits. Underneath you’ll discover notes of cedar, tobacco, toasted vanilla and soft oak.
Feel – Smooth, plush, rich and well developed, this full-bodied dry wine has expansive ripe sweet tannins and lively but balanced acidity. Classic Rutherford minerality adds to this wine’s persistent feel that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Starting with the nose, this wine leads you in with its fruit forward aromas and doesn’t disappoint on the palate with generous ripe black and red fruit, sweet plum and ripe fig. As this wine opens you’ll discover notes of toasted vanilla bean and oak, sweet tobacco and cedar components, baking spices and subtle hints of sweet herbs.
Finish – Extremely long with its rich and ripe fruit, vanilla, spice and soft oak are supported by this wine’s round plush texture.
Conclusion – The 2004 St. Clement Vineyards Star Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic wine that is just starting to hit its stride in terms of development. Ripe and rich sweet fruit greets you from the minute you pull the cork, but be patient and let this wine open up to reveal the complexity hiding just underneath its fruit forward nose and palate. Smooth and rich on the palate with a extremely long finish, this wine is perfect for snuggling up on a cool autumn evening in front of the fire. Enjoy now or cellar for up to 10 or more years.
The following is an extract from our first-encounter mission report, in which Agent White first becomes acquainted with our now-good friends at St. Clement:
It was perhaps the strangest of locations to start a wine mission. I entered the church and as the instructions indicated, I was to go to the second pew and show penance. As I knelt, in the pew, I noticed a book with a bookmark in it. Looking more closely, it was a history of the Papacy and the page that was bookmarked was about Pope Clement I (Clemens Romanus), who is also known as St. Clement. No being sure if this was the clue, I stayed for another hour and beyond the woman practicing on the organ, nobody came or went from the church.
Back at HQ, I entered in our research computer the search term ‘Clement’ and found that indeed, the bookmark was a clue. All signs pointed in the direction of St. Clement Vineyards in Napa Valley. We had an asset who could get us some additional intel so I PIN messaged Agent Malbec and within a few hours a courier had delivered a bottle of the St. Clement to our front company.
The bottle was immediately taken to the lab for analysis. The results were clear; It was an almost perfect wine, with fruit from one of the best vineyards in Napa. St. Clement had been on our radar for a couple months. Their winemaker Danielle Cyrot, with a long lineage of European winemakers was making quite a name for herself.
But as we always say, the proof is in the juice… Lab results, research, walks through the vineyards are all nice, but its in the glass that matters… Well, there’s no knelling for St. Clement wines. After tasting it, we were jumping for joy.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the St. Clement Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Voted Best Boutique Winery Two Years In A Row By Napa and Sonoma Valleys magazine.
Voted Best Local Winemaker – Winemaker Danielle Cyrot -
About This Wine:
Aromas of raspberry, cherry, blueberry, watermelon jolly ranchers, strawberry, cherry cola, and vanilla cream pie are apparent in this wine. Then the subtle oak aromas of vanilla, anise, cinnamon and clove appear. This wine has luscious tannins and a rounded structure followed by more cherry, blueberry jam, black currants, and chocolate mint flavors.
Vineyard Notes: Legend has it that a siren once lived in the meadow of a paradisiacal island home surrounded by the garden Utopia of Star Vineyards, her song beckoned vineyard workers to her back porch to enjoy the sensual pleasures of her soft red wines, dulcet tones, and more than ample charms (only Odysseus, lashed to the mast, was able to resist her). To this day, few lured by the siren can turn away from the call of Star Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon, singing of forbidden fruits, its hedonistic richness is balanced by elegance, charm, and the sweet embrace of black silk. Proprietors, Jack and Lilly Oliver have collaborated with Napa Valley luminary David Abreu to create viticultural perfection building on the rich bale clay loam and alluvial rock indigenous to this famed Rutherford bench appellation.
Winemaker Notes: The wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months. The Merlot that is blended into this wine is also from Star Vineyard. It contributes the bright red fruit component in the nose and the velvety mid palate while adding another layer of complexity and balance to the finished wine.
About The Winery:
The philosophical approach to winemaking at St Clement is all about the land of Napa Valley. Much has been written about the idyllic nature and diversity of this 50-mile long valley. It is this diversity that forms the foundation for our approach to winemaking.
As an artist holds many colors on the palette to create subtle hues, we hold a collection of vineyards from the north in Calistoga to the south in Carneros and from the alluvial benches of the valley floor at Rutherford to the cloud clinging heights of Mt Veeder.
We take the fruit from this collection of small, independent growers to balance, blend and build our wines into totalities that mirror the complexity and beauty of the Napa valley itself.
About The Winemaker:
Danielle Cyrot – Winemaker, St. Clement Vineyards – As the third decade of her life begins, Danielle Cyrot brings a broad scope of international winemaking expertise that extends well beyond her age. And as the descendant of French vignerons whose history goes back for centuries, she is also renewing an enological tradition that had been dormant for three generations.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard: Star Vineyards
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon