Summers Estate Wines
2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Villa Andriana Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Call in the Reserve
Operative: Agent Red – with Agent Eiswein
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Summers Estate Wines to secure an allocation of their award-winning 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Summers Estate Wines
Wine Subject: 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Ignacio Blancas
Backgrounder: Some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world come from Napa Valley. A delicious and elegant example of the varietal, today’s wine is a Classic Napa Cabernet. Approachable, deeply aromatic, flavorful and very delicious, this wine shows off the winemaking skills of Ignacio Blancas – at a price that is difficult to resist. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report to learn more about this fantastic Napa Cab
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – This wine has a deep opaque purple berry-colored center, giving way to a thin pinkish rim. When the wine is swirled, it shows of a lively and bouncy surface that settles quickly. After it settles it leaves behind skinny and slow-moving legs.
Smell – A rich combination of fruit and wood aromas, beginning with fresh and stewed blackberry, ripe black cherry, currant and dried cherry. These give way to sandalwood, cedar, chocolate and cinnamon.
Feel – A lovely round feel overall, smooth and silky, with the richness of the nose being felt in the mouth. The wine shows off its easy acidity with a juicy tingle on the mid-palate. Gentle tannins round out the mouth-filling fullness with a soft crushed velvet feel.
Taste – With a palate the reflects the nose, this wine first shows off its black fruit of black cherry, blackberry and a hint of added plum. These are soon followed by baking spice and soft sweetwood notes that blossom and then linger on.
Finish – The wine has a lovely medium finish, with juicy fruit that gradually gives way to more earthen notes and spice as subtle tannins bring the wine to a softly spiced and dark mineral ending.
Conclusion – This is a rich, warm and wonderful Cabernet. It holds everything in balance and does not overpower the senses. Fruit, acids, and tannins are all held in harmony, delivering a fruit-forward wine that is mellow and flavorful. Lovely wood and spice aromas and flavors also contribute to the overall poise and balance of the wine. The juicy acidity makes this a wonderful wine to pair with cheeses, lamb or steak.
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: The 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of the finest lots of Cabernet found on our Villa Andriana Estate in Calistoga as well as other vineyards we manage in Calistoga. This vintage represents true Cabernet Sauvignon character, the soil it grew in and winemaking goals and procedures. Summers vineyard management and wine styles are realized in this signature Cabernet Sauvignon wine which exhibits rich black cherry and cassis flavors to the wonderful mid-palate, excellent texture and tannic structure.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
IGNACIO: Grilled filet mignon with caramelized onions.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Villa Andriana Vineyard in Calistoga so special?
IGNACIO: The Villa Andriana Vineyard on Tubbs Lane in Calistoga consists of vineyards grown in deep loamy, volcanic soils. The combination of the soils and the warm micro-climate of Calistoga, as well as our vineyard management style combine to produce an elegant wine.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
IGNACIO: Harvest, crush, fermentation, pumpovers, punchdowns, — we are working 7 days per week at this time making the wine you will enjoy in several years, the 2010 vintage.
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
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine – Outgoing in smell with its curranty fruit set against an intriguing forest floor, almost dried herb note, this rich and ripe, well-made wine also boasts a distinctly juicy element in its attractive aromas and reprises that buoyant fruit in flavors that are a little tighter than expected. Still, the depth and focus here make it work now with sturdy meats and endow it with six to eight years of aging potential in your cellar.
About This Wine:
Summers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on our Estate Villa Andriana vineyard grown in deep loamy, volcanic soils. This vintage represents true Cabernet Sauvignon character, the soil it grew in and winemaking goals and procedures. Our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in French oak barrels for 21 months resulting in medium to dark ruby colored wine and sweet French vanilla notes. Summers vineyard management and wine styles are realized in
this signature Cabernet Sauvignon exhibiting rich black cherry and cassis flavors to the wonderful mid-palate, excellent texture and tannic structure.
Suggested Food Pairings: Grilled Beef with Carmelized Onions.
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.
Cellaring: Enjoy now or can be aged for 7 to 10 years;
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon;
Total Acidity: 0.58g/100mL
Barrels: Fermented 21 months in French Oak, 60% New Oak
Cases Produced: 725