What We Say 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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Mission Codename: Solid as a Rock
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate VinRoc Wine Caves, raid their cellar, and secure ample allotment of their limited-production stunner Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: VinRoc Wine Caves
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michael G. Parmenter
Backgrounder: The Napa Valley is perhaps best know for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. While the lush valley floor produces some of the best wine fruit in the world, the vines that grow on the hillsides and mountain tops that ring the valley produce extraordinary fruit. Volcanic soil and a slightly different climate provides ideal, albeit more difficult, growing conditions, limiting yields and producing wines of exceptional quality and character. Today’s selection from VinRoc Wine Caves is no exception.
The Atlas Peak AVA, located in in the Vaca Range just east of Napa Valley and south of Lake Berryessa is well known for its high elevation, well drained volcanic soil, long sunny days and cool nights which provide excellent conditions for bold and rich red varietals and specifically Cabernet Sauvignon. Lesser known, is the fact that the region accounts for nearly 25% of the Sangiovese planted in California.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, dark purple with a dense and darkening heart of darkest garnet. The color remains concentration, right out to the very edge of the glass. After a hearty swirl, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall columns of thin, tightly-spaced legs that move very slowly down the glass.
Smell – Bold black cherry and overripe blackberry are right out front. These are bolstered by aromas of blue berry, cigar box, black currant, brown spice, cocoa dust and dark minerals, with a hint of wild anise.
Feel – Crushed velvet on entry, this wine quickly exhibits a medium body with firm tannins and a balanced acidity. Minerality features at the tail end, as flavors tail off into the finish.
Taste – Rich and layered, with cascading flavors of black fruit, dark mixed berries, black cherry and black plum. These are layered over cigar box, sweet tobacco leaf, cocoa dust, cinnamon, clove and dried fall leaves. Dark minerals appear at the end, as flavors tail off.
Finish – Dark and coating, black fruit slowly yields to mixed berry and plum. Then, gradually, the earthen character takes over, with fruit giving way to fall leaves and dusky dark minerals.
Conclusion – The 2006 VinRoc Wine Caves Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold and still developing Cabernet Sauvignon that is drinking beautifully right now. I certainly recommend that you bring home enough bottles to enjoy over the years, as this wine will continue to develop for a long time to come. Rich and bold on the nose and elegant on the palate, with a structure that pleases the palate with a coating of flavors and plush feel. We loved the 2005 vintage of this wine, and feel that this 2006 shows even greater promise. Cheers!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Michael Parmenter
DATE OF BIRTH: 3/28/49
PLACE OF BIRTH: Kansas City, MO
WINE EDUCATION: Napa Valley College
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: VinRoc
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Make the best wine I possibly can.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Having my cab picked as one of the 10 best at last year’s Auction Napa Valley Barrel Auction
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Less is more”
Below is a recent interview Agent Red conducted with winemaker Michael Parmenter when we featured their Enjoie RTW.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your RTW today. We are super impressed with the wine. Our only heartbreak is that there is so little of it available!
MICHAEL PARMENTER: Don’t despair, Red, the next vintage will be a little bigger! Isn’t it a great wine?!
RED: Truly. Tell me, Michael, was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: My first real experience with wine came from an Italian family that were close friends. They had a big extended family that would get together every weekend. they drank red wine with every meal. They were a very loving and giving family, and I think I associated this with wine.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
MICHAEL: I learned all of the basics at Napa Valley College. They have a wonderful hands-on program.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
MICHAEL: Less is more. I try to keep it simple, and not over manipulate the winemaking process.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MICHAEL: I really love Bordeaux. Though I make a win e that is more a California style, regarding ripeness and alcohol, I try not to stray to far.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
MICHAEL: 2004 was my first vintage.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MICHAEL: Definitely for my wife and myself.
RED: Tell me, what makes the Atlas Peak so special?
MICHAEL: Atlas Peak where we are located is a very unique micro climate. Our vineyard is at 1600 ft elevation. We are above the fog line. We have longer days of sunlight, but cool off more at night. The soil is volcanic.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
MICHAEL: Learn the basics by doing.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MICHAEL: I love pairing with cheeses. In fact it is one of the features of our tasting tours. We offer our guest several cheeses to compare with our wines.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
MICHAEL: I don’t know…I think I am an open book
RED: I am a huge fan of both wines, Michael. How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
MICHAEL: Wine is to enjoy not be snobbish about
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
MICHAEL: Chevel Blanc
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
MICHAEL: Q: Is it true you handle most o f the winery operation yourself? A: Yes, that is why I have been called a “throw-back”.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
MICHAEL:Thank you, Agent Red
What the Winery Says
VinRoc Wine Caves
Awards & Accolades:
Exceptional – James Laube
About This Wine:
Dark and dense purple. Streaks of dark garnet when held to the light. Medium bold with classic aromas of dark berries and a touch of dried cherry layered over pleasant notes of cedar, sage and tobacco. Hints of spice and dark minerals. Rich and smooth, with finely textured and rounded tannins that coat the mouth and linger long into the finish. Balanced acidity, spice and minerality offer a superb tactile feel. Delicious and bold in its simplicity of dark fruit including black current, blackberry, and black cherry along with other dried dark fruit that are layered over notes of mocha and the cigar box cedar and tobacco found on the nose. Subtle notes of forest and savory spice linger on the palate along with hints of wild berries. Long and lingering with softly fading black fruit that disappear and leaves finely textured tannins and minerality behind.
The 2006 VinRoc Wine Caves Cabernet Sauvignon is generous and expansive in its classic dark and black fruit with a fantastic structure and mouth feel. Drink now, but decant to allow this wine to open up.
About The Winery:
“High on the east slope of Napa Valley
nestled below the majestic Atlas Peak,
we carved our wine cave & petit vineyard,
braving the steep & rocky terrain.
Blessed with sunny days & cool nights,
nurtured by hands on labor & love;
prevails an intense Cabernet Sauvignon.
Born is the elegant & opulent VINROC"
VINROC derives its name from our rock strewn mountain vineyard, where the elevation provides the perfect climate; and our rock hewn wine cave, where the consistent temperature & humidity is ideal for storing and aging our wine.
-Located on the eastern slope of Napa Valley at an elevation of 1600 feet, our vineyards are above the fog line and experience sunny days and cool nights.
-Our vines struggle through the volcanic rock & red soil,
producing low yields of highly complex & intense fruit.
-We pick one ton at a time, and harvest only those clusters
which are at the peak of ripeness.
-The grapes are carried into our adjacent wine cave in small picking boxes, rather then dumped into large harvest bins, and are immediately hand sorted and de-stemmed.
-Our winery is completely self-contained within our cave which was specially designed with custom European equipment for a low volume, high quality boutique operation.
-Each ton harvested is separately fermented and barreled for two years in French Oak, which allows us to track individual batches from the vineyard and throughout the winemaking process until blended.
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
AVA: Napa Valley, Atlas Peak
Aging: 24 months French Oak