2007 Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Mendocino County
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Mission Codename: Vino de Oso
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Mendocino County, to scout out a delicious and approachable Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Orsianna Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Orsianna Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County
Winery Principal: Gary Marcaletti
Backgrounder: The Mendocino AVA, located along the Russian River and highway 101 north of Sonoma County is where the grapes for this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon were grown. The actual AVA is centered between Hopland and Ukiah in the southern third of the county and are heavily influenced by the climate which is regulated by the mountain ridges that surround the upper Russian River. The deep alluvial and gravelly loam soils also contribute to the flavor profile of the grapes grown in the region. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay are the primary grapes grown in the region, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Petite Sirah and many other secondary grapes thrive in the climate.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark burgundy with a ruby rim at the edge of the glass. The wine settles quickly, leaving a cascade of thin, wine-colored tears that rush down the glass.
Smell – Deep, layered aromas of dark cherry, stewed plum, and spice, sit over dark bakers chocolate, wild berry bramble, tobacco leaf and dried herbs.
Feel – Initially light and quick across the entry, the wine gradually becomes grippy as fine tannins are revealed. A solid, bright acidity and a soft chalky mineral feel carry the flavors into the finish.
Taste – Bright and bold, this wine leads with black cherry, tart plum skin, tart red cherry and pepper. These are tempered by blackberry, earthen bramble, cigar box and a hint of black licorice.
Finish – The fine tannins, bright acidity and minerals that are felt on the palate hold tight as red fruit give way to black fruit, gradually dwindling to a softly dry, mineral and black pepper ending.
Conclusion – The 2007 Orsinna Cabernet Sauvignon is a bright, juicy and delicious Mendocino Cabernet, through and through. If you are used to Cabernet from Napa or Sonoma, then you’ll find this wine to be somewhat brighter, but just as expressive. There are differences, to be sure, and this is one thing that makes this wine so appealing. With balanced, juicy fruit and earthen characteristics, a big nose and a fruity tart finish that ends with a distinct black pepper note. With bright acidity, this is a perfect wine to pair with rich foods, cleansing the palate between bites. Drinking well now, this wine will continue to progress for the next few years. Decant for best results, and enjoy the unique terroir of Mendocino County with this tasty Cabernet
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Gary Marcaletti, Winery Principal
WINE History: A San Francisco native and a wine merchant for over 30 years.
WINERY PHILOSOPHY: To make vibrant and balanced wines that shine with food.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: * _”Go Giants!”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE:* The gold medal winning 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon!
AGENT RED: Greetings, Gary. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
GARY MARCALETTI: Thank you, it is exciting to kick off the 2007 Cabernet vintage release with The Wine Spies!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
GARY: Being Italian we always had wine with the family meals, it is and has always been a natural part of my life.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
GARY: The great wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux have always inspired me, wine that go great with food and that have fresh balance and life to them.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
GARY: Our Orsianna wines are for those celebrate food and wine in their everyday life. We focus on making wines in the traditional European way, but with our great fruit and clean winemaking in California.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
GARY: Our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is still a baby with firm structure, but has lots of elegant layers and we think it is the best wine yet from our winery.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
GARY: We really love the idea that our wines are made to be part of the whole meal, so we think it will go with everything, but a classic paring would be a nice rare Porter House steak or a Prime Rib.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Mendocino region so special?
GARY: Mendocino is rustic and peaceful, and the terroir is unique, it is truly a special place.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
GARY: We want people to enjoy the wines and each other, we are all about getting the family together and being part of a great tradition.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
GARY: No, I don’t want to bore them any further, we just hope they love the wine!
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!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The 2007 Orsianna Estate Cabernet Sauvignon marks the second release for Orsianna Vineyards. Recently awarded 90 points by the 2010 Affairs of the Vine Cabernet shootout; the judges enthusiastically agreed that, “the nose of the wine is reminiscent of warm cherry compote and opens with rich and opulent flavors. The mid-palate is voluptuous with sweet cherry flavors and cocoa aromas. It finishes with a nice balance of ripe fruit and oak, with great tannin and acid that enhances the fruit on the finish”.
This cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our vineyards, in Mendocino County, whose unique riverbed soil and proximity to the Pacific Ocean make it ground zero for producing elegantly balanced, seamlessly textured and wonderfully pure Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon. Moderate use of oak allows the predominantly plush velvety red fruit to shine, adding subtle spice box and cedar notes on both the nose and palate. The wine finishes with a medley of crushed cranberries, dried Bing cherries, pomegranate and smoky graphite. An understated 2007 California Cabernet with a genuine sense of terroir.
Garnet color with sweet cherry and cocoa aromas. The opening is rich and opulent. The mid-palate is voluptuous, finishing with a nice balance of ripe fruit and oak. In the 2010 Affairs of the Vine Cabernet shootout, the 2007 Orsianna Cabernet scored a total of 90 points and was one of few wines that was recognized by the judges as being “Loved at First Sip”.
The Vineyard: The 2007 Orsianna Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our 20-acre Estate vineyards in Mendocino County. The unique riverbed soil, maritime influence and ancient redwoods surrounding the vineyards all provide the perfect microclimate for growing cool climate Cabernet resulting in an elegant and beautifully balanced wine.
About The Winery:
Orsianna Winery is dedicated to making honest value wines made in the old world European tradition of producing regional terroir driven wines that go great with the local cuisine and compliment the family meal. The wines are rich in flavor, but have balance and good refreshing qualities that make them well suited with lots of food parings. The distinct soils and climate of Mendocino County in Northern California provide the best resource to make the wines we want to make. The beautiful and unspoiled nature gives not only breathtaking views, but provide us with wonderful tools that allows us make dynamic wines at a remarkable price.
Our goal was the create a label that people can trust and enjoy with their family meals or at their favorite restaurant and know they are getting a quality product that will be both flavorful and affordable. We feel that Orsianna meets our high expectations and hope it meets our customers desires with a fresh and clean style that adds their enjoyment at any meal or event.
Orsianna’s winemaking goals are to have vibrant flavors, life and balance in each wine, we want to terroir and fruit to be the main focus point, so we use the best grape sources from unique vineyard sites in Mendocino and make sure everything is made in a pure and fresh style. Our Chardonnay uses no oak at all, which is very much like classic Chablis and our Cabernet Sauvignon uses subtle French oak barrels and has smooth tannins and nice acidity like quality Bordeaux wines. We feel passionate about food friendly, lower alcohol and value priced wines that offer quality, and we believe Orsianna is ahead of the curve.
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
AVA: Mendocino County
Case Production: 1500 cases