Atlas Peak Wines
2005 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley: Mt. Veeder
What We Say
FINAL AVAILABILITY ALERT:
Through its special relationship with Atlas Peak, The Wine Spies were able to secure every last remaining bottle of today’s wine. At today’s price, we expect to sell out before midnight – so act quickly if this wine is for you.
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is an exceptional mountain Cabernet that shows off the unique terroir of the Mount Veeder appellation, in the Napa Valley. We always bring you wines of the highest quality, but when one really shies, we issue special alerts like this.
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Mission Codename: Higher Ground
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to the mountain vineyards of the Atlas Peak Winery. Choose a bold, delicious Cabernet Sauvignon for our deserving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Atlas Peak Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – Mount Veeder
Winemaker: Jaeson Mackura
Backgrounder: Known for its exceptional Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, the Atlas Peak Winery crafts its extraordinary, limited production Cabernet Sauvignon, exclusively from Napa Valley Mountain fruit. With four mountain appellations in the valley, each produces fruit that expresses the uniqueness of its slopes.
Mt. Veeder, located on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas range has a climate that is cooler than the valley floor below. This climate and the more difficult (less fertile) volcanic mountain soil influence the flavors of the wines from this region. Best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, the region also produces Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. The premium vineyards of the Mt. Veeder appellation produce grapes of exceptional character, density and intensity.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest black plum, with inky dark core. With perfect concentration of color from core to edge, the wine shows the thinnest band of garnet where wine meets glass. After swirling, skinny, wine-stained tears run slowly down the glass.
Smell – Boldly intense with black cherry and blackberry that leaps from the glass. Behind these are aromas of briar patch, blueberry, dried lavender, subtle sweetwoods and a hint of black pepper.
Feel – Initially cool and light, as the wine crosses to the mid-palate, it settles onto the tongue, adding weight and a bright acidity. Big tannins eventually give the wine a mouthcoating and almost chewy feel.
Taste – Bold and concentrated, this wine leads with tart cherry, earthy blackberry and black plum. As the wine airs out (we recommend decanting for best results), it reveals additional flavors of plum compote, darkest chocolate, toasty oak, anise and black pepper.
Finish – Very long, starting with tart flavors that are sustained for a long time, until darker and more earthen flavors of bramble, chocolate, black licorice and black pepper guide the wine to its mouthwatering conclusion.
Conclusion – Highly recommended, this concentrated, dark, chewy wine is a delicious expression of Napa Valley’s extraordinary high elevation fruit. Atlas Peak has crafted its 2005 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon to be a bold but approachable wine and we think that it shows a lovely balance. High acids, which were a pleasant surprise, are beautifully balanced by the dark fruit and concentrated flavors of the wine. At today’s price, this wine represents an exceptional value. Pair with a grille cowboy steak or garlic and pepper rubbed roast. Drinking beautifully now, this wine is ready to go!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Jaeson Makcura
WINE EDUCATION: B.S. Viticulture & Enology
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: RH Philips, Buena Vista Carneros/Atlas Peak Winery, Geyser Peak Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: ”Wine makes itself. Winemakers just need to keep from screwing it up.”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Jaeson. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
JAESON MACKURA: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
JAESON: No specific experience, except that I remember enjoying wine from an early age – always thought it was strange for a kid to not be repulsed by wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
JAESON: Pinot Noir; Low intervention winemaking at its best.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
JAESON: I make my wines for our wine-drinking customers. If they don’t enjoy it, I don’t have a job long term!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
JAESON: Mt. Veeder is a distinct appellation for Cabernet. Generally a bit cooler (being closer to the bay), the wines have more of a Bordeaux influence. Not typically quite as over the top ripe, so the wine retains much of its varietal character.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
JAESON: Can’t go wrong with charcoal barbequed rib eye.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Mt. Veeder appellation so special?
JAESON: Elevation & marine influence gives us the ability to mature the grapes without excessive sugar development. I’ll sum it up in a word – ‘hang-time’.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
JAESON: Preparation for harvest. 2011 is looking to be a late season. I’m appreciating the extra time to get ready!
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
JAESON: Wine is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t over think it. If you like it, drink it!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
JAESON: I’d suggest trying our other sister wines to the Mt. Veeder – we also make other high elevation Cabernets – from Spring Mountain District, Howell Mountain, and Atlas Peak. As our tag line says – you can’t beat ‘Cabernet at its peak”!
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 location of the Mt. Veeder Appellation in Napa can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The wine exhibits good structure, shows rich purple color and has briary, brambly wild blackberry flavors, as well as hints of spice, pepper, and dried lavender, anise and sage.
About The Winery:
K2 or Everest? It’s all a matter of taste, and whichever you choose, you’re still above the fog line. Each Mountain Cabernet in Atlas Peak’s portfolio expresses its own distinct high-elevation terroir. These mountain appellations frame the Napa Valley and provide ideal growing conditions for bold, well-structured wines.
Our goal at Atlas Peak is to create wines that reflect their origin. Mountain Cabernet is known for its lush, full-bodied character with big, bold tannins, and deep, concentrated color. The Mountain Cabernet Series includes five wines sourced from four of the finest mountain appellations in Napa: Atlas Peak, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Howell Mountain.
WINE FROM HIGHER GROUND: Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain District, and Mount Veeder are the cornerstone mountain vineyards behind Atlas Peak’s Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon series. These mountain appellations frame the Napa Valley and provide ideal growing conditions for bold, well-structured wines. Thin soils, lots of sunlight and cooler daytime temperatures force grapes to go into survival mode, building the character needed to make wines that express the rugged elegance which come from great fruit and hard work in hard-to-reach places.
About The Winemaker:
Whether it was the mountains in Argentina, New Zealand or Spain, high-altitude winemaking is the pioneering force behind the new Atlas Peak Mountain Cabernet Series. Nick has always felt that Napa Cabernet is a place of extremes. East vs. West and North vs. South means that wines that are uniquely different can be experienced under the one label. The beginning of this adventure began in 2003 where the exploration of altitude within the large Atlas peak appellation showed wines of incredible difference. If we took that concept and laid it over the whole of the Napa Valley, what would we end up with?
The mountain series from Atlas Peak explores this diversity at a whole different level. Fruit from four mountains surrounding Napa Valley: Mt.Veeder, Spring Mountain District, Howell Mountain and Atlas Peak are compared. The team has been instrumental in sourcing extraordinary fruit from Napa’s upper elevations, using these mountain grapes to craft wines of incredible character and depth.
Once harvested these grapes are then treated with utmost care in the winery. No two wines are made alike. Each wine is made specifically to its sight. Whether it is a largely tannic block or one with more elegance, extraction is determined as to what will give the final blend the best result. Then soothing the wild soul of the juice as it rests in French oak barrels for 12 to 18 months—all to create wines that express the perfect harmony of powerful structure, refined ruggedness and nirvana-like opulence.
What you will taste is a balance to fruit, finesse and deep rich complexity that can only be expressed from the extremes of mountain winemaking.
- From the North East you will try the powerful fruit with deep color, impressive balance and generous, but not necessarily harsh, tannins of the Howell mountain.
- From the Northwest, Spring Mountain gives you, comparatively, softer tannins, moderate yet still substantial fruit definition, and more supple mouthfeel.
- From the South West the starkness of Mt Veeder gives you a restraint in power and full structure that lasts in the mouth
- And finally from the South East at Atlas Peak which is probably the most complete and seamless of the lot with rich, lush and bold tannins and concentrated fruit flavors that explode on your palate.
Come and join us in our exploration and enjoyment of our mountain wines!