2007 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE / WORLD EXCLUSIVE ALERT:
Today’s exceptional 2007 (the best vintage in a decade) Cabernet Sauvignon is a world exclusive. We were clever enough to secure a quantity of this wine before the winery sold out, and today we are the only online wine merchant to have any at all. Take advantage, though, before we run out!
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Mission Codename: Grapes of the Stars
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Predicting a hit, two years ago, The Wine Spies secured an allocation of Canard Vineyard’s 2007 superb 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery has sold out of this wine. Release our cache to our Napa Valley Cabernet-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Canard Vineyard
Wine Subject: 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Brian Graham
Backgrounder: Napa Valley is revered worldwide as the ultimate area in which to produce fine Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2006 vintage has produced some remarkable examples and we were lucky to get our spy-hands on today’s fine offering from friends at Canard Vineyard. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and winemaker interview, below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark fuchsia hues. Color is evenly concentrated, from center to edge. After swirling, wine-stained tears appear quickly, starting high on the glass.
Smell – Lush and bursting with berries, this wine presents sweet blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry and cassis. After some swirling, the wine reveals additional aromas of spiced cherry candy, bramble, dried leaves and sort soapstone.
Feel – Round and soft at first. Then, the wine settles onto the mid-palate where plush tannins add structure and a mouth-coating quality.
Taste – Generous berry fruit of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and dark strawberry provide the initial burst of flavors. These are soon followed by bramble, earthy brown spice, dried black flower petals, soft cedar and slate.
Finish – ultra-long and packed with sustained berry flavors. These transition to spice, cedar and minerals. At the very end, a soft, piquant hit of black pepper punctuates the conclusion and reminds you to take another fruit-laden sip.
Conclusion – Today’s 2007 Canard Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is _stupendous! When we first tasted this wine, back in 2010, we knew that it would become a hit. Indeed it did, and the winery sold out of the wine in mid-2011. Our foresight paid off, though, and today we are pleased to share our special allocation with you. This wine is classic Napa Valley Cabernet, with dark, rich flavors, bold aromatics and an opulent feel. If you love great Napa Cabernet, you are certain to love this fantastic wine. We’re drinking some of ours now, but we’ll also be careful to lay a few bottles down – as this wine will only continue to progress for the next several years.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Brian Graham
WINE EDUCATION: University of Bordeaux; Wine & Spirits Educational Trust: London; Napa Valley College
WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Allow the vineyard and the grapes that come off the vineyard to shine with minimal intervention in the winery. Use classic winemaking techniques and the best barrels to compliment the wines”
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Its really all about the vineyards”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1999
AGENT RED: Greetings, Brian. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Canard Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BRIAN GRAHAM: Thank you for this opportunity we are excited to share our wines with you.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BRIAN: Yes, a 1963 Dow port. It was monumental, the light came on that night.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BRIAN: Really my first love has always been classic Bordeaux. Always remaining true to tradition it sure is refreshing to see in this day and age.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
BRIAN: I make my wines for wine enthusiasts that enjoy big, classic, elegant and age worthy reds.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BRIAN: Our 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cab that we grow is a dream to work with. Dry farmed with an organic approach this vineyard has amazing history and really does show through in the bottle.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BRIAN: Smoked and grilled red meats. Its really versatile.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Coombsville such a special place for Cabernet Sauvignon?
BRIAN: Coombsville, has the heat to really ripen the grapes but also has a constant breeze that keeps them from burning. The soil is sandy loam and river bottom this keeps the soil cool with good drainage.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BRIAN: Well the grapes are all picked about 3 weeks now but the long hours and winemaking continues with pressing and barrel work. Our goal each year is have all the wines put to bed by Christmas so we can have a relaxing holiday season.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
*WINEMAKER:With a corkscrew and a glass. No seriously, wine should be enjoyed. I hope your with family and friends having a good time when your pulling the cork out.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WINEMAKER: Come visit us or send us and email. We are always here and looking forward to sharing our passion with you.
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 Canard Vineyard winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
On the nose ripe, red cherries and red liquorices shine through with holiday spice, fresh cloves with hints of basil and scented pine cones. The palate is full bodied with massive amounts of red and black tropical fruits with hints of tobacco leaf and cinnamon toast. Classic Napa cab in style with well integrated big tannins and a very long soft finish. This wine will age very well and a will continue to evolve and get better for many, many years to come, 10 to 12+
VINEYARDS & WINEMAKING: Our winemaker, Brian Graham, believes that the vineyard is absolutely the most important factor when creating a wine. “For me, it’s the vineyard that creates the quality and a wine’s uniqueness. Really it’s all about the vineyards.” Situated just South of Calistoga on the Silverado Trail, this sustainably farmed vineyard has short cool mornings and evenings with long very warm days. Deficit irrigation and traditional cordon trained vines high above the soil allows for a constant breeze to flow through the vineyard. This environment yields the qualities most prized among Napa Valley fruit. After picking, the grapes were sorted and de-stemmed into a fermentation tank where they rested and soaked for 5 days. After a warm fermentation the wine went through extended maceration for 7 additional days. Aged in only French Oak Barrels for 17 months with neither fining nor filtering.
About The Winery:
WELCOME TO CANARD VINEYARD: Our vineyard is located at the top of Napa Valley just south of the town of Calistoga. And home to the newest AVA (American Viticultural Area).
One of the newest boutique wineries, 25 years in the making…..
Over 25 years ago, Rich and Carolyn Czapleski purchased the historic Reason P. Tucker Vineyard dating back to 1860.
In 1983 the Czapleski’s started what is now Canard Vineyard, but it was not until the crush of 2006 that they began to create wines exclusively from their vineyard. Rich and Carolyn along with their talented winemaker, Brian Graham, have come together to create unique wines from this fabled vineyard. We hope you agree.
THE CZAPLESKI RANCH: Rich and Carolyn Czapleski have owned Canard Vineyard and Czapleski Ranch for 25 years. They purchased the vineyard and home in 1983 as a weekend getaway. At first, they did not even realize they could sell the 22 acres of grapes, but when word got out that they were thinking of replanting a 6 acre section of Old Vine Zinfandel – the phone calls started. Wineries called wanting to purchase the grapes and urging the Czapleski’s to keep the Old Heritage Zinfandel Vines intact. Most of these vines are well over 100 years old.
Over the years they have been able to nurture the old vines and plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc on the remaining acres. For 24 years Ravenswood has purchased the Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and the rest of the grapes have found a home at Mondavi. During that time, Joel Peterson at Ravenswood has made a small amount of special reserve for the Czapleski’s under their Canard label which has been enjoyed by their friends, family and a few restaurants. The name Canard comes from Rich’s nickname-“Duck” – French for duck.
With the vintage of 2006, they decided to try their hands at producing the wines they love to drink. At the 2006 Napa Valley Wine Auction they met winemaker Brian Graham and liked the styles of his hand crafted wines. Brian then joined forces with the Czapleski’s. Since they are so small, they can oversee all aspects of winemaking offering Estate Napa Valley wines at a great value. Their son, Adam, has now started taking over some of the vineyard operations and giving his input into the winemaking.
BRIAN GRAHAM – THE WINEMAKER: The Czapleski’s went looking for a winemaker who could take their philosophy of terrior-driven wines from Napa Valley and produce a balanced wine at a great price. An Estate Napa Valley wine you could afford to drink everyday and that could age for many years to come.
Brian Graham is formally educated in enology at the University of Bordeaux and at The Wine and Spirits Educational Trust in London. He apprenticed at wineries in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Napa Valley. Settling in Napa Valley he now has his own label – Ramian. These experiences have given him the foundation for balanced, terrior-driven wines that can be produced in small lots. He is taking small blocks of Czapleski Vineyard grapes individually blending these lots on a barrel by barrel tasting.
SUSTAINABLE FARMING: The small vineyard offers sustainable farming with and an organic approach. It uses deficit irrigation which allows the vines to create intense wines with depth and focus. The partnership of the Czapleski’s and Brian Graham work toward one common goal in mind to create wines that showcase this exceptional vineyard while remaining respectful of their surroundings.
Appellation: Napa Valley – Calistoga, California
Fermentation: Cold Soaked 5 days for a total of 24 days on the skins
Aging: 18 months in French Oak (40% New)
Cooperages: Fouquet, Bel Air
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cases Produced: 985