2006 Couples & Co Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
2011 Winery of the Year
Celebrate Operatives! Earlier this year we marked the return of Mitch Cosentino with his PureCru Wines project and it was a huge success. Responding to operative demands, we revisit Mitch and PureCru to bring you their delicious 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – at a fantastic price!
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Mission Codename: King Cabernet
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Mitch Cosentino enjoys the distinction of being The Wine Spies’ top-selling winemaker of all time. Most popular are, without question, his big Cabernets. Send Agent Red to Mitch’s winery – and return with an ample allocation of his exquisite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: pureCru by M. Cosentino
Wine Subject: 2006 Couples and Co Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Mitch Cosentino
Winery Backgrounder: Mitch Cosentino’s wines enjoy the distinction of being one of our top-selling winemaker of all time. Mitch’s wines are varied, distinctive and always delicious.
Varietal Backgrounder: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon continues to dominate as the leader in California red wine. For good reason, too, as Napa produces some of the richest and most delicious examples on the planet. Today’s wine is a perfect blending and cross section of vineyard fruit from the Napa Valley.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Intense ruby hues, this wine shows a darkening core and color that remains concentrated right out to its edge. When swirled, wine-stained tears start high on the glass, becoming skinny as they march downward.
Smell – Lush and robust, this classic-on-the-nose Napa Cabernet leads with off with blackberry, ripe black cherry, overripe raspberry and dark currants. Bramble, exotic spice, toasted oak and dusty cocoa powder sit just beneath the lush fruit. After some swirling, additional aromas of licorice and warm candied cherry.
Feel – Smooth and lush on entry, the wine quickly coats the mouth. Supple tannins and a balanced acidity both support the wine on the palate, driving additional flavors and giving the wine a very lush overall feel.
Taste – Generous dark fruit, lead by ripe blackberry, plum, black cherry and cassis. Beneath these linger bramble, dusty earth, exotic spice and toasty oak, which all contribute to the tannin structure of the wine. After the wine breaths for a bit, dark chocolate, dark mineral and notes add complexity.
Finish – Very long and flavor-filled, this wine has flavors that linger long after your sip is complete. Dark fruit coats the palate and clings at the edges and then earthen flavors encroach, leading to a very gradual fading of flavors.
Conclusion – The 2006 Couples & Co Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly the sort of delicious, classic Napa Cabernet that we have come to expect from Wine Spies’ favorite, Mitch Cosentino. This wine has a terrific flavor profile, and a big, chewy feel that drives flavors deeper onto the palate. The nose is lush and full, and the finish is ultra-long. This is a very approachable, interesting and exciting wine that our entire tasting panel really went wild for. Enjoy now, but cellar a few bottles for the next several years! Have a bottle with a favorite grilled steak, but be sure to keep some for the Winter Holiday table, as well.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Mitch Cosentino
WINE EDUCATION: Self Taught – and 33 years of practical experience
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker for Cosentino Winery from 1980 to 2010,
Consultant to various wineries and growers from 1989 to present.
Founder-Winemaker of pureCru Winery and Wines from 2009 to present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Flavor and balance
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1980 Merlot and a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon and a Blanc de Noir Sparkling wine all released in 1982 under the brand of Crystal Valley Cellars/Cosentino Wine Company.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mitch. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MITCH COSENTINO: No problem, I am always willing to help someone make a new discovery for the purposes of good over evil.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MITCH: No, primarily “divine misguidance” telling me that I needed to learn about and pay attention to anything about wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MITCH: Several notable winemakers like Myron Nightingale and Ed Sbragia of the old Beringer days, John Parducci, John Daniels thru his old Inglenook Cabernets and others from the 60’s, and 70’s.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MITCH: I won’t make a wine that I wouldn’t enjoy myself, but otherwise the wines are made for the pleasure of all with food primarily.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MITCH: This is a Jefferson Cup winner, one of only 17 wines award such, besides being a multiple medal winner at other prestigious wine competitions. Classic Napa Cab with selected fruit grown by very special long tenured growers primarily in the St Helena and Oakville regions. Barrel aged for 30 months in French Oak. Limited production of only 525 cases
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MITCH: Flat Iron steak, a unique cut that i like to marinate in olive oil and steak seasonings for about 15 minutes before grilling about 4 minutes on each side.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MITCH: Working on upcoming new blends and getting a couple of new wines ready for bottling that may be released later this year or early 2012.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MITCH: Have fun, experiment and explore the possibilities.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MITCH: More exciting things to come!
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 Mitch Cosentino’s Couples & Co. winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
GOLD MEDAL, BEST OF CLASS & SWEEPSTAKES – 2009 Jefferson Cup Award
SILVER MEDAL – 2010 American Fine Wine Competition
About This Wine:
From the vineyards of some of the most acclaimed grape growers in the Napa Valley, an intense wine, rich with depth, balance and length.
Cabernet Sauvignon is king in the Napa Valley. This very limited production wine is made primarily from prime fruit grown by one of the most tenured grape growers in the Napa Valley. It is an intense and rich wine with great depth that shows balance and length.
About The Winery:
Three wine lovers from the central valley join an award-winning Napa Valley winemaker to found pureCru, a winery producing small quantities of unique blends.
“I had been reminiscing about a small, hands-on entity where I could do it all myself again, like I did in the beginning.” Mitch Cosentino
Celebrating 30 years of winemaking and with more than a thousand awards to his name, Mitch Cosentino is making another dream come true with his launch of pureCru Napa Valley.
Mitch Cosentino – Cosentino began making wine in small lots in Modesto, California in 1980. Ten years later he moved the Cosentino Winery operation to the Napa Valley, where he continued to make many award-winning varietal and blended wines.
Cosentino has a gift for identifying fruit sources and is highly skilled and artistic in determining blends. He’s a big believer in the hands-on, old world use of punched cap fermentation, a labor-intensive, hand-crafted method of winemaking. When it comes to the small lots Cosentino puts into his pureCru blends, this “micro” approach to winemaking allows him to better control the delicate process from the vineyard to the bottle.
Mitch and Fred Couples – Cosentino is also a noted golfer, which led him to a partnership with Fred Couples and the creation of Couples & Co, a pureCru brand.
Couples initially discovered a taste for fine wine in his twenties, coinciding with his first golf tournament win. “I have enjoyed learning about wine for more than 25 years,” said Couples. “I’ve met many people in the wine business and have discovered that winemaking is an intricate process.”
After doing an in-depth tasting of preliminary blends with Cosentino in 2008, Couples knew he had found the right partner. “Mitch is a great winemaker,” said Couples. “I thought it was the right time and place to put my own name, along with Mitch’s, on a label.”
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Napa Valley
Aging: 30 months in French Oak