What We Say 2009 Madrone Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
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Mission Codename: Kissed by the Sun
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red in search of a stellar, single-vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, worthy of our Operative’s exacting tastes.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Muscardini Cellars
Wine Subject: 2009 Madrone Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Michael Muscardini
Backgrounder: Madrone Ridge’s vineyards sit on a sunny 5 acre hillside on the slopes on Arrowhead Mountain. Planted in 1997-1998, the vineyards nestle among the Mayacamas mountains, a low range separating Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Legendary viticulturist John Caldwell consulted through all phases of vineyard construction. John pioneered the use of Madrone Ridge’s French clone rootstock.
The vineyard is in the Sonoma Valley AVA. One of the oldest wine growing regions in California, the first vines being were planted in the early 1800s. The AVA is located along California Route 12 and its eastern boundary are the southern end of the Mayacama mountains. The unique micro-climate with less rainfall and fog than other parts of the region along with its unique soil provides ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby at the edges, transitioning, quickly, to dark garnet at the slightly opaque core. Spin the wine and it settles quickly, leaving behind razor-thin, wine stained tears that rocket down the glass.
Smell – A bold rush of black cherry, candied blackberry and spice rush up to greet the nose. Then, tobacco, leather, toasty oak, bramble, dark dried fall leaves, cigar box and dried truffle follow on.
Feel – Soft and silky-smooth at the entry, then quickly grippy, with plush tannins that spread a mineral-rich dryness from the tip of the tongue to the far corners of the palate. The wine is very well-structured and very balanced on the palate.
Taste – Big black cherry, blackberry and dark cocoa powder meld with dried tobacco, dried black flower petals, brown spice and dried leather. As the wine opens up, dried dark wild strawberry, dusty bramble, dried black plum and earthy toasted oak appear.
Finish – Very long and packed with dark fruit flavors that slowly yield to more exotic, earthy flavors of dried black flowers, spice, cocoa and a hint of black pepper that
flavorful, with extended fruit flavors that gradually yield to more subtle earthen flavors.
Conclusion – Recommended!! Today’s 2009 Madrone Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, from our dear friends at Muscardini Cellars, delivers a classic, delicious, bold but balanced wine that rivals the best that Napa Valley has to offer. This generous and, in our opinion, under-priced wine is a remarkable value. Drinking beautifully, now, this 2009 portends get things for the vintage – and for its own future. Drink now, but be certain to cellar a handful of bottles. This wine is built for aging and we’ll be laying down a few bottles for the next decade or more. Pair with a salt and pepper rubbed t-bone off the grill.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Bottled with love, for the joy of living.
This dazzling wine features aromas of ripe berries, cured meats, earth and roasted black walnuts.
Rich flavors of ripe blackberry, blueberry, black olive and wild mountain herbs. The wine has a smooth
supple texture with nicely balanced tannins and a long, memorable finish. All this complexity from just
one bottle will make it easy to enjoy with your family and friends.
VINTAGE: The 2009 vintage was a changing year weather-wise. We paid a lot of attention to the vines, and they show it.
About The Winery:
Muscardini Cellars graces Sonoma Valley’s (Valley of the Moon) Monte Terra with its estate grape vines, family home and barrel room. You are welcome to visit us in our Kenwood tasting room; meanwhile, enjoy the photos here online. Sonoma County is world renowned for its microclimates and weather conditions ideal for winemaking.
Our History: Let’s start in Italy, 1892, when my grandfather, Emilio Alchera, was born in the village of Calliano, just outside of the city of Asti in the Piemonte region. Emilio came to America in 1909 via Ellis Island in New York. After heading to the West Coast by train to meet his two brothers, Antonio and Louis, he settled in San Francisco.
Emilio began his living in California by helping to dig the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects the East Bay to Contra Costa County. After saving his money, he began to buy and run corner grocery stores where he sold fine bulk wines, and in his spare time made a red table wine for the family. His business would eventually become the “St. Helena Napa Valley Wine Company.”
It has taken me some time to finally continue and expand upon my grandfather’s tradition in winemaking, but after owning and managing a construction company, Creative Spaces, for 27 years, the time was right. With family and friends, and blessed by Monsignor O’Hara from St. Leo’s Church, I planted our first Sangiovese vines in May of 2000.
As the grapes grew, my son, Gian Carlo, and I built our family home at “Monte Terra.” After moving into our new home on May 12, 2001, I began to study winemaking from two local winemakers, and took numerous related courses at UC Davis and Sonoma State University.
With our Sangiovese grapes ready to harvest in 2002, I took our first crop and my new winemaking knowledge and jumped in with both feet (less shoes). Now, with a number of harvests from both Monte Terra and other growers ~ some of the best in Sonoma County ~ behind me, I had honed my skills and won numerous awards, including two Best of Class awards and two Best of Show for my organically grown Sangiovese.
With winemaking in my blood, I asked the question, “Does the world need another winery?” And I thought, “Perhaps not, but the world does need to taste my wine.”
September 2005 was our first custom crush at Wellington Vineyards in Sonoma Valley. We plan to make about 200-300 cases each of a 100% Syrah grape grown by our friends Unti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, a 100% Sangiovese grape grown by Merlo Vineyards in upper Dry Creek Valley, a Cabernet Sauvignon grown next door to our home, and a very special blend made in super Tuscan style – 65% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah. All four are barrel aging for 12 months in French and American oak.
WINEMAKER: Michael Muscardini
CASES PRODUCED: 217
BOTTLED: Feb 9, 2012