Swanson Vineyards

2009 Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:Oct 04, 2012 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Briefing


Le coup de foudre

We fell in love with today’s wine, the instant we first inhaled it!

Lush, plush, soft and sexy, today’s 2009 Swanson Vineyards Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a true delight for the senses. With every swirl, this special 25th anniversary cuvee seems to grow in the glass, gaining dimension and complexity. Flavors and aromas keep coming alive and with each sip, the wine gets better and better.

It is a real thrill for us to bring you this very distinctive, limited-release wine and we really hope that you treat yourself to a few bottles.

While this young 2009 is drinking beautifully, we have the grandest expectations for it in the future. We’ll be enjoying a few bottles now, but you can be sure that we’ll be socking a case away to enjoy over the next decade - and beyond.

Tasting Profile


Deepest ruby red with a slickly darker core. Color remains evenly concentrated from core to edge. Spin the wine, and marvel as wave after wave of skinny legs fall swiftly down the glass.


Aromatic and very inviting. Sweet cherry, blackberry and cassis are the lush forerunners for cocoa powder, supple leather, espresso bean, subtle tobacco, toasty oak and subtle anise.


A delicious rush of balanced sweet and subtle savory flavors spread across the palate. In the lead, black cherry, ripe blackberry, smoky blueberry and cassis. These are followed, closely, by dried violets, dried fall leaves, earthy bramble, subtle leather, clove spice, anise and dried marionberry.


Ultra long and very balanced, with fruit and earthy notes slowly fading in even proportion. Bright acids provide great support in sustaining flavors.


What the Winery Says

Take a father, a daughter, a winemaker + add a Parisian illustrator — all characters of great taste, humor, and talent…and voila! You have Swanson Vineyards’ 25th anniversary cuvee, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, “Instant Napa.” This wine of distinction celebrates the remarkable 35 mile track of terroir and its most unusual agrarian community, known as the NAPA VALLEY.

2009 “Instant Napa” is a limited production wine made by the skilled hand of Swanson winemaker Chris Phelps, formerly with Caymus and Dominus. With his Bordeaux training, sophisticated palate, and deep connections, Phelps sourced grapes from five top-flight vineyards. Phelps believes “all successful endeavors are based upon human relationships of mutual respect, and we place great value upon our growers who have committed to the long-term success of this new wine.”

The au courant wine label reflects the true convivial spirit of the Swanson Salon in Rutherford and was illustrated by artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme, known for working with various well known curators of lifestyle.

Uncork and enjoy its instant gratification.

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was not fined or filtered thereby preserving its seamless texture and flavor intensity. Deep red ruby color with a purple hue. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, coffee and cocoa. In the mouth, sweet fruit and an immediate sense of a silky, firm texture. The wine is very complete on the mid-palate as the ripe tannins provide a rich, luxurious backdrop for cassis and black cherry fruit to re-emerge. Very well integrated French oak gives a hint of clove, black licorice and espresso from mid-palate through the finish. The 7% Petit Verdot component contributes an aromatic top note of violet to the finish and adds a firm natural acidity to the overall balance of this wine.


We carefully selected small blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot for this inaugural release of Instant Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from the following sources:

  • Rutherford Vista Vineyard, mid-valley, near Caymus Vineyards
  • Schenecker Vineyard, adjacent to our winery in Rutherford
  • Sleeping Lady Vineyard, at the base of the Mayacamas range in Yountville

We chose one block of Merlot at the Taddei Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. The Petit Verdot is from a small parcel at the La Monica Vineyard in the Oak Knoll appellation.

All of these vineyard sources reflect a rigorous selection of vineyard sites known to consistently produce a small crop of very intense, concentrated fruit.



“Have you ever traveled to an exotic destination and upon exiting the plane found yourself blasted with a rush of sensations that filled you up and became indelibly etched in your mind’s eye? And now any time you get even a hint of those same aromas your memories transport you back to that place and time? This is what Instant Napa is all about.

Stick your face into a glass of this wine and you are immediately blasted with the experience of a great Napa Cabernet that transports you right back to Napa. And, if you’ve never been to Napa, now you know what is in store for you! Distinctive layers of ripe fruit coupled with deep complexity and toasted French oak run as deep as the rocky soils of the Napa Valley. Swanson Winemaker Chris Phelps has sourced terrific fruit to provide you with the ultimate Napa experience any time you are ready to go – even if you are just sitting at your dinner table in Peoria! Déją vu all over again to be sure…”

About the Winery

Swanson Vineyards owns 100 acres along the Oakville Cross Road in Oakville, located next to Opus One and Silver Oak Cellars. Swanson soils are part of geological history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley. The soils on the valley floor are clay loam, alluvial in nature, laid down as sediment from the frequent flooding over the millenia. It is here that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.

It is to these soils that Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities. The vines are further nurtured by the use of a variety of rootstock, clones, spacing and trellis systems, all selected to enhance the capabilities of the soil. The winemaker’s challenge is to ensure that all the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.

Winemaker Robin Akhurst

Robin Akhurst’s road to Napa took him around the globe through eight consecutive and exhausting harvests, picking up an impressive list of mentors along the way. Robin came to Napa Valley in 2009, working with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown of Outpost and Schrader Cellars. He joined Envy Cellars as winemaker in 2010 where he has made the highly regarded Envy and Carter wines. A native of Scotland, Robin brings vast international experience from the cellars of New Zealand (where he received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch), France** and Australia including Two Hands Winery in the Barossa Valley and Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy.

Robin deftly leads the winemaking team, including Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, who has been with us for 11 years, and Chris Phelps with his new, honorable “Winemaker Emeritus” title. Not only do we have the continuity of our seasoned team, we have a fresh and talented new palate to help guide the Swanson wines to the next level. Marco Capelli continues to make the Swanson Vineyards dessert wines including Angelica, Crepescule and Tardif.

Vineyard Notes

Swanson Vineyards’ alluvial soils are part of geologic history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley where frequent flooding of the Napa River over the millennia laid down clay loam sediment. It is here in the heart of Oakville that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.

Sustainable Farming Practices

Certified as sustainably farmed by Fish Friendly Farming, Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities to the soil and vineyard management. The vines are nurtured by the use of spacing, and trellis systems all selected to parallel the capabilities of the soil. Our mission is to ensure that the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.

Offer Expired:Oct 04, 2012 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price
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