2008 Seps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
The Rest of the Story
We are very excited, today, Dear Operative! Today, we welcome back one of our very favorite Cabernet producers, Storybook Mountain. Their Seps Estate wines are extraordinary, award-winning gems that we prize very highly. The wine press also adores Seps and Storybook wines, vaulting both to the top their Best of and Top 100 lists. Most of their wines earning scores in the 90s, making them highly sought-after.
Today’s 2008 Seps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is another in a exceptional continuum of great Cabernet Sauvignon from this coveted producer. VERY highly recommended, we suggest that you stock up on this terrific wine. Reminiscent of Bordeaux, this wine is earthy, plush and fruit-forward. Soft tannins and a blalnced, bright acidity lend this wine to a wine range of food pairings.
While still youthful, this ready to drink wine is also very age-worthy. Firm and structured, this wine should really hit its stride in the next few years.
Dr. Seps really understands Cabernet and his years of experience really show in this exceptional wine.
Pair this delightfully food-friendly with an oven-roasted herbed chicken, bacon-wrapped pork loin or green peppercorn and butter flank steak.
Dark ruby red with a dark core that gradually lightens at the glinting. Tall, skinny, wine-stained, widely-space legs fall slowly from high on the glass wall.
Leads with floral aromas of violet and dark iris. Dense and concentrated fruit follows on, with black cherry, cassis, and boysenberry. After a good swirl savory and complex notes of black tea, leather, and dark toasted cedar emerge.
Chewy and concentrated with black fruit, currants, black plum, ripe blackberry and boysenberry. As the wine opens, a dried earth component mixes with raspberry, savory herbs du provence, subtle leather, dried fall leaves, and red tobacco leaf.
Chewy and lengthy with well-integrated tannins. Flavors take a very long time to fade. In particular, plum, leather and herbs linger for a long time.
What the Winery Says
The same structure, finesse, and purity of fruit that have long characterized Storybook Mountain Zinfandels are evident in Seps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. These qualities reflect the estate vineyard’s relatively cool climate, its clay-loam soils, and its easterly and northerly exposures. The style of the wines also reflects Jerry Seps’ preference for wines of moderate alcohol, intense, focused fruit and exemplary balance.
Appellation: Napa Valley
About the Winery
Storybook Mountain has established a world-wide reputation for the consistently high quality of its wines. The Zinfandel tradition began at Storybook Mountain in the early 1880s when its red clay-loam hillsides in the Mayacamas Range were first planted to this varietal. Here, an ideal match of terroir and grape allows Zinfandel to show its true potential. Legend has it that all Storybook Zinfandels have happy endings.
Storybook Mountain’s sought-after estate wines are carefully hand-crafted from choice grapes grown in the certified organic estate vineyards surrounding the winery. They are aged at least 12 months in the best French, Hungarian and American oak barrels inside century-old caves dug deep into the mineral-rich volcanic rock underlying the hand-tended vineyard.
Winemaker Dr. J. Bernard Seps
Jerry and his wife Sigrid bought 90 acres of land surrounding a ghost winery that had been built in 1883, falling in love with the wild and abandoned landscape. They created their own winery and planted Zinfandel, the ideal match to their vineyard’s terroir. Their wines are famed for intensity and longevity. Raspberries, black cherries and spice are the essence of their complex, well balanced and elegant wines. Their 1984 Reserve became one of the highest rated Zinfandels in history.
Wine critic Robert Parker has described our Storybook Mountain estate as “One of the steepest, most picturesque vineyards in California.” Located at the top of Napa Valley four miles north of Calistoga and just a quarter-mile from the Sonoma County border, our estate vineyard reaches elevations approaching 2,000 feet on an eastern slope of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, creating an ideal eastern exposure characterizing many of the world’s most acclaimed vineyards.
The vineyard is divided into over 100 separate micro-blocks based on grape variety, sun exposure, rootstock and clone. Open to the morning sun, the vines easily ripen their fruit, yet their oblique angle to the hot afternoon sun tempers the heat spikes and heat accumulation that can bake grapes, leading to overripe flavors. Furthermore, the Russian River to the west funnels cooling afternoon breezes to our vineyard, resulting in temperatures often ten degrees cooler than in the valley below.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Rainfall patterns in our northernmost section of Napa Valley contribute to our estate vineyard’s singularity. During spring, the area north of Calistoga is among the rainiest in Napa County, often receiving twice as much precipitation as the cool-climate Carneros district in the southern end of the valley.
This amount of moisture – given our vineyard’s relative coolness and clay soils – means that most of our mature vines do not require irrigation, a blessing especially during drought years. Water conservation, however, is just one element of our commitment to sustainable farming. We are a Certified Organic vineyard and thus refrain from the use of insecticides, pesticides and commercial yeasts, instead using environmentally friendly farming techniques reflecting our determination to be responsible stewards of the land.