California: Oakville (Napa)
The Tuscan Son
Today’s offering is another stunning wine from the 96-point (Robert Parker) 2007 vintage!
By now you know just how much we adore Swanson Vineyards. While you are probably used to their finer Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offerings, you may not be as familiar with their stunning Sangiovese.
Built for finer food pairings, this wine is also a delightful solo-sipper. Shy, at first, this wine really springs to life with some hearty swirling, revealing deep and very authentic fruit flavors and deep aromatics.
On the palate, the wine is plush and full. Bright acids support the fruit, driving flavors to the far corners of the mouth.
Serve with a grilled and garlic rubbed steak or classic Italian fare. We recommend a hearty ragu, dried meats or a double meat lasagne.
Deep and dark garnet hues with a very concentrated core. At the very edge of the glass, a ring of pink makes a fine circle around the wine. After swirling the wine, tall and skinny legs fall from high on the glass.
Sweet and bright with the aromatic aromas of cherry cordial, wild sage, and dark chocolate liquor. These are followed by soft bakers chocolate, blackberry, black cherry, dried cranberry, dried cherry, sweet tobacco, and a subtle hint of cedar.
Flavors concentrate at the mid and rear palate, with youthful black cherry, dried cranberry, plum skin and underripe blackberry mixed with subtle smoky star anise.
Moderate to long in length with powdery fine tannins and bright fruit persisting longer at the rear palate. After a few moments, the wine becomes gradually drying, leading to a chalky overall feel.
What the Winery Says
2007 GROWING SEASON
In some ways, 2007 was a year of extremes: sub-freezing temperatures in January, and only 60% of normal rainfall. A warm spring led to early budbreak, bloom and set. Crop levels were lower than average, so more time was spent fine-tuning canopy management than thinning the crop. A cool summer returned the march toward harvest to a more normal pace. Both clusters and berries were smaller than usual, leading to a significant degree of concentration in 2007 red wines across the board. Our Sangiovese was harvested in the cool morning hours in early September.
Fruit for this wine, were sourced exclusively from the historic Schmidt Ranch in Oakville, located along the central corridor of Napa Valley. The alluvial soils in this block of Sangiovese are well-suited to the production of a small crop of intense, balanced fruit.
Harvest date: September 7, 2007
Aging: 20 months in French Oak barrels
Blink and you are in Tuscany. Concentrated dried cherries and ethereal fruit on the nose, followed by a lively, equally fruity expression on the palate. Smooth, silky tannins, with no overbearing oak to detract from the purity of this Sangiovese. The balance and harmony of this wine will allow it to age gracefully for at least 6 or 7 years on the bottle.
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.