2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Battuello Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
Fireproof. Weatherproof. Divine.
Have you ever noticed how we sometimes only showcase a winery one time, but some we show again and again? When we repeat a brand, you can be assured that we love the winery - and its wines.
Year after year, Topel Winery has thrilled us with its beautifully-crafted wines. Today’s spectacular Topel 2008 Batuello Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon marks the eleventh time that we’ve showcased a Topel wine.
The 2008 vintage was a very difficult one for many Napa Valley wineries as the vintage was tainted by smoke from nearby wildfires. The Battuello vines, which sat high atop the Napa Valley, were well out of reach and therefore spared. The weather also played cruel tricks on the vintage but, again, Battuello escaped. The resulting fruit was extraordinary. So, too, was the wine that was made from the fruit of the gnarled old vines of the vineyard.
This single vineyard delight exudes a plethora of bold, dark fruits that balance atop a pyramid of more subtle tobacco, eucalyptus and cedar. This delicious wine is very highly recommended.
Enjoy now, but cellar a few bottles to enjoy over the next several years.
Brilliant ruby red with fine pink edges that glint in the light.
Sweet and spice jump from the glass. Dusty plum, braised cherry, braised mission fig and dark raspberry meld with sweet spice, sweet cedar, leather and sweet tobacco leaf.
Concentrated and dark with black cherry juice, boysenberry, tobacco, braised fig, smoky cedar with very subtle camphor and eucalyptus.
Delicious and long-lingering with pronounced black fruit that slowly gives way to sweet brown spice as a subtle dryness encroaches. At the tail end, a very subtle black pepper adds a lovely punctuation.
A perfectly grilled New York steak with pink peppercorns would be a true delight!
What the Winery Says
2008 Topel Cabernet Sauvignon, Battuello Vineyard
- Tasting Notes
- When we’re older and wiser, many of us look back at the trials and tribulations of our children in their youth and we are amazed that they turned out so well as adults. The same could be said about wines from the 2008 growing season.
Early in the year, drought preceded a hard frost, which led to uneven set. This resulted in a much smaller crop than normal — overall down six percent from 2007. Summer temperatures were fairly even, but because of the lack of water in the spring, wildfires erupted throughout the North Bay. Luckily, the Battuello Vineyard (a plot of gnarly vines in Napa Valley) was spared from exposure to the resulting smoke, so the grapes were not tainted. Once the fires were out and harvest began, we were hit with heat spikes. Eventually everything settled down, the rest of harvest went smoothly and despite the challenges, the fruit was fantastic.
This wine is one of great character with excellent cellaring potential. While the fruit is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, we smoothed its rough edges by adding a small amount of Merlot and Petit Verdot from our Estate mountainside vineyard on Duncan Peak in Mendocino County, just as we did last year. We believe this wine is more than a worthy successor to the 2007 vintage, which won gold medals in major competitions.
The color is deep ruby and the bouquet is classic Cabernet Sauvignon, with notes of chocolate and leather. The flavors are well rounded, dominated by red raspberries and darker fruits. The finish is long and smooth. We serve it with prime rib and other roasted meats. Did someone say rack of lamb?
- Wine Type
- Red Wine
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Varietal Composition
- 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot
- Alcohol %
About the Winery
The Goal of Topel Winery is Simple…to make absolutely the best wine that can be made from these grapes in this spot at this time, and to do it honestly. We literally capture a piece of time so that when we open a bottle, no matter when, it brings back the whole year. Every vintage is like a new child.
All Topel wines are lovingly handcrafted by Mark and Donnis, who employ minimalist techniques to transform simple grapes into world-class wines that are robust, yet balanced and elegant — soulful wines that perfectly reflect the soil and climate of their origin.
At Topel Winery, the art of making wine begins within 15 minutes after the grapes are harvested, with a “field crush” right in the vineyard. The grapes are then transported immediately to the winery to begin their transformation into wine. Topel Winery uses the highest quality fruit from our estate vineyards and from selected sites that grow grapes to our stringent standards, for making our different varietals.
Winemaker Mark Topel
Mark is the hands-on owner and winemaker of Topel Mountain Estate Winery, a “second career” that, to his delight, is consuming more of his time as years pass. While Mark was a connoisseur of wine for many years and spent a significant amount of time with some of California’s most prominent winemakers and growers, who became friends, mentors and supporters. Absorbing what he could from their extensive knowledge — and by auditing winemaking classes at the University of California-Davis — Mark became highly skilled in crafting wine.
A traditionalist by nature, Mark’s love of history led him to approach grape growing and winemaking from an intellectual perspective. He and Donnis planted the vineyards using tried and true techniques established by the Romans and the French — both of whom cherish hillside fruit — and adapted many traditional methods that have produced some of the world’s greatest wines for centuries.