2003 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Ash Creek Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
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Mission Codename: A First Place Finish!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Adobe Road Winery, where wine producer and Porsche racing legend Kevin Buckler makes wines that are legendary
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2003 Cabernet Sauvingon
Winemaker: Franc Dusak
Last month The Wine Spies featured another great Adobe Road wine. We loved their wines so much that we sent Agent Red back to secure another allotment of wine. This time he returns with their 2003 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – and declares it an absolute winner!
Beneath his tasting profile for this wine, read Agent Red’s original mission report, where he has his first encounter with Adobe Road wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Exceptional Wine Alert! Today’s exceptional wine exceeds our already high standards
Look – Deep garnet with a deep dark black-cherry heart, a tight surface and thin, tightly-space legs that slowly make their way down the glass
Smell – Rich, dusky, elegant and deeply aromatic dark fruits of plum, black cherry, big black currant and oak plus mild earth, licorice, leather and subtle cigar box
Feel – This wine feels beautifully balanced. It is wet up-front and light weight, then its beautifully structured tannins take hold at the front of the mouth
Taste – Sophisticated and beautifully balanced with layers of perfect fruit, earth and mild herbs. As you peel away the layers, flavors of dark cherry, plum and currant are followed by earth, toasty oak and mild leather and tobacco
Finish – Luscious, layered, long, lively, lingering and lovely
Conclusion – An incredible Cabernet Sauvignon in the classic California style!! It’s no surprise that this wine is so good. As with his racing career, Kevin strives for perfection in his wines. He seems to achieve greatness in both, as witnessed by his team’s recent success at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Congratulations, Kevin, on your strong showing at Daytona, and, on this tremendous wine!
(republished from Agent Red’s first encounter with Adobe Road Wines)
I love my missions to France. The wine, the climate and the food all seem to agree with me.
On a recent mission to the French village of Anjou in the Loire Valley (the region in France best known for Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc wines), I was tipped off by a local asset that winery owner and racing legend Kevin Buckler was staying in a hotel neighboring my own.
He was in France for his annual appearance at the world famous auto race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kevin and his team drive the incredible Porsche GT3. Kevin is a world-class driver, and he and his team have racked up wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002.
Kevin’s winery, Adobe Road, had been under light surveillance for a few months already and Central Command was preparing to send an Agent to investigate – but I got my own once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Kevin in his racing element, and Central Command approved my impromptu mission and I extended my stay in France.
I am enough of a Porsche fan to have my own sights set on a 2008 Cayman S. Since I had the brochure with me on my travels I used it as a prop, taking it with me to the hotel restaurant where Kevin and his team were having dinner. Having made friends with the Maître ’D earlier (I buttered him up with a bottle of Patrick Bodouin Anjou Villages Cabernet Franc ), I was seated next to their table.
I sat down and positioned the Cayman brochure so that it would be seen by Kevin or his crew. Then I ordered a bottle of great wine and waited. They took the bait and one of the guys at the table leaned over and said to me, “Hey, Buddy. That’s a nice car, but why not spring for a real Porsche and get a GT3?”
Now, I knew that the monster GT3 was their car, but I replied, “I leave that car to the professionals. It’s better suited to the racetrack, if you ask me.”
That opened up a great conversation about Porsches and about wine that went late into the night. Kevin waxed poetic about both and I enjoyed his passion on these two great subjects. As the evening was ending, Kevin’s crew chief invited me to visit pit row for a brief tour of their on-track operations. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed every second of it. At the end of the tour, I asked if I could ride along during a check-ride… and was nearly laughed off the track.
Once the crew chief wiped the tears from his eyes, he became very serious. He quickly escorted me away from the pit row, handed me a few bottles of Adobe Road wine, and pushed me toward the security exit. Oh, well. At least I tried. And, at least I walked away with an arm full of Kevin’s excellent wine.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of today’s vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
The location the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the Daytona Speedway can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
A Classic cabernet expression; the color is a deep ruby, the nose has beautiful cassis and cherry notes with just hints of vanilla. This wine is bursting with chocolate and berry flavors yet the mouth feel is velvety and supple. This is wine jam packed with flavor. Subtle oak flavors round out the wine, creating balance and depth. Cellar this wine or drink it now, either way you can’t lose.
Founded by Kevin Buckler, a professional Porsche race team owner and driver, Adobe Road Winery is the culmination of years of dreams and hard work. Applying the discipline and passion that won him the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona races, Kevin handcrafts his wine from select vineyards in Sonoma County, using the same careful preparation and preeminent resources that has made him a success in the racing world.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Barrel Aging: 30 months in 40% new French and American oak
Release: January 2008
Bottled: December 27, 2006
Production: 250 cases
Analysis: Alcohol 14.5%