2005 Sempre Vive Napa Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
We’ve come to expect great things from our friends at Romeo Vineyards, whose Sempre Vive wines have delighted our Operatives these last few years, but today’s wine goes above and beyond.
Today’s Sempre Vive 2005 Napa Valley Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon is something of an aberration. A delicious, bold, delightful and very highly recommended aberration. You see, unlike Zinfandel vines, Cabernet Sauvignon vines tend to have a shorter lifespan and are commonly replanted after they stop producing large yields of grapes. Bigger per-acre yields mean more revenue for wineries. Three cheers to Sempre Vive for going for structure and elegance. This wine is smooth, but it still packs a lovely Napa Cab punch!
Our tasting panel just loved this wine and we offer it to you with great glee - and some urgency. At today’s low price, this wine may not last the day…
Dark and rich, with perfect clarity through the darker red heart of the wine.
Dark and bold with aromas that leap from the glass, led by blackberry, braised plum, blueberry and black cherry. These are closely followed by sweet tobacco, dried fall leaves, sweet spice and a hint of black pepper.
Bold and hearty on opening, this wine softens as it breathes. Flavors include rich mixed berry, black cherry, grilled fig, tobacco, spice, and dusty bramble.
Big, bold, long and chewy, with flavors that go on forever. The longer this wine is decanted before you enjoy it, the longer the finish will go - so be sure to decant for best results.
Enjoy this wine with a variety of bold dishes. We’ll be having our bottles with lamb chops with small potatoes and fresh rosemary.
What the Winery Says
The nose has nicely evolved aromas of plum and cedar with deeper black cherry notes. The palate has a restrained entry of rich push plum mid-palate, finishing with explosions of cherry jam and serious oak.
Our more than quarter-century old vines lie in the Napa Valley, south of 9 acres of reservoirs sandwiched between two forested knolls. These geographic conditions led to hot days, cool nights and an extremely long hang-time in our Calistoga Vineyard.
This allows our grapes to develop full flavors, deep color, and intense complexity. Our thick, gnarled old vines produce from their hearts. The vines live on in our wine… bud to flower to berry to wine… Sempre Vive!
- Alison Green Doran
- 94 Points - Master Somm Catherine Fallis
- Napa Valley
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
About the Winery
The small Romeo family vineyard in Calistoga has some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the Napa Valley It was purchased in 1996 by Frank and Eugenia ‘Gena’ Romeo. Motivated by a desire to create and live a lifestyle that represented the Romeo family’s entrepreneurial spirit, they began their journey to craft a legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Frank and Eugenia Romeo are deeply committed to protecting and preserving the natural state of their vineyard.
As a result, the artisan wines produced from the old vines, dating back to early seventies, reflect the unique and inspiring way in which the Romeo family lives – Sempre Vive!
Winemaker Alison Green Doran
Alison Green Doran was drawn into winemaking in 1973. Her father, Oil man and long time Alexander Valley vineyard owner, Russell Green, had bought the Simi Winery in 1969, and brought in Mary Ann Graff, the first woman winemaker anywhere to be hired from outside a family, as well as Andre Tchelistcheff, who had been the winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyards for 35 years, as consultants soon after. By working as a harvest intern beside Andre and Mary Ann for 6 months at Simi in 1973, Alison found both her life’s work and her mentors.
Andre found her a 5 month “cellar rat” position in Alsace for the crush of 1975, and then an enologist position with a start-up winery in Paso Robles. After finishing her Fermentation Science degree at UC Davis, she began working for the Firestone Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1976. Starting as lab technician, she worked her way to bottling supervisor and then to cellar master, and finally in 1981, to winemaker. The fourth woman winemaker ever.
The Firestone Winery created many award winning wines during her tenure and Alison became well acquainted with how to extract maximum potential for wine quality from a vineyard site. Now a winemaking consultant with many clients in Napa, she has also started her own family label; Hoot Owl Creek Vineyards.
Romeo Vineyards produces elegant and enduring wines from forty-two year old vines, which reside south of a nine acre reservoir in Calistoga, California. Our vines lie sandwiched between two forested knolls, leading to the geographical conditions that create hot days and cool nights and an extremely long hang time in our Calistoga vineyard. This allows our grapes to develop full flavors, deep color and intense complexity.
Our thick, gnarled old vines produce from their hearts.