What We Say 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate.
Wine Club Exclusive
Today’s wine is a very limited production (only 225 cases) and is only available to Rosenthal Wine Club members. For today only, our inside operatives at Rosenthal are making a very limited quantity of this outstanding wine available to our operatives. Be sure to place your order early before we run out.
Mission Codename: Newton Canyon Redux
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Determine if the 2003 vintage of the Cabernet Sauvignon stacks up to the 2001
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate
Wine Subject: 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Christian Roguenant
Cabernet Sauvignon, long the favorite varietal from Napa Valley and certainly among the most noble grapes. But did you know that the unique climate of Newton Canyon in the foothills of northern Malibu also provide the idea conditions to grow Cabernet Sauvignon? Network Canyon is a single vineyard AVA on the south-facing slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains and was formally designated in 1996.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Medium dark and deep ruby-red with brick edges, nice clarity and solid legs when swirled.
Smell – Medium intensity ripe black fruit including blackberries and cherries, medium oak, a nice floral quality and a nice earth quality.
Feel – Initially smooth then grippy with medium tannins, medium to full-bodied with solid flavor intensity.
Taste – Great soft and layered flavors of black and red fruit balanced against oak and pungent spices of black pepper and a minerality of earth indicative of its terroir.
Finish – Long and smooth, solid lingering finish that leaves you with hints of its composite flavors.
Conclusion – This is an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon that is ready to drink now. Even those who may not enjoy Cabs will enjoy this softer expression of the style. Ready to drink now, this Cab will be a crowd pleaser as well as having the required characteristics that will satisfy even the most discerning aficionados of Cabernet Sauvignon.
February in Southern California, does it get any better? The last couple days remind us of why I love running to SoCal operations center – it might as well be Summer, but without the crowds…
Having wrapped up our recent intel projects on some great Italian wines (that we will be featuring at our top secret tasting event), I had some free time. I decided to take a trip up the coast. Along the way, it occurred to me that I should check in with one of our inside agents at Rosenthal to see how their progress of the 2004 Cabernet is coming.
It was strange, I hadn’t heard much about the 2003 vintage – no doubt it was a tough year, but we had no reports from the field. Upon arriving at the prescribed meet point, Agent Blanc (don’t blow her cover, but you may know her if you’re a member of the wine club) handed me bottle of their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. I was shocked, I had heard of the existence of this wine, but never seen it. Only a very few had…
“I can make some of this available,” Agent Blanc said, “but tell no-one.” Trying to hide my excitement and thinking to myself “another Wine Spies exclusive”, Agent Blanc continued “this wine is only available to our club and in the tasting room, production was extremely small, but I know you’ll love the wine.”
Love the wine we did; we love all the wines from Rosenthal that are expertly crafted by winemaker Christian Roguenant and this one is exceptional. Once you try this wine, we know you’ll agree.
It’s nice to be a Wine Spy!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate
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About This Wine:
Exhibits deep color, with aromas of rose petal and cedar. Voluptuous flavors of cassis, dark cherry, black raspberry, plumb, and exotic spices on the long, fleshy finish. Our richest and most extracted Cab to date.
The 2003 harvest season started with a very cool and overcast spring, resulting a very light berry set (12% of normal). A warm summer allowed concentration of fruit flavors, and added to the deep color, complexity, and balance. Cool nights kept the acids in perfect balance with the fruit character. An outstanding but very limited release, with best grapes going into this one wine.
About Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate:
Fine wine from Malibu? Southern California’s Malibu, home to movie stars and Bay Watch?
Yes, these wines are from grapes grown in Malibu not on the famous beach, but in a scenic valley four miles from the coast, 1,400-feet up, above the coastal fog, in the AVA Malibu Newton Canyon.
George Rosenthal, owner of movie studios, hotels, and other enterprises, first planted vineyards at his 250 acre estate in 1987, after spending two years checking soil and weather to make sure he planted the correct varietals in the correct locations.
25 acres of hillside vines are planted in this unique microclimate, where cool breezes filter into Newton Canyon in the evening, tempering warm, sunny days. Even with this boutique size, individual plots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc are separately vinified and barrel-aged before blending.
Winemaker Christian Roguenant strives to bring out the unique terroir of the site. The reds are unfiltered and unfined, and the Chardonnay does not go through ML. All the grapes come from the estate vineyards.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay can be enjoyed in some of LA’s toniest restaurants, and some of Hollywood’s top stars have sipped the wines at the estate.
You may not be able to wrangle an invitation to the vineyard (then again, you might), but you can now enjoy these wines at your own – estate”.
Brix at Harvest: 25.9
Total Acidity: .66
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, All estate grown
Oak: Seguin Moreau château barrels — 40% new, 60% one-year
Allier and Tronçais, medium toast, 21 months
AVA: Malibu – Newton Canyon
Case Production: 225