2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Andolsen Ridgetop
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
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 Thumbprint Cellars.
Mission Codename: Curse of the Red Thumb
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to Thumbprint Cellars to gather intel on their Andolsen Ridgetop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Thumbprint Cellars
Wine Subject: 2004 Andolsen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Scott Lindstrom-Dake
The Dry Creek Valley AVA in northeastern Sonoma (north of Healdsburg) county is somewhat warmer and wetter than the Russian River Valley AVA region just to the south and the Alexander Valley AVA just to the east. The warmer and wetter climate provides great versatility with regard to the types of grapes that can be effectively cultivated in the region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – This wine is dark purple, almost black in color with garnet edges and slow thick legs. It also has a slightly viscous quality.
Smell – Intense aromas of taste black fruit, pomegranate, green bell peppers, a slightly vegital scent of ‘tomato vines’ and exotic spices.
Feel – This wine is a big, kick-you-in-the-mouth Cabernet with solid tannic structure that softens slightly as it opens up.
Taste – Concentrated flavors of sweet blackberries, tart pomegranate and cherries layered with mocha and oak.
Finish – Long and strong. This is a bold wine.
Conclusion – If you are fan of huge Cabernets, then this wine is for you. Intense and concentrated, this wine drinks well now (recommend decanting), but will also age well. We love all of Thumbprints wines becuase they all show exceptional quality, balance and flavor, a true testament to Scott Lindstrom-Dake’s passion for exceptional wines.
It was a beautiful day in downtown Healdsburg, California and I was looking forward to my mission Thumbprint Cellars. Agent Red had been there before, but Central Command sent me in to investigate the mystery of the image of the Thumb print that can be found on every bottle of Thumbprint Cellars wine.
On this mission I had to go undercover and pose as a wine consumer. This is one of my favorite covers as I love to have the same experience that folks outside of ‘the trade’ have.
I walked into the Thumbprint tasting room where I was struck by the casual and comfortable nature of the place. That’s not to say that the tasting room lacked style or polish. This place was all class. Art on the walls, great lighting, great music and an overall atmosphere that made it feel more like a classy lounge than a traditional stuffy winery tasting room.
Almost immediately I was greeted by a smiling young woman behind the counter. She handed me tasting sheet and invited me to try anything on the list that looked interesting to me. I flashed my best tourist grin and shyly said that I was new to wine and needed a good introduction. For the next thirty minutes, as other customers came in (mostly to buy wine which was a great sign!), she gave me an education about wine, about Thumbprint Cellars and about their style of winemaking.
I was impressed by her knowledge, but I as more impressed with their wines. Almost everything I tasted that day was spectacular and I am recommending to Central Command that we offer up several Thumbprint wines to our Operatives in the field.
Toward the end of the tasting, a very jovial looking guy walked in and went around the counter – to face me directly. For a moment I thought that my cover may have been blown but then the guy smiled, shook my hand and asked me how I liked his wines. At that moment, I made a connection in my brain! I told him that I loved his wines – and then I lied and told him that I was a palm reader. Instantly he turned his hand palm-side up under a pool of light from the overhead halogen light.
After a moment of pretending to look at his palm it was revealed to me! The secret of the Thumb Print of each bottle of this follows wine could be found, of all places, on the winemakers thumb! The prints matched perfectly.
“So,” he said. “What does my future hold?”
“That’s easy,” I replied, “Many more great wines!”
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Dry Creek region can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Meet Scott Lindstrom-Dake, Winemaker at Thumbprint
About This Wine:
This hillside vineyard is sculpted above Dry Creek Valley & provides sustainably farmed grapes – no synthetic chemicals are used. Tantalizing aromas of nutmeg and dark cherry lead the way to the full flavors of this wine; cassis, allspice, blueberry, coffee and black cherry. A big Cabernet, this wine has fantastic tannin structure that drinks well now and stands up to your boldest creations in the kitchen. Buy a case and cellar for years of Cabernet pleasure!
Our thumbprints on each bottle represent the handcrafted quality of this artisan micro-winery. Dry Creek’s Western ridgeline offers a unique condition to grow intense mountain cabernet sauvignon. Sustainable grape grower Andy Andolsen helps create a maximum extraction wine by avoiding use of synthetic chemicals. Dark berry and rich spice aromas and flavors are arranged from 30 months of oak barrel aging. Layers of wild blackberry, plump blueberry, cocoa powder, balanced acidity, subtle oak and smooth tannins meld in this complex fruit forward wine. Pair with gourmet mushroom and sage ragout.
About the Winery:
Thumbprint Cellars’ winemaker, Scott Lindstrom-Dake, has been making wine since 1995. “I developed a palate for fine wine, but as a college student I couldn’t afford to buy it. My mom and step-dad have been growing premium wine grapes for years and the light bulb just kind of went on- I can make my own wine.” So it began, a hobby in college to supplement the ‘cellar’ of he and his wife.
The first vintage was a great success. The wines were enjoyed by friends and family alike (all 4 cases of it), and demand began to grow. As requests for more wine grew, Scott decided to move away from ‘shiners’ (unlabeled bottles), and add a little flair to his wine packaging. Using a gold pen, he would write personal messages on each bottle he gave away or sold. During one such episode, Scott inadvertently grabbed the bottle where the gold ink was still wet – leaving a large gold thumbprint. He loved the look, and so thumbprint cellars was born.
About The Winemaker:
Scott Lindstrom-Dake, has been making wine since 1995. He told me, “I developed a palate for fine wine, but as a college student I couldn’t afford to buy it. My mom and step-dad have been growing premium wine grapes for years and the light bulb just kind of went on- I can make my own wine.”
Scott’s first vintage was a great success and his wines enjoyed by his close friends and family (all 4 cases of it). As requests for more wine grew, Scott decided to move away from ‘shiners’ (unlabeled bottles), and add a little flair to his wine packaging. Using a gold pen, he wrote personal messages on each bottle he gave away or sold. After writing on one particular bottle, Scott inadvertently grabbed the bottle where the gold ink was still wet – leaving a large gold thumbprint. He loved the look, and so Thumbprint Cellars was born.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.9%
Bottled: unfiltered and unfined..
Prodcution: 200 cases crafted.