Fritz Underground Winery
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
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 Fritz Winery.
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
We always feature great wines, but today’s wine is an absolutely incredible Cabernet Sauvignon. Grab some, Operative, before we run out…
Shipping Included on 6 bottles or more. Enter this coupon code at checkout (discount will be shown before you complete your order): CABSPY
Mission Codename: Dramatic Elegance
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Fritz Winery – this time to retrieve their fabled 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Fritz Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Christina Pällmann
Backgrounder: When The Wine Spies first infiltrated, we were blown away by the quality of their wines. The Fritz Zinfandel that we sold recently was one of the most popular wines we have sold. Today, Agent Red returns to Fritz – and returns with a few Spy Van loads of their exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A deeply concentrated burgundy color which maintains its depth of color right out to the edges. On swirling, this wine looks deep and inky, with a tight surface and ultra wide-spaced legs that crawl down the inside of the glass. On opening, the cork is loaded with crystals, telling us this this is an unfiltered
Smell – Very aromatic with deep fruit of jammy blackberry, blueberry and raspberry with red currant, pomegranate and hints of mocha, cedar and oak
Feel – Cool and light at first, then mouth-coating and big with great medium tannins
Taste – Dusky and fruity layered flavors of mixed berry, dark plum, dark acerola cherry and mildest spice and oak
Finish – Begins sweet and fruity, then is followed by a soft tartness and flavors that tail off slowly as a supple dryness gradually takes over
Conclusion – There is a special something about Fritz wines. As their loyal fans will attest, Fritz makes wine for real wine drinkers. That’s not to say that their wines are not approachable. On the contrary, the Fritz wines that we have had the pleasure to imbibe have been universally affable and a real pleasure to drink. Today’s wine is no different; This is a big and delicious wine to be sure, but not one that will over-power with massive flavors, harsh tannins or complexity. We wine Spies are huge fans of Fritz wines and if you have not tasted their artisan-crafted wines, you are missing out on some amazing wines.
Sometimes we get a flurry of intel on a single wine from our Operatives, informants and other assets in the field. These reports flood in when there is a buzz building about a wine. In the case of today’s remarkable wine from Fritz Underground Winery, there was an avalanche of inbound reports about today’s wine, their wonderful 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lucky for us, we already had a mole inside the winery and I was able to quickly procure a small allotment for our Operatives today.
All wines from Fritz are striking, and unique. Each of them have impressed us with their elegance, their drinkability, their balance and their deliciousness. Today we are very happy to bring you this wonderfully tasty Cab, with its rich floral-fruit notes, its layered flavors and killer mouth-feel. Drinking this wine drives home a powerful reminder that Sonoma County producers like Fritz are delivering masterful wines for less than their more expensive Napa counterparts, sometimes beating them soundly.
Today’s wine is a sure win for you, dear Operative. Enjoy a bottle or two now, and hold a few in your Top Secret wine cellar. This ready-to-enjoy-now wine will continue to improve with a little age.
_For those Operatives that missed our first mission to Fritz Underground winery, here is a retransmission of our mission report:
“Do you smell BBQ?”, I asked.
“Shhhh. I’m calculating soil density. If I’m off by just a little, our tunnel could cave in on us!”
My companion on this particular mission, codename: The Mole, is an Asset I have worked with before. Usually, he’s reliable and calm. A model asset indeed. Today, however, I’m afraid he’s gone off the deep end.
As I raised my binoculars to my eyes, I said, “Honestly, Mole, I don’t think it’s necessary to tunnel into the Fritz wine cave. I know these people, they’re happy to share their wines with us. Besides, they’re expecting us for lunch. Do you smell that? Definitely BBQ.”
The distance meter in my wine-oculars (clever name, _right?) read, ‘500 meters’. At this distance, the mound that marks the entrance to the subterranean wine cave is clearly visible. Further scanning reveals the object of my immediate desire, Fritz Winery’s fabled outdoor Barbecue. Fritz’ invitation to lunch and Zinfandel was something I had been looking forward to all week.
In his nasal voice, The Mole asks, “But, Red. Er, I mean Mr. Agent… SIR!”
“Its okay to call me ‘Red’, honest,” I reassured him for the umpteenth time.
“But Sir Red, I already requisitioned the drilling rig, and hybrid dump trucks,” he said.
As patiently as I could, I explained that we were invited by Fritz Winery and that his reinforced system of tunnels would not be necessary.
He started to protest, but was interrupted by a low growl. He froze. I grinned.
“It’s my stomach,” I said. “Don’t you smell that? Let’s go!”
He harrumphed annoyingly but followed along. This was supposed to me a reward for The Mole, for ‘job well done’ on previous missions. If it were not for The Mole’s resourcefulnesses and dedication to our tradecraft, I would have left him behind, leaving more food for me.
We arrived at the winery, just in time for lunch, beginning with their amazing Estate grown Reserve Zinfandel. the food was excellent, the wine was better, and the people here at the winery are warm very sincere about producing exceptional wines – in small quantities.
The Fritz approach to making wine is one that I have deep respect for; their dedication to winemaking as a form of artistic expression shows in their wines and in this beautiful winery.
Thank you, Fritz Winery! The Wine Spies are now lifetime fans.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Fritz Winry Estate Vineyards, where today’s Cabernet Sauvignon was born and crafted, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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About This Wine:
The newest addition to our line up is deep black purple in color. The nose exhibits floral notes and dusty chocolate/coffee. Rich black fruit, blackberry, cassis, coffee and cocoa on the palate lead to firm but elegant tannins. This vintage is lightly blended with Malbec off of our estate vineyards.
About The Winery:
Pretend that you are far away in the Northern California wine country tucked away in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. High upon a hill nestled into the side of a hill is our subterranean winery. Jay and Barbara Fritz purchased this pristine property in 1970. After spending get away weekends from San Francisco at this rich Sonoma property for many years, the Fritz family decided to build a winery in 1979.
Today our credo is to approach winemaking as an art form. Art, in its truest sense, inspires a shift in consciousness. Our mission is to create wines of genuine artistry, capable of transforming the way we think about the potential of Sonoma County’s premier appellations.
The new generation of Fritz wines began with a commitment to unequivocal quality. Since 1996, changes at Fritz Winery have been swift and dramatic: Volume has been slashed by two-thirds to only 12,000 cases per vintage. New winemaking equipment is both esoteric and state-of-the-art. An underground cave ages all red wines. The vast majority of wines are vinified on native yeast. All white wines are currently single-vineyard designates, with red wines now in barrel soon to follow suit.
The result? Cognoscenti now rank Fritz wines among California’s top tier producers. Our limited edition wines now command a following among serious collectors. One hundred per cent of Fritz wines are sold on allocation. And the best is yet to come.
Keep in mind that our vineyards are our greatest asset. Like the most celebrated wines of France, our limited edition single-vineyard wines showcase the singular expression of each superb viticultural site.
From the perfect microclimate of the Dry Creek Valley, we produce Sauvignon Blanc, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Since we have the best of both worlds, we also have property in the very cool growing region of the Russian River Valley where we produce world class single vineyard Chardonnays.