Freemark Abbey Winery
2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
The Bentley of Napa Cabs
Today’s outstanding Freemark Abbey Winery 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon proves one delicious point: not all Napa Cabernets are created equal.
Today’s wine is everything we’ve come to love and expect from Freemark Abbey, with the delicate nuanced flavor elements that you often find in high-end Napa Cabs. In fact, one member of our tasting panel described today’s wine as the Bentley of Napa Cabernets, in that it’s entirely comfortable in its elegance, without the need to be anything more.
Winemaker Ted Edwards has been crafting Napa Cabs for Freemark for nearly 30 years, and that expertise shines through in today’s vintage. In what was an otherwise tough growing year, Ted managed to craft an outstanding Cab that, we believe, stands up to his 92+ Rated (Parker) 2010 Vintage.
You’ll only find today’s vintage here - Agent Red scored an exclusive deal - so please enjoy with our boldest recommendation.
Deep, deep crimson, with slight flecks of ruby, in the heart of the glass. A slight kiss of lighter red forms as the wine transitions to the edge of the glass.
Deeply layered aromas leap from the glass, with lush dark, black fruit notes of dark plum, dark cherry, and blackberry abutting earth and spice notes of toasty oak, warm spice box, sandalwood, rhubarb, clove, and a touch of fresh arugula.
An impressive flavor profile, with juicy fruit, spice, and earth in perfect unison. Black cherry, boysenberry, and a touch of blueberry (from the Merlot) are delicately laid overtop cedar wood cigar box, dark mocha powder, super dark chocolate, clove, black peppercorn, and an echo of river rock minerality.
Rich, opulent, and beautifully soft on the finish, with grippy, well integrated tannins and dark fruit flavors that linger and linger. A lovely touch of acidity shines through from the high-elevation fruit.
A slight variation on the classic Beef Bourguignon - we used short ribs and couldn’t have been happier.
What the Winery Says
The 2011 cabernet has an opaque, youthful dark ruby color. The aromas of dark cherry, ripe Santa Rosa plum and black currant are integrated with the spicy sweetness of oak, cedar, cinnamon, and clove. With the subtle sweet aroma of dried figs, black pepper, dried herbs and dark chocolate, this wine has an abundance of complex aromas and flavors. The body is very full with a soft entry, coupled with bright dark cherry/berry flavors that develop from start to finish. With great texture and mouth feel, this cabernet is full bodied, rich and opulent. In one word….delicious.
While this version is completely unreleased, here are some reviews from the previous vintage:
92 Point Review - Wine Enthusiast (Previous Vintage) This is a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. It epitomizes the Napa quality of power married to finesse. Winemaker Ted Edwards deserves kudos for producing a high-production Cabernet (34,000 cases) this good, from a difficult vintage. It’s dry and balanced, with rich, complex blackberry, sage and sweet oak flavors. Drink now–2017.
91+ Point Review - Wine Advocate (Previous Vintage) …sweet black currant, oak, forest floor…Full-bodied with terriﬁc ripeness and richness.
- Ted Edwards
- Napa Valley
- Vineyard Sources
- Martini, Lower Cardinale Vineyard, Veeder Peak, Popcorn, Bosche Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 76.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18.8% Merlot, 2.7% Cabernet Franc, 1.3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
- 22 months in 40% new French oak
About the Winery
In the 1960s, Freemark Abbey Winemaker Brad Webb, (subsequently known for his time at Hanzell) pioneered a number of methods that have since become California winemaking standards. Case in point, his use of non-malolactic fermentation for Chardonnay is still used at Freemark Abbey today. In the 1970s, Jerry Luper (of Château Montelena and Diamond Creek fame) worked his magic on the red wines, cementing Freemark Abbey’s position as a world-class Cabernet house.
Freemark Abbey has been fortunate to have Ted Edwards as winemaker since 1985. His creative approach combined with the sheer length of experience with the vineyards of Napa Valley – the Rutherford Bench in particular – makes him one of the region’s leading winemakers, most notably for his Cabernet Sauvignon.