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
Freemark Abbey, one of the oldest in Napa Valley, was founded in 1898. A more than a century-old winery. A wine library that’s the envy of the Valley. A history like no other, including a spot center-stage at the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris.
It’s one thing to be a Napa winery.
It’s quite another to be a Napa legend.
Winemaker Ted Edwards
Freemark Abbey has been fortunate to have Ted Edwards, Napa’s longest tenured winemaker, 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.
Ted attended the University of California at Davis where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and then a Masters in Food, Science and Engineering. In 1980, Ted began his winemaking career in the cellar at Freemark Abbey, but after two harvests, took a position at Rutherford Hill as associate winemaker, a post he held for three years.
In 1985 he returned to Freemark Abbey Winery, in the capacity of winemaker, where he has been managing the grape growing and winemaking ever since. In 1992, the pioneering partnership of Freemark Abbey named Edwards as the new, eighth partner. It was in 1996 that the original founder and Managing Partner of Freemark Abbey winery, Chuck Carpy, passed away, and Ted took over his former boss and dear friend’s duties.
Edwards’ winemaking accomplishments include establishing the style of the single-vineyard Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, introducing a Merlot to the Freemark Abbey product line, as well as a Viognier, and bringing Petite Sirah back to the property.
While most noted for making claret style wines, he has captured the essence of Chardonnay each year and, in the right years, made the Beerenauslese style Riesling called Edelwein Gold. He has continued the thirty plus-year legacy of the vineyard-designated Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché, while raising the wine to new heights of critical acclaim.