Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Lake County
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 even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Sol Rouge Vineyard and Winery.
Special Limited Allocation Notice:
Due to the extremely limited allocation of this wine, we are limited orders to a maximum of two cases per operative. Be sure to place your order early as we are sure to sell out!
Mission Codename: Mountain High
Operative: Agent White & Agent Blush
Objective: Acquire an allocation of the SUPER EXCLUSIVE New Sol Rouge Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Sol Rouge Vineyard and Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Bryan Kane
The 2006 Sol Rouge Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is made exclusively from mountain Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the northern part of the Mayacamas mountain range (in Lake County, just east of Mendocino and north of Sonoma which is exploding as wine growing region) home of several of California’s cult Cabernet Sauvignons like those of Peter Michael, Pride, Diamond Creek, and, of course, Mayacamas Vineyards.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple and almost black in color with inky clarity and garnet and purple highlighted edges. When swirled, this wine has slow moving and thick legs.
Smell – Bold, but balanced bouquet with aromas of blackberries, both tart and ripe cherries, toasted oak and spice. As this wine opens up a distinct herbaceous component of green peppers also emerges.
Feel – Dry, rich and smooth but with firm tannic structure that reaches the far corners of the palate with a spicy tingle that lingers on the tip of the tongue.
Taste – Concentrated black and red fruits lead off with layers of toasted oak, spicy black pepper and a hint of licorice.
Finish – This wine finishes long and lingers with balanced flavors of fruit, spice and oak.
Conclusion – Once again, Bryan Kane has produced an exceptional wine. This Cabernet is bold, but not overpowering and true to its varietal characteristics. Give this wine some time to breathe and you will be handsomely rewarded with an exceptional wine drinking experience. Try this wine with grilled beef or game meats.
Our flight plan listed our destination as 1O2 – Lampson Field Airport, at the south end of Lake County. We weren’t interested in landing, however. The purpose here was to do some low level reconnaissance of the vineyards at the north end of the Mayacamas mountain range.
Tree-top flying is at its best in the cool early mornings (hopefully not waking the neighbors as we blow the fruit right off the vine). The problem here was dropping out of radar contact from NorCal Approach, particularly since we were so close to the Maxwell Military Operation Area (MOA).
Starting at the highest point of the mountain, about 4760 feet MSL, we carefully followed the ridgelines working our way down. Blush, with chart in hand indicated the direction the vineyard of interest. As we approached our target, the terrain was between about 1800 and 2600 feet in elevation.
“Put her in a slip, I need to get a close-up look”.
Applying left rudder and right aileron, the plane banked about 20 degrees providing her with a great view…
“Can’t you fly any lower?,” she asked, “No, we’re already only 5-700 feet AGL”., I responded, keeping track of the terrain and the winds.
“Now I know, why Bryan’s wines are so good”, she said, “Look at that Mountain Terroir…, It’s perfect!”
As a matter of fact, the Mayacamas are known for austere, coarse and complex rocky volcanic soil. The climate is also ideal for growing great Cabernet Sauvignon. Longer, more balanced growing days with the morning sun and a lack of fog that usually blankets the valley floor and cool afternoon breezes moderate the hot afternoon sun. That combined with extremely low yields result in smaller berries and more balanced, complex and concentrated fruit.
* The Terroir and climate is why some of the most loved cult wines come from the Mayacamas.*
Let’s head back as she flashed me an evil grin…
“Too bad you’re flying White, I guess that means more wine for me!”
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Sol Rouge Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
Mission Postscript: Agent White is a trained mountain search and rescue pilot. Always fly safely and within the limits of yours and your aircraft’s abilities and according to the appropriate FAA regulations.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Best of Class North Coast Appellations – Gold Medal – 94 Points – 2008 California State Fair
95 Points – Wine X Magazine
Best-of-Appellation – Appellation America – Sol Rouge was selected as one of the 8 out of the 809 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines covered by Appellation America to receive the “Best-of-Appellation” award in its recent review of Napa Valley wines. The “Best of Appellation Awards” is a prestigious award honoring only a few select outstanding producers in each appellation across the United States.
Our 2006 Sol Rouge Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is made exclusively from mountain Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. Mountain fruit, grown at high elevations, produce small berries with thick skins adding to the complexity and structure of the wine; qualities very desirabled for an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and full-bodied with sweet tannins, a multi-layered mid-palate of dark red and black berries, and a long finish with hints of green pepper. This wine will cellar well over the next 7-10+ years.
About The Wine:
The 2006 Sol Rouge Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County has received 95 pts from Wine X Magazine. Now, compare that at $34 retail to the Sol Rouge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $75 retail that got 96 pts from Wine X Magazine. The Sol Rouge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon represents a “Great Value”, the 2006 Sol Rouge Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County represents an “Outstanding Value” according to the QPR calculation.
About the Winemaker:
Bryan Kane is a “rising star” in the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon community. His 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was recently chosen as one of 8 wines (out of over 800) as “Best of Appellation” by a panel of top wine writers including Dan Berger and Alan Goldfarb.
About Sol Rouge
Sol Rouge is a family estate located in the Red Hills Appellation at elevations averaging over 1800 feet.
North of Napa in the foothills of a dormant volcano which formed the North Coast wine country, this land contains rich, red volcanic soil and, from this unique profile, Sol Rouge derived its name – translating to “Red Soil” in French. This 70 acre estate is currently planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc and will soon be planted with Cinsault. Adjacent to two of Napa’s premier grape growers (Beckstoffer and Snider), this aggressive sight is all hillside with slopes up to 60% and is said to be the most tightly planted vineyard in the Red Hills, with almost 2200 vines per acre in some blocks.
Sol Rouge is focused on producing wines similar to that of the Rhone and Bordeaux regions of France. We currently partner with vineyards in California who produce these varietals with the distinct soil profiles similar to our terroir and those of France. Our “non-intervention” philosophy helps to bring the true flavor and characteristics of each vineyard through to our wines.
It started with a passion; to produce the finest quality Rhone and Bordeaux varietal wines here in California. To produce the most complex wines, one must start with the highest quality fruit, and that is how Sol Rouge began.
“Sun” and “Soil” are two of the most important elements in making great wine. After searching throughout California for the best site to grow ultrapremium grapes, Bryan & Jill Kane found a unique 70 acre estate nestled between Mt. Konocti and Benson Ridge outside the town of Kelseyville in the Red Hills Appellation of Lake County – an estate which we now call Sol Rouge.
The Sol Rouge Vineyard
Sol Rouge is a 70 acre estate at the northern edge of the Red Hills Appellation in Lake County. The property rests on the South West side of a dormant volcano (Mt. Konocti) that formed the North Coast Wine Country of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake over 10,000 years ago. It is an aggressive site planted entirely on a hillside with an average slope of 35% and slopes of almost 60% in the terraced blocks.
Lampson Field Airport
Lakeport, California, USA