Raymond Burr Vineyards
2004 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 even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Raymond Burr Vineyards .
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Today’s wine is the best Raymond Burr wine we have ever featured – and an excellent and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon
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EXTRA SAVINGS ALERT!
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Mission Codename: A Wine in the Sun
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Raymond Burr winery, to retrieve their stellar Cabernet Sauvignon – before it goes on lock-down!
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Raymond Burr Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: John Quinones
Backgrounder: Our Operatives know that we are huge fans of Raymond Burr wines. We have featured two of their wines previously, but today’s is the best of the bunch! This 2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a multi-medal winner (it just took GOLD at the 2008 San Diego International Wine Competition), is fragrant, balanced, big and richly delicious. When our friends at Raymond Burr offered our Operatives a chance to pick up this gem of a wine, we were thrilled. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and click the big blue button to grab some of this special wine – before we run out
Wine Spies Tasting Profile, by Agent Red:
Look – Deep ruby to burgundy in color with great clarity and concentrated color to the edge of the glass, the wine has a fast-moving surface and thinny-thin closely-space legs that move slowly down the glass
Smell – Bright and juicy aromatics with big cherry, black cherry, currant, dried edible flowers, toasty oak, blackberry and a hints of dark chocolate and espresso
Feel – Smooth, cool and wet up-front, then the wine gets bright on the palate with an explosion of tender flavors and delicate tannins
Taste – Incredibly delicious and bright with flavors of sweet cherry, currant, blackberry, oak and gourmet fruit jam
Finish – Long and lingering with flavors that change and move after you swallow, leaving behind a very slight dryness and mouth-watering flavors and soft tannins
Conclusion – Like all of the Raymond Burr I have tried so far, this wine shows the care and expertise and stellar fruit that make Burr wines so wonderful. Their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is taking awards and getting a great deal of attention and its no wonder; This wine is perfectly balanced with layered flavors, deep aromas, a bright mouth-feel and a finish that makes to keep sipping! Drink now or hold for a couple of years. Heck, do both!
Now that we are great friends with the folks at Raymond Burr Vineyards, additional surveillance or infiltration is not necessary. Now that they have been recruited into The Wine Spies Network, they contact us through back-channels when they have a special allocation of our Operatives..
No new mission report today, so please read below for a recap of our initial mission to Raymond Burr Vineyards.
Please note that we enjoyed today’s featured Cabernet Sauvignon even more than the Cabernet Franc that we featured previously
Prior Mission Recap:
Ask anyone to describe Raymond Burr in a single word and, resoundingly, you will likely hear, Classy.
The veteran actor, for whom today’s winery was honorarily named, was also a cultivator of orchids, a war hero, a philanthropist and more. Most of all, he was cherished and loved by his close friends, who say that his warmth, humor and compassion made him a remarkable man.
When I was given the mission – finally – to seek out a new Cabernet Franc, I riffled through my mental Rolodex and recalled hearing great things about a Cab Franc from Raymond Burr Winery. In fact, it was in the most unusual way that I had come to hear of the wine in the first place.
On returning from a mission to Latin America, our flight got in to Miami too late to make our connecting flight back to California. the airline put us up in a swanky hotel and the next morning we found ourselves in a shuttle back to the Airport. I struck up a conversation with a young couple who were also on our inbound flight and, as always, I steered the conversation toward wine. We compared tastes in varietals and found that Cab Franc wines were among our very favorites. We traded recommendations and they assured me that Raymond Burr had a wine that I would be sure to love.
Now that I was finally assigned a Cab Franc mission I knew just where to go, so I called proprietor and long time companion to Mr. Burr, Robert Benevides. I used the direct approach and told him that I was very interested in sampling his wine and, if they passed the test, feature his Cabernet Franc here for our Operatives to enjoy.
I enjoyed this exceptional wine more with each sip. With enough time to stretch out in the air, the wine really opens up and loses the rough edges present on opening. For best results, decant the wine for a few hours – and enjoy at cellar temperature.
Aromas, flavors, acid and mouth-feel are all in harmony here and the finish is really very unique. If you love incredible Cabernet Franc, look no further Operative, its right here.
Finally, I remember hearing a story about Mr. Burr that sums up his life and his wines: While working with Errol Flynn, Flynn told Mr. Burr that if he died with ten dollars in his pocket he hadn’t done a good job. This inspired Mr. Burr to always share his wealth with all. His legacy lives on in today’s wine from Mr. Burr’s namesake winery.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Raymond Burr Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
“Rich and intensly spicy with layers of blackberry, black cherry and currant. Has a long aftertaste accented by hints of mocha, toast and cedar.” - John Quinones, Winemaker
Blackberry fruit scented along with a mild, dusty, earthiness. Anise, licorice, black cherry fruit in the mouth, combine with rich cassis notes leading to a big finish.
About The Winery:
Twelve years ago, Raymond Burr and I walked the rolling bench of Dry Creek Valley, the manzanita-covered foot of Bradford Mountain. Our dream took shape with the first plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1986, and now comes to fruition with this brilliantly-complex wine. Only 1,040 cases were produced which have rested for 18 months in oak barrels before being bottled in November of 1992. I release this vintage in tribute to his vision and impeccable taste.
Thus, the back label of the 1990 Raymond Burr Cabernet Sauvignon the premier vintage of this vineyard.
Raymond Burr and Robert Benevides had met, as professional actors, in the middle 1950s on the television program which was to make a legend of Burr, “Perry Mason.” Motivated in the beginning by friendship, the Burr/Benevides relationship was bolstered and advanced by their individual interest in, and knowledge of, the cultivation and hybridization of orchids. In the next several years this shared hobby began to grow until the obvious resolution was to make it a commercial venture. And so, Sea God Nurseries was born, becoming in the 20-odd years of its life an international presence with ranges in Fiji, Hawaii, the Azores Islands and in Southern California. During this period, the partnership was responsible for over 1,500 new orchids added to the world-wide catalogue.
John Quinones, Winemaker
John Quinones joined Raymond Burr Vineyards as the Winemaker, in 1998. John obtained a degree in Enology from UC Davis in 1986, and soon after joined the winemaking team at Lyeth Estate Winery, a Sonoma County pioneer in the production of Bordeaux varietals. Following Lyeth, John joined Clos Pegase Winery in Calistoga, Napa Valley. During his tenure as Winemaker at Clos Pegase, John’s 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon was recognized as one of the best 100 wines in the world. In 1996 John began a winemaking consulting practice serving small ultra-premium producers in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
Quinones says of the small parcel in the hills above Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, "It’s a fabulous vineyard.
Appelation: 100% Dry Creek Valley
Varietals: Made up of 94% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Estate Cabernet Franc
Production: 590 cases were originally produced
Cooperage: 22 months in French & American oak, one third new
Harvested: September 23, 2004
Alcohol: 14.3% by volume
Total acidity: 0.570 g/100mis