2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa 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 Clos Pegase.
EXCLUSIVE WINE ALERT!: Welcome to the ONLY place in the WORLD to pick up a bottle of today’s wine. A great big thank you to our friends at Clos Pegase for letting us release this wine to our Operatives!
TOP SECRET SAVINGS ALERT!: Our Operatives (and winged horses) will enjoy Free Ground Shipping on 6 or more bottles today if they enter this promotional code at checkout: SPYSHIP
Mission Codename: The Temple of Athena
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: On the advice of our Operatives, penetrate the Clos Pegase who is rumored to have a secret, soon-to-be-released Cabernet Sauvignon. If possible, secure the wine before it becomes publicly available
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Clos Pegase
Wine Subject: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Jan Shrem
Backgrounder: Want to buy today’s wine at your local bottle shop or, heaven forbid another online wine retailer? Forget it! The only place to buy this excellent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is right here, dear Operative. Agent Red was able to secure an exclusive allocation of this 2005 Napa Valley Cab – before it is unleashed to the public. Read his tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, rich ruby red in color with deep concentration of color right to the edges and throughout its dark garnet heart. The surface of the wine is tight and heavy in appearance; it settles quickly when swirled, leaving behind athick coating and chubby legs that crawl slowly down the glass
Smell – Rich and dark concentrations of ripe purple fruit, cassis, plum, cherry, violet, anise, oak, cocoa and a hint of freshly gound espresso
Feel – Bright and round at the beginning of the sip, the soft tannins go to work at the tip of your tongue, then roof of your mouth, then your cheeks, drying slightly as the wine coats your mouth
Taste – Complex and bold with brightly layered flavors of rich dark cherry, cassis, smoky light plum, blackberry, cocoa, subtle leather and a soft minerality
Finish – Long and slightly dry, with big and integrated flavors and flavors that linger
Conclusion – This is a really great wine that, even in its relative youth, shows, smells and drinks beautifully. It is bright and layered and really very yummy. This wine reminds us of a wine featured here recently that some would say is way overpriced, while others insist is God’s Gift – only this wine is, to us, the obvious choice (hint: the other wine rhymes with “Milver Spoke”.
This special wine from Clos Pegas drinks brightly and beautifully now, but we cannot help but be excited for the pent up potential that the wine has for aging. If you buy a few bottles today, be sure to cellar a couple for up to 10 years or more.
Afterward – Decant this wine for an extended period for best results. After 4 hours, the wine becomes far more balanced, refined and way more tasty
There I sat, pondering the bottle in my hand, when warm and golden rays of light began pouring from behind the label. I started, transfixed, as the light spread outward, filling the room and eventually enveloping me.
Looking around, I saw that I was no longer in my wine lab. Rather, I appeared to be in an ancient temple. The usual sounds of my lab were replaced by the stillest silence. This silence was soon broken by an ethereal female voice:
“Agent Red… Come, sit before me. Sit before Athena.”
Awestruck, I answered, “Huh?”
“Come, foolish mortal. I have a gift for you.”
On the high steps before me, a female figure in flowing white robes appeared. She sat at the top step, motioning me to come before her.
Tentatively, I made my way up the steps. My apprehension made her laugh, but she waited patiently as I climbed toward her.
She spoke again: “Your name is now Bellerophon. Later, some may refer to you as Perseus. A great battle lay ahead and you must rest – and prepare. To aid you in your travails, I give you this golden bridle as a gift.”
The bridle appeared in my hands, its shining surface glittering brilliantly.
“I don’t understand,” I said. “I am but a mere wine merchant.” I had tried to say “spy”, but the word “merchant” came out, instead.
“Silly Bellerophon,” She said. “Rest now, for tomorrow will bring the start of your greatest adventure.”
With this, she faded. In her place, an exquisitely comfortable-looking bed appeared. Feeling suddenly tired, I lay down upon it and fell fast asleep… Only to be awakened by warm breath upon my face, and a nibbling at my cheek.
Dreamily, I said, “Good morning, sweet… AHHHHHHH!”
A horse! Wait a second, this was no normal horse. This horse, wearing the golden bridle that Athena had given me, had… had… _wings!_
“Pegasus!”, shouted a voice that was not my own.
Turing around quickly, I saw that it was Agent White.
“YES!”, I replied. “Isn’t he beautiful?! Its miraculous!”
“Umm, Dude? It’s just a winged horse on a wine bottle. Sure, that’s some nice art, but, ‘miraculous’?”
It was instantly apparent to me that I was back in my lab. Had I fallen asleep and dreamed this? Or had this beautiful bottle of 2005 Clos Pegase transported me to the ancient temple of Athena?
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Clos Pegase winery and surrounding vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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Clos Pegase, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Budbreak for Cabernet Sauvignon occurred in late-March of 2005, and spring rain delayed flowering until the third week of May, about two weeks later than average. The remainder of the season was idyllic: a mild summer with barely two days crossing the 100-degree mark. In accordance with the late flowering and set, harvest was two weeks later than average, with the weather holding all the way through the end of October. 2005 wines have gained a wonderful purity and elegance from the long and mild growing season.
Palisades Vineyard, on an alluvial fan in Calistoga, provides the core of our Cabernet Sauvignon with wines of deep color and intensity. Mitsuko’s Vineyard in the cool Carneros region of Napa Valley has a tiny portion of deep gravelly soils: these warm up earlier in the spring, leading to optimum ripening at the limits of the season, and giving us wines of elegance and finesse. Applebone surrounds the winery, and the close-planted (4 feet x 4 feet) vines actively compete with each other and so tame vigor and increase the intensity of the fruit. Dunaweal Vineyard, across the street from Applebone, has deep and fertile soil allowing our Cabernet Franc to thrive, bringing vibrancy to the blend.
The individual parcels of wine were racked at the completion of malolactic fermentation in the winter following harvest. In the spring the wines were racked, blended and returned to barrel, followed by another racking prior to the 2006 harvest, and then racked a fourth time in winter 2006/2007. The wine was racked up to tank in April 2007 after a total elevage of 18 months.
On the nose, pure cassis, blackberry and cherry fruit tones combine with cocoa, coffee and cedar. The palate is big, luscious; full bodied yet vibrant, pure and elegant, with seamless toasty oak integration combining with fine tannins, leading to a long finish.
About The Winery:
Can a winery elevate the craft of winemaking to a fine art? Of course it can. Can a winery dedicate itself as a temple to works of fine art? Why not? But can a winery that does one also achieve the other? Good question. Now, if you were to put that question to Bacchus, god of wine, mischief-maker and generally acknowledged originator of the practice of horsing around, we know just where he’d send you: straight to the horse’s mouth.
And not just any horse. He’d send you to Pegasus, the winged horse of ancient myth whose hooves brushed against the earth, unleashing the sacred spring of the muses. Lucky earth. That spring gave life to grapevines, and the wine that flowed from them inspired poetry and art in all who drank it.
In that spirit, a couple of millennia later, we set out to create a place where the wellspring of wine and the muses of art could live together — a sort of temple to wine and art. Not a museum or a sacred shrine way up in the clouds, but a haven here on earth. The kind of place we know Bacchus would approve of, where art and vines seem to spring from the same fertile soil, where smiling is encouraged, and pleasure and serendipity are all around you.
And in tribute to those fateful hoofbeats that started it all, we called that place Clos Pegase. Clos being the French word for an enclosed vineyard — an estate winery, where every wine is made from that vineyard’s own grapes. Which is what we are. And Pegase being the French word for “Pegasus.” Which sounded nicer with clos.
Can wine and art come together to create an experience as lofty as Olympus and as lusty as the rascal Bacchus? We think so. Here’s our story.
Production: 6525 cases of 12 × 750 mL bottles
Release Date: June 2008
Optimum Drinking: 2008 – 2014
Press Release: June 2008