2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!:
We always feature great wines, but when one really stands out, we issue ana alert. Today’s exceptional wine is very delicious!
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Mission Codename: High Five
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to our good friends at Five Vintners. This time, recover their 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Five Vintners
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Krisi Raymond
Backgrounder: In the United States, ‘multi-generational’ in winemaking usually means two or three generations have been involved in crafting wines. Krisi Raymond, whose great grandfather was winemaking pioneer, Jacob Beringer, is a fifth generation winemaker. Agent Red was sent to Five Vintners to meet with Krisi and husband, Kirk – and to retrieve their Cabernet Sauvignon. Read Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark burgundy in color with deep concentration of color to the edges and through the inky heart of the wine. When swirled, this wine moves fast and take some time to settle. When it does settle, it leaves behind thin legs that run down the glass at varying speeds. Some legs take forever to emerge and then they creep down the glass slowly!
Smell – Deeply layered with smoky dark fruit of plum, blackberry and black cherry, followed by musk, mushroom, earth, leather and oak
Feel – Light and medium round up front, very round on the mid-palate, and then the wines velvet tannins grip the edges of the tongue and pucker the lips
Taste – Dark fruit starts this wine off, but is fast replaced by a mid-tongue brightness that is both delightfully sweet with a hint of tart. The flavors present here include black currant, plum, soft leather, cigar box, dark cherry and dark mixed berries
Finish – The tender mouthfeel of this wine hangs around for a while. So, too, do the dark fruits and earthy flavors. Flavors linger for a long time – with a slight dryness that makes your mouth water.
Conclusion – Winemaker Krisi Raymond has inherited the skills and artistic talent of her winemaking family! True to her Beringer-of-old roots, Krisi makes wines of remarkable quality. However, where some Beringer wines are mass-produced supermarket wines, Krisi’s wines are all small production, hand crafted, super-quality gems! Today’s wine shows all of the Napa Cab bigness you expect, but also a suppleness and a brightness missing from some over-the-top Cabs. This wine has balanced acidity, making it a perfect food-pairing partner. In fact, all 5 Vintners wines share this food-friendliness. Looking for a delicious treat of a Napa Cab? You sleuthed it right here!
Winemaker Background Report:
Winemaker Krisi Raymond, great granddaughter of wine pioneer, Jacob Beringer, might just be the only 5th generation winemaker in the entire country. At least the only in an unbroken chain of winemakers. You see, America experienced this little period called, Prohibition, which nearly ceased all wine production in the country.
Jacob Beringer was one of only a few winemakers that was allowed to produce a minimal amount of wine – but only for sacramental and medicinal purposed.
Post-prohibition, winemaking wisdom was handed down from generation to generation and, today, Krisi Raymond is making distinctive wines that I really love.
Notes on today’s wine, as told to Agent Red by Krisi Raymond, between one of her frequent visits to the vineyards:
AGENT RED: Hi Krisi. It’s great to be able to show another of your wines. Our Operatives are big fans and they have been pestering me for another Five Vintners wine. Tell me, what’s happening in your world of late?
KRISI RAYMOND: Well, the last time we met, we were just beginning to think about the harvest. Now, its right around the corner!
RED: I would imagine that Sauvignon Blanc will be the first grapes that you harvest this year?
KRISI: Exactly. It’s getting exciting now. The end is neigh! (laughs) Sauv Blanc gets picked sometime in the next 7 to 10 days. I am in the vineyards at least once a day now. As we get closer, it’ll become more frequent.
RED: Are you keeping things fun, or is the pressure mounting?
KRISI: This business is always fun. Sure, it can have its challenges, but harvest is a great time. It portends great things ahead!
RED: From the intel we have gathered on you, we know that your approach to winemaking as rather, well, relaxed. We know that you don’t exert much outside influence when you make a wine. Is this true?
KRISI: I tend to tinker rather than experiment. Some wines are made in labs – by scientist winemakers. I view winemaking as a long-term process, where each year past tells you about those small inputs that you can make in subsequent years. Without ample history with a vineyard and without making just small changes – or even single small changes – its difficult to know how you are influencing a wine.
RED: How much do you collaborate with your peers in the industry? How much do they influence your tinkering?
KRISI: The winemkaing is close knit, but its also pretty competitive. Fortunately, I have a great many friends that all share their knowledge. We all contribute to the success of each other in some way. In the end, though, these wines are built by me to be fun, and easy to drink.
RED: They are fun. And all of your wines are very food-friendly.
KRISI: I’m glad you think so. That was certainly a goal. With this 2005 Cab, I wanted to craft a wine that would not tire out your palate as some Napa cabs can tend to do. This is a gulping wine, but you’ll enjoy it on its own, too!
RED: It’s a fun wine, but it’s also got its serious side. That’s another thing I appreciate about your wines, they strike that balance that I love. Thanks, for spending time with me once again. Our Operatives are sure to love this 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s pretty special.
KRISI: Thanks, Red!.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Five Vintners can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This is a great vintage and marks our move to predominance of fruit from a fabulous little vineyard in St. Helena. 91% of the fruit comes from St. Helena with the balance coming from the Rutherford area. Loaded with ripe red fruit, subtle oak and balanced tannins. Just a hint of tobacco in the nose as it opens up. This wine is a perfect example of a classic Napa Cab without over manipulation – again, a great wine with your meal!
This is a great vintage and marks our move to a predominance of fruit from a fabulous little vineyard in St. Helena. 91% of the fruit comes from St. Helena with the balance coming from the Rutherford area.
About The Winery:
Continuing The Family Tradition – Krisi Raymond represents the fifth generation in her family to grow grapes and make wine in the Napa Valley. Her family roots run deep, dating back to 1876 when her great-great-grandfather Jacob Beringer, together with his brother Frederick, established Beringer Brothers Winery just north of St. Helena.
The next generation continued to produce wine through Prohibition for medicinal and sacramental purposes. It was in 1933 with the repeal of Prohibition that Roy Raymond began his career in the wine industry at Beringer Brothers Winery. In 1936 he married Martha Jane Beringer, grand-daughter of Jacob Beringer. Their two sons, Roy Jr. and Walter, continued the family’s winemaking tradition at Beringer Brothers Winery after attending college.
With their share of the proceeds from the sale of Beringer in 1970, the Raymond family purchased 90 acres of prime vineyard land south of St. Helena on Zinfandel Lane and founded Raymond Vineyard & Cellar. They planted a variety of wine grapes on the property and crushed their first vintage in 1974.
Now, nearly 30 years later, Krisi Raymond is stepping out on her own as a grape grower and winemaker. With just one acre of newly planted Sauvignon Blanc and a handful of select grape growers she plans to produce fine Napa Valley wines. Krisi will focus on her favorite varietals: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.