Deerfield Ranch

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon •Los Chamasal Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley

Offer Expired:Oct 21, 2008 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: Deer(field) in the headlights

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Revisit Deerfield Ranch Winery and secure a great Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Deerfield Ranch Winery

Wine Subject: 2003 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Robert Rex


Sonoma Valley’s first vines were planed way back in 1825 by Spanish missionaries. This unique micro-climate region receives less rain and is less influenced by the fog making this warmer AVA ideal for Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is made from grapes from Peter Haywood’s Los Chamasal Vineyard. The vineyard is located in a small isolated valley near Sonoma. This wine is a blend of 80.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Merlot and 9.2% Cabernet Franc.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep and dark garnet and ruby with good clarity in color with ruby edges. Clusters of thin legs streak down the glass when swirled.

Smell – Bold and intense aromas of blackberry and raspberry jam and dark cherries supported on a licorice base. Hints of green bell pepper, fennel and oak reveal themselves as this wine breathes.

Feel – This dry wine is full bodied, with firm but smooth tannins and well balanced acidity. Overall this wine shows good structure.

Taste – Flavors of tart blackberry, pomegranate and cranberries lead off this fruit forward Cab. Components of licorice, oak and a touch of spicy pepper gives this wine a nice balance.

Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth leading off with its fruit layered over a touch of herbaceous notes and a solid oak base.

Conclusion – Like all of Deerfield Ranch Winery’s wine, this Cabernet Sauvignon shows the unique characteristics of both the fruit, terroir and the expert winemaking of Robert Rex. While the structure of this wine allows for it to age well, it is drinking well now. The 2003 vintage of Cabernet from Sonoma is just now starting to reach its drinking potential. We enjoyed this selection with lamb burgers with Greek tzatziki sauce and grilled red peppers.

Mission Report:


Rival factions have attempted to infiltrate Wine Spies ranks in order to prevent us from bringing our Operatives the best wines. Particularly irksome to these entities is the fact that we also continuously secure only the best wines that are available.

As an Operative, you know that our secret is simple; Our love for great wine, and the care and detail with which we sleuth out our wines matter greatly – to both you and to our wineries. As an Operative, this is why you joined us; you value our ability to find you only the best wines.

For our wineries, offering our operatives their best wines assures them that the people enjoying their wines are dedicated wine lovers that will, in turn, share these wines with other Operatives and assets. While we hesitate to use the word “fad”, we do know that The Wine Spies, along with you, our Operatives, have spurned more than a few wines on to great success. We are proud of that fact and we are proud of you for doing your part – with enjoying incredible wines.

Robert Rex is a master winemaker and his experience shows with each sip you take of his 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. While some winemakers approach their trade as a chemist would, developing wines in a lab, Robert take a more artistic approach. Robert himself, told us that, “Wine making is more like cooking than chemistry”.

We thank you, Robert (and all of the great folks at the winery!), for making this wine available to our Operatives.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Sonoma Valley region can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Peter Haywood’s Los Chamasal Vineyards climb steep walls of a small isolated valley near the town of Sonoma. Recognized as one of Sonoma’s best growers, Peter lavishes as much care on his vines as we do on our wine. The partnership of winemaker and grower is no better exemplified than in this bled, made from selected rows exhibiting the best micro-terroir of the vineyard.

Grapevines are very sensitive to the terroir, a french word meaning “sense of place”. Terroir is made up of soil composition, slope of the hill, direction of the light, rainfall, temperature, wind, and other natural factors. Add to that the hand of man in the trellising, vine clonal selection, and cultivation methods, you have countless variables. Recognizing the differences in Los Chamasal Vineyards as the vine rows climb the sides of the valley walls, Robert and Peter launched a plan to make a wine that showed the best of the vineyard.

It has a lush flavor over gentle tannins. It shows ample structure to give it a long life. It will continue to exhibit increased complexity as it ages.

About The Winery:

Deerfield Ranch Winery is an award-winning winery located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley at Kenwood. We specialize in small lots of handmade wine from select Northern California vineyards. Currently we have 17 vineyards under contract and make as many as 40 separate lots of wine from those vineyards.

Our wines can be tasted FREE at the Family Wineries of Sonoma Valley tasting room at 9200 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12) in Kenwood.

We make several wine varietals and blends, something for everyone, a wine for every occasion

Production lots vary from 250 cases to 1000 cases. We will produce about 8,000 cases in 2005, and plan to grow to a maximum of 25,000 cases per year in our New Winery.

About The Winemakers:

Robert Rex started making wine in 1972 in Berkeley, California. He has worked for many different wineries, started wineries for others, specializing in rebuilding wineries and starting winemaking programs for those wineries when they changed hands. He has taught winemaking and still acts as a consulting winemaker.

Michael Browne, a native of Washington state, started making wine as an intern at Deerfield Ranch Winery in 1997. Now in his 6th year at Deerfield Michael handles the day to day cellar duties at the winery. He maintains and monitors three vintages of wine in the barrel and more than 35 separate lots from the last vintage alone. He is much more than assistant winemaker, he is part of the dynamic duo of Robert and Michael, the winemakers.

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