St. Clement Vineyards
2002 Oroppas Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What we say
Today’s selection is an exceptional find from the St. Clement Vineyards library. At 20% off and the secret savings below, this is a great find.
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Mission Codename: Communion
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure a library vintage Bordeaux style blend from Napa Valley’s St. Clement Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: St. Clement Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2002 Oroppas Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Danielle Cyrot
What’s better than a classic Bordeaux-style blend? Especially when its made with some of the best fruit from the best vineyards in Napa Valley including vineyards in Rutherford and Diamond Mountain, made by an exceptional winemaker, with a knack for bringing both tradition and expertise to her trade… The 2002 Oroppas is all that and even more. 2002 was an exceptional year in Napa Valley and after tasting this wine, we are sure you’ll agree.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A dark purple and almost black robe with deep ruby edges, a dark inky core and a slightly viscous looked, that when swirled leaves long slender and colored legs along the edge of the glass.
Smell -Big, bold but also a round bouquet of sweet and ripe black-cherry and blackcurrants, a touch of allspice, toasted cedar and oak and a hint of smokey tobacco.
Feel – Smooth and dry with medium-firm but fine tannins, this full-bodied wine is well structured with good acidity and becomes velvety smooth as it opens up.
Taste – An initial attack of juicy new-world black fruit followed by a classically Bordeaux mid-palate with well balanced and integrated oak, spice, licorice and a touch of herbaceous green bell pepper.
Finish – This supple wine finishes long and smooth with hints of its fruit, oak and spice that invites another sip (or gulp as some of us agents like to drink our wines.)
Conclusion – The 2002 Oroppas Bordeaux-styled Cabernet blend is the best of both California as well as left-bank classic Bordeaux. Great balance between fruit, oak and spice; full-bodied; well balanced; and a finish begging for a follow up.
It was perhaps the strangest of locations to start a wine mission. I entered the church and as the instructions indicated, I was to go to the second pew and show penance. As I knelt, in the pew, I noticed a book with a bookmark in it. Looking more closely, it was a history of the Papacy and the page that was bookmarked was about Pope Clement I (Clemens Romanus), who is also known as St. Clement. No being sure if this was the clue, I stayed for another hour and beyond the woman practicing on the organ, nobody came or went from the church.
Back at HQ, I entered in our research computer the search term ‘Clement’ and found that indeed, the bookmark was a clue. All signs pointed in the direction of St. Clement Vineyards in Napa Valley. We had an asset who could get us some additional intel so I PIN messaged Agent Malbec and within a few hours a courier had delivered a bottle of the 2002 Oroppas to our front company.
The bottle was immediately taken to the lab for analysis. The results were clear, an almost perfect Bordeaux styled blend. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, with fruit from some of the best vineyards in Napa, most notably, Rutherford and Diamond Mountain. St. Clement had been on our radar for a couple months. Their winemaker Danielle Cyrot, with a long lineage of European winemakers was making quite a name for herself.
But as we always say, the proof is in the juice… Lab results, research, walks through the vineyards are all nice, but its in the glass that matters… Well, there’s no knelling for the 2002 Oroppas, after tasting it, we were jumping for joy.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the St. Clement Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
St. Clement Vineyards, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards and Accolades:
92 Points – Robert M. Parker, Jr. – Vivid blue/purple color is accompanied by a sweet perfume of incense, Asian spices, black currants, blackberries, and vanilla. These is terrific fruit on the attack, medium to full body, a sweet mid-palate, fine length, and nicely integrated ripe tannin. Consume it over the next 10-15 years. February 28, 2005
Best Boutique Winery – 2008 – Napa & Sonoma Valley Magazine – 2008
Best Local Winemaker – Danielle Cyrot – Napa & Sonoma Valley Magazine – 2008
About This Wine:
Barrel aged in 80% new French oak, this Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend has intense color with aromas of mocha, sweet chocolate, cedar and rose petal coupled with the essence of red cherries. Medium-bodied, with flavors of candied orange peel and zest, this wine lingers on the palate along with integrated tannins for a seamless finish.
The mild and long growing season of 2002 produced fruit with a distinctive profile that is characterized by rich, ripe fruit flavors that resulted in wines of notable complexity.This vibrant vintage continues the award-winning tradition of Oroppas our proprietary Cabernet-based blend. In September the weather heated up during a two week stretch that saw temperatures over the 100°F mark. As a result, the relatively normal crop levels and weather conditions buoyed the expectations for wines with incredibly concentrated fruit character, intense color and well developed tannin structure. The best lots were chosen for this unique assemblage. After aging the components separately in French oak for one year, the wine was blended and returned to barrel for additional six months to meld flavors and tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon sources hailed from Napa Valley’s highly acclaimed appellations of Mount Veeder, Rutherford, Howell Mountain and St. Helena. Merlot from Carneros along with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc from St. Helena, are hallmarks of this Bordeaux style blend.
About The Winery:
The philosophical approach to winemaking at St Clement is all about the land of Napa Valley. Much has been written about the idyllic nature and diversity of this 50-mile long valley. It is this diversity that forms the foundation for our approach to winemaking.
As an artist holds many colors on the palette to create subtle hues, we hold a collection of vineyards from the north in Calistoga to the south in Carneros and from the alluvial benches of the valley floor at Rutherford to the cloud clinging heights of Mt Veeder.
We take the fruit from this collection of small, independent growers to balance, blend and build our wines into totalities that mirror the complexity and beauty of the Napa valley itself.
About The Winemaker:
Danielle Cyrot – Winemaker, St. Clement Vineyards – As the third decade of her life begins, Danielle Cyrot brings a broad scope of international winemaking expertise that extends well beyond her age. And as the descendant of French vignerons whose history goes back for centuries, she is also renewing an enological tradition that had been dormant for three generations.
Varietal Content: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Dates: September 12 – October 23
Release Date: June 2005
Case Production: 3,475