2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon wine, delivering a richness and balance that make us thrilled to be presenting it to you today.
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Mission Codename: Elemental Force
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a limited allocation of a delicious Napa Valley Cab from Agustin Huneeus.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Faust – Napa Valley
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Charles Thomas & Aaron Pott
The fruit from this wine hails from vineyards in both Rutherford AVA and the Tulocay region (soon to be named an AVA). Rutherford, just south of Saint Helena is of course perhaps the most famous AVA in Napa and the lesser known Tulocay region is just east of Napa City proper.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep dark burgundy with dark purple hues and deep garnet edges showing the wines concentration through to the edges and a dark slightly inky core. Evenly spaced thin legs ring the glass when swirled.
Smell – Big, well developed and integrated lush black cherry and fresh cut ceder layered over aromas of other red and black fruit, herbal pepper and anise, spice, and earthy notes.
Feel – The initial attack on this wine shows its exceptional minerality and slight tanginess. Dry, fine and firm tannins show this wine’s exceptional structure. A touch of spice hits the tip, edges and back of the palate.
Taste – Bold and rich, intense and concentrated, this wine leads with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and other black and red fruits with a distinct cedar component. These classic Cabernet characteristics are well integrated with flavors of exotic spice, herbaceous green pepper and a touch of orange peel and cocoa.
Finish – Long and clean with lingering minerality and structure, fruit and spice.
Conclusion – The 2005 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is truly an exceptional wine that is drinking very well now (decant or let breathe to fully explore the aromas and flavors) and with enough structure to continue to develop in your cellars for years to come. Bold and concentrated, but showing a certain elegance and finesse, this Cab is why Napa Valley is famous for the varietal.
Every once in a while, Ops asks one of us to ‘investigate’ our fellow operatives and while none of us enjoy being second guessed or having someone look over our shoulders, its a part of the job. We need to ensure that the wines that are selected are indeed of exceptional quality and character. Thus, when I was asked to verify Agent Red and Sparkles love of the wines from Agustin Huneeus and his classic tribute to Napa’s noble grape , I knew I had to tread carefully.
Red has an impeccable palate although every once in a while he goes overboard for a wine, I trusted him and as such, having a wine with such a tremendous reputation, my report on his tastings and missions would be easy. Great wines justifies great reviews…
The mission, codenamed “Elemental Force” was supposed to be simple. Acquire a wine sample, taste it, compare with previous tastings and indicate through our W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) our calibrated taste profile. Well that’s when things went south, and fast. Red must have gotten word that he was being investigated. I tried to be discrete in my travel planning as to avoid even crossing paths, but no such luck. As soon as I arrived at the top secret tasting site I noticed Red sitting there with my bottle, open, a glass poured for himself and an evil grin on his face…
“Nice spy craft,” he said, as he beaconed me over and poured me a glass. “Hopefully, you do a better job on your overseas missions!” he cackled
“Don’t worry, this one is easy, its that good,” he continued.
I just smiled as I lifted the glass to my nose and then took a sip. There was no point in trying to hid it. The _2005 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon_ was great and my report to Ops will reflect that.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the approximate Faust in Rutherford can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Faust, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
“If feelings fail you, vain will be your course, and idle what you plan unless your art springs from the soul with elemental force.” – Faust (Goethe)
A decade after the first release from his Quintessa estate, Agustin Huneeus felt the thrill and excitement of a new endeavor beckon. The underlying premise for all of the wines he has ever produced has been that great wines must be a reflection of a great vineyard. Faust is not. Instead, Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley’s noblest grape—full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Faust also honors the legend of Dr. Faust, a scholar and respected man of society who was tempted by the Devil to seek new renewed passion and youth in exchange for his soul. Faust is indeed the fruit of renewed passion for Agustin, though Mephistopheles has not yet appeared to claim his soul.
Awards & Accolades:
Highly Recommended by California Grapevine
“Campfire aromas with hints of brown spice. Sweet cherry flavors with notes of pencil shavings and new oak…finish delivers wood tannins and a lick of clove.” – The Wine News
“The color is opaque crimson and it looks less approaching than it actually is. Ripe and concentrated aromas and flavors of plum, blueberry and dark cherry are accentuated by a touch of fresh herbs, light cedar, fresh tobacco leaves and a fine spiciness. The fruit on the mid palate is a laser beam of intense pure, clean fruit which will broaden over time. The finish is long with finely-textured, ripe tannins. Very drinkable now as well as in the future. A delicious Cabernet!” – Marian Jansen op de Harr, Director of Wine, Fleming Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
About Ths Wine:
Classic Napa Valley red and black fruit in the nose, also aromas of vanilla and toasted nuts. Dense and rich on the palate with abundant lip-smacking fruit and a supple, luxurious finish.
“The 2005 Faust delivers a Cabernet with precision and style-all of the aromatics, complexity and finesse that are the best of this vintage without giving up any power. A core of sweet, juicy black fruit, classic black cherry and blackberry flavors picks up on the palate where the aromas leave off.” – Charles Thomas & Aaron Pott, Winemakers
To capture the complexity of the grape and diversity of the Napa Valley, Faust seeks Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Napa’s soon-to-be named Tulocay viticultural area in the eastern foothills south of Atlas Peak, as well as small lots from diverse mountain and valley terroirs.
2005 was a long, relatively cool year, ideal weather for Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. Mild summer weather followed a slightly early spring bud break. Cool weather in early September extended the growing season well into October. At harvest, the grapes were intensely fruity, with good concentration. The grapes are double sorted and crushed at Quintessa then cold macerated and fermented in oak and stainless steel tanks. Faust is aged for 18 months in 30% new and 70% one-year-old French oak.
About The Winery:
Faust, the wine, celebrates a legend which has inspired many great minds, among them the German poet Goethe, from whose masterpiece we draw our inspiration. In Goethe’s most famous work, the aging scholar Dr. Faust barters his soul in the afterlife in exchange for another chance at youth. He gets his chance, yet ultimately his soul is saved by love.
A balance of ancient art and contemporary technology transforms the finest grapes grown in our vineyard into nectar of magnificent proportions. A bold wine that will harmonize with fine food and encourage animated conversation, this seductive Cabernet Sauvignon may tempt you to make rash, even devilish choices. But fear not, love will save you in the end.
Faust is the epitome of the style that has made Napa Cabernet Sauvignon world renowned: bold and powerful, yet elegant and concentrated. Top Cabernet Sauvignon lots are selected from vineyards Agustin Huneeus owns in Rutherford, a Napa Valley appellation synonymous with the best of Napa Valley Cabernet, as well as the up and coming, soon to be named Tulocay viticultural area south of Atlas Peak.
Both vineyards are carefully tended to produce low yields and great concentration. The grapes are double sorted and crushed at Quintessa, one of the Napa Valley’s most technologically sophisticated wineries, featuring gravity-flow design, oak fermentation and naturally cooled caves.
Varietals: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc