2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Ciao, Bello!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a superior Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley’s Bello Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Bello Family Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Aaron Pott
The fruit for this exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Napa Valley’s Ruthorford and Mt. Veeder districts. This mountain fruit, grown in porous volcanic soil that drains well with more exposure to sunlight results in berries that are more concentrated in both flavor and intensity. Today’s wine is a superb example of the quality which is possible within these very special regions. Read Agent Red’s mission report and tasting notes below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A dark garnet with concentrated color out to its deep ruby edges, with a dark inky core of black plum. The wine shows as springy when swirled, and leaves long and slender legs that take a long while to appear before they move slowly down the glass
Smell -Dusky blackberry leads the way, followed by deep and dark aromatic stonefruit, spice, mild tobacco, soft mocha and softest smoked meats. This is complimented by mild toasted cedar and soft oak
Feel – Smooth, round and velvety on entry, then slightly drying and fine, medium-firm tannins take hold at the edges of the mouth. This full-bodied wine is well structured with good acidity a great feel that becomes even smoother as it opens up
Taste – An initial attack of black fruit of plum, overripe blackberry, and smoky blueberry with raspberry. These dark flavors are tempered against brighter raspberry and red currant
Finish – This supple wine finishes long and smooth with lavish layers of dark fruit that tail off, one by one, leaving a mouthwatering dryness and dried black fruit flavors that linger
Conclusion – A deep , big and serious wine to be sure! This is classic Napa Cab, in that it is chewy, extracted, rich and delicious, but this wine also possesses a suppleness and a brightness that makes it a pleasure to sip on its own – or enjoy with a great meal. We are in love with high-elevation Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and this wine reinforces this feeling. Present here are all the things we appreciate in a Napa Cab. We recommend decanting this wine for best results, and we also suggest that if you are purchasing this wine to enjoy now, that you also buy a few bottles to lay down for a few years. We have the feeling that the patient will be well rewarded.
Agent White is fond of telling me that success breed more success. Now that The Wine Spies is nearly 20 months old, I hold this aphorism as axiomatic.
Recently, I found myself reflecting on our organization, and on all of the hard work and tribulations we have experienced. The work has been hard, but so very rewarding. This line of thinking led me to ponder the nature of success. It also led me to thinking about success in winemaking.
How much of success is luck? Or good karma? Does success really require complete sacrifice, or does it come to those who find real balance in life? In winemaking, is is creating the perfect wine, or selling out each vintage? How is success measured in life and in winemaking?
Contemplating the phrase, Success breeds more success, I found myself speaking it out loud. A quiet buzz-Beep told my that my Spy Phone had picked up my words, and had scanned our W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) databases and had returned a result.
I lifted the phone from my desk. The screen read:
Subject: Bello Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon. Target Value: High. Directive: Proceed to procure immediately
A quick scan of our records on Bello revealed that the family had risen to great success in commercial construction, before entering into the wine trade. Additional data suggested that Bello Cabernet Sauvignon was of superb quality.
I decided right then to hop into the car and head over to Bello.
The estate property and the winery are gorgeous. On arrival, I had the distinct feeling that I was in the French countryside. Moreover, I felt like I was in a James Bond film – in the French countryside. The estate would be a perfect place to shoot a great Bond flick.
If the property was beautiful, the wines were more so. No wonder, either, for Bello has assembled a world-class team to craft its wines. I was stunned to learn that Bello partnered with David Abreu to manage its vineyards. Wine Spectator Magazine called David Abreu, “Napa Valley’s most sought-after vineyard consultant”. He’s managed vineyards for some the Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Araujo, Bryant, Grace, Viader and Harlan Estate.
Bello’s winemaker, Aaron Pott, is another Napa Valley icon. During his distinguished career, Aaron has made wines for Beringer, Newton, Quintessa Estate, Blackbird Vineyards, Seven Stones Winery, and Fisher Vineyards, where his Cabernet Sauvignons were always his most stand-out creations. Educated at U.C. Davis, Arron spent several years in France, working in several wineries, including Château La Tour Figeac, where he was head of winemaking.
With such a successful team assembled, it seems impossible that this winery could produce anything but stellar wines. One needs only sample today’s offering to know that success does, indeed, breed more success!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Bello Family Vineyards winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Bello Family Vineyards, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Bello Family Vineyards 2006 Cabernet is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 3 different Vineyards. The first is Avina in Rutherford on Bale Clay Loam on the Rutherford Bench farmed by Gustavo Avina. Second is Star Vineyard also in Rutherford on Gravel Loam Bench Soils farmed by David Abreu and lastly Scully Vineyard from Mt. Veeder Blocks 3 and 4 farmed by David Abreu. The wine was aged for 18 months in 50% New French Oak barrels from small coopers.
About The Winery:
It has been said that success breeds success. This has been clearly exemplified in the career of Michael Bello. Emphasizing the correct mix of hard work, quality materials and high standards of production, Michael founded a residential construction company which has grown to become the largest enterprise of its type in the Southwest, with 12 locations and over 4,000 employees. His business savvy has further extended his success through the acquisition of restaurants and several commercial properties. Contributing to this success has been the support of his wife Nancy and his two adult sons Stephen and Christopher.
Michael’s remarkable achievements in the construction industry have enabled him to pursue his lifelong passion for winemaking, the wine business and the Napa Valley lifestyle. In 2000, determined to produce a premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael purchased a piece of prime real estate located on St. Helena Highway in the Napa Valley’s Rutherford Bench district, known for its superior wine-growing conditions and excellent drainage.
Once the ideal location was obtained, Michael set about constructing a French farmhouse with materials imported from France, incorporating details that had never been seen before in the Valley. The quest to produce a quality boutique Cabernet Sauvignon had now been set in motion.
While construction of the farmhouse was underway, Michael began the search for a winemaker and a farm manager. His love of French wine led him to the accomplished and highly acclaimed winemaker Aaron Pott. In keeping with his pursuit of excellence, Michael teamed Aaron with the acknowledged preeminent farmer in the Valley, David Abreu. With the guidance of these top professionals, Michael purchased only the best grapes from local wineries, obtained the highest-quality winemaking materials and demanded strict adherence to superior winemaking techniques. The result is the success embodied in the Bello Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.