2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Corison Winery deserves special recognition as a superior wine. If you love Napa Valley Cabernet, this is an exceptional example of one of the finest from this vintage.
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Mission Codename: A Life of Wine
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an amazing Napa Valley Cab from a specatular woman winemaker.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Corison Winery
Wine Subject: 2000 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Cathy Corison
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep dark purple and almost black with an inky core, this wine’s deep color extends to the very edges where it lightens slightly to a clearer garnet and pink on the extreme edge. When swirled fast thick legs first collect at the upper edge then race down the side of the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity and well developed, this wine’s complex bouquet starts with black fruit layered over wild fennel, earthy notes and spice. Hints of vanilla toasted oak, tobacco and mocha also emerge as this wine opens up.
Feel – Smooth, plush and rich, this round full-bodied wine has feminine fine grained and velvety tannins and a touch of acidity and spice that reaches the far corners of the palate as well as the tip of the tongue.
Taste – Classic Napa Cabernet flavors that are well developed leading off with black fruit including black cherry and ripe plum, wild fennel exotic spice and mild vanilla toasted oak. Upon further exploration, complex mineral notes, pencil shavings and a slight herbal component.
Finish – Clean and long, with lingering ripe plum, spice, mild sweet oak and earthy notes supported by this wines smooth fine tannins.
Conclusion – The 2000 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional example of what happens when you give wines the time to fully develop. Rich and plush on the palate, complex and extremely well and integrated balanced flavors will trick you into thinking you are enjoying an old world Bordeaux. This wine is drinking perfectly now showing tremendous finesse and elegance. While this wine will drink fine immediately upon opening, we recommend letting this wine breathe to fully experience its true potential.
In continuing with our special Women Winemaker Week on The Wine Spies, we are proud to present Agent Sparkle’s interview with Cathy Corison:
AGENT SPARKLE: Hi Cathy! It a pleasure to meet you. Agent Red is a big fan of yours and so I am thrilled to have this chance to interview you. Let me begin: What inspired you to become a winemaker?
CATHY CORISON: I am a biologist by training and in my heart and soul. Wine is alive on many levels and endlessly fascinating to me. All the components, including the barrel and the cork, were once living things. Even after the wines are in the bottle, they have a life- constantly changing, gaining complexity and aromatics and softening over time. Like a great person, a great wine experiences a series of peaks and valleys over its lifetime but is always interesting. Moving from youth and inexperience, through their prime and eventually into their dotage, they are worth knowing throughout the entire journey.
SPARKLE: How long have you been making wine?
CATHY: Over 30 years!
SPARKLE: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
CATHY: My goal is to make wines that walk the intriguing line between power and elegance, grace the table and enjoy a long, distinguished life. I am a farmer first,; my job is to give the vineyard a voice.
SPARKLE: Who do you make wine for?
CATHY: The greatest reward for me is when my wines give people pleasure.
SPARKLE: Do you think that women winemakers have an advantage over their male counterparts?
CATHY: I’m told that there is evidence that women are better tasters. If that is true, it’s an important advantage as our palate is a winemaker’s most important tool. That said, I know great winemakers of both genders.
SPARKLE: What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered in your career, and how have you overcome it?
CATHY: When I started making wine in the late 1970’s, there had been no women in the trenches doing cellar work in the Napa Valley. Though it took me 2 years to get my 1978 cellar internship, after 8 months, the winery owner that had been so uncomfortable with the idea of a woman in the cellar got me my first full-control winemaking job. My philosophy has always been to do a better job than the folks handing out the grief.
SPARKLE: Who is your favorite woman winemaker and why?
CATHY: I admire Merry Edwards for being the first woman to make artisan wine in California. She has managed to reinvent herself so many times over the years and now she’s a rock star- much deserved.
SPARKLE: What is the one question that you would ask another woman winemaker – and what is your answer to that question?
CATHY: Can’t think of one. I’ve always been grateful that the title “winemaker” has no gender.
SPARKLE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to a woman that is considering a career as a winemaker?
CATHY: No business is crazier and more difficult than winemaking, but if you want/need to make wine just get going. Work a harvest somewhere to be sure winemaking is for you.
SPARKLE: In the eyes of consumers and the eyes of those in the wine business, is there gender equality among winemakers?
CATHY: It’s still harder for young women to get started, but we are finally to a point where there is consensus that women make some of the best wines in the world.
SPARKLE: What is your current favorite wine?
CATHY: Dry or nearly dry Riesling from the Mosel in Germany. With alcohols under 10% and snappy acidity, nothing is more delicious and refreshing.
SPARKLE: What was the last wine you drank and did you enjoy it?
CATHY: I had a lovely Riesling from Dr. Loosen in the Mosel. Scrumptious.
SPARKLE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CATHY: Lamb with a Cabernet/pomegranate glaze.
SPARKLE: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know.
CATHY: I was a private pilot with a glider rating in an earlier life (before husband, children and winery).
SPARKLE: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
CATHY: What is your guiding principle? I would answer that integrity is the only thing any of us have to sell.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Corison Winery in Saint Helena can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Corison Winery, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Spectator – Supple and harmonious, it wins points for its sense of understatement, with spicy currant, black cherry and plum notes that are well-balanced and rich without being too powerful. Fine-grained tannins make it easy to enjoy now.
About This Wine:
Delicious and approachable already. Supple and harmonious, with a sense of understatement. Spicy currant, black cherry and plummy notes, that are well-balanced and rich. Fine-grained tannins make it easy to enjoy now. Drink now through 2010.
About The Winery:
Winegrower Cathy Corison produces artisan Cabernet Sauvignon without compromise from great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena in the Napa Valley.
The estate vines of Kronos Vineyard surround Corison Winery in its Victorian-style barn. As one of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyards in the Napa Valley, Kronos Vineyard is a rare treasure. Farmed organically and growing on gravelly loam soils, the gnarly old veterans produce scant yields resulting in wines of uncommon concentration and refinement. They are juicy with blackberry and plum fruit, enhanced with a mineral note and violet perfume. Cathy’s wines are noted for their consistency and impeccable balance; powerful and elegant at the same time, they grace the table and enjoy a long distinguished life.
We invite you to visit Corison Winery on your next trip to the Napa Valley. We are open for tasting, by appointment, seven days a week.