2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Lady of the Vine
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Last year we featured a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from our good friends at Five Vintners. This time, recover their 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Five Vintners
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Krisi Raymond
Backgrounder: In the United States, ‘multi-generational’ in winemaking usually means two or three generations have been involved in crafting wines. Krisi Raymond, whose great grandfather was winemaking pioneer, Jacob Beringer, is a fifth generation winemaker. Agent Red was sent to Five Vintners to meet with Krisi and husband, Kirk – and to retrieve their newest Cabernet Sauvignon.
Read Red’s tasting notes, followed by Agent Sparkle’s interview with Krisi, below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark burgundy, with a great concentration of color out to the edges of the glass – and right through the dark heart of the wine. When swirled, this wine appears tight and springy and it settles fast. When it does settle, it leaves behind skinny legs that run down the glass in tightly-spaced pairs. Some legs take a long time to appear and then they move down the glass slowly
Smell – Lush and layered with mature aromas of smoky mixed dark berries, raspberry, dark plum and black cherry soft cedar (mild cigar box), soft spice and dark chocolate dust
Feel – Wet and cool at the tip, then slightly grippy on the mid-palate as lush tannins grip the edges of the tongue and pucker the lips
Taste – An intertwined playfulness of balanced light and dark flavors, this wine first shows dark earthy/smoky mixed berries, plum, currant and sweetwoods. Then, brighter fruits of raspberry and cherry. These are complimented by a subtle under-layer of cola and dark chocolate
Finish – The wine starts dark and slightly dusky, then finishes brighter as fruit and soft oak flavors take a long time to taper off
Conclusion – This is a delicious wine! Krisi Raymond continues to be a winemaker to watch and we have had the honor to follow her progress through successive vintages of her wonderful Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. For mindful winemakers like Krisi, experience gained in past vintages contribute to the betterment of the next. Today’s wine shows off this point, reinforcing our belief that Krisi’s wines are just getting better and better each year. While still somewhat youthful, today’s wine shows great fruit and structure, reassuring us that the bottles we plan to lay down for a few years will only be better than they are today! Ready to drink now, be sure to pick up a few bottles to drink and a few to cellar. For best results, be sure to decant this wine for at least thirty minutes before enjoying.
Thank you, Krisi, we love your wines!
_Winemaker Kristi Raymond has inherited the skills and artistic talent of her winemaking family! True to her Beringer-of-old roots, Kristi makes wines of remarkable quality – under her own solo label Five Vintners_. Where some Beringer wines are large-production wines, Kristi’s wines are all hand crafted in small lots.
To lead off Women Winemaker Week on The Wine Spies, we are produc to present Agent Sparkle’s interview with Krisi Raymond:
AGENT SPARKLE: What a thrill to interview you today, Krisi! The Wine Spies are happy to be able to honor you during this special week.
KRISI RAYMOND: Thank you, Agent Sparkle!
SPARKLE: Let’s jump right in: What inspired you to become a winemaker?
RAYMOND: My family has been making wine in Napa Valley for 5 generations. My great-grandfather and his brother started Beringer in 1876 and the craft has been passed down from generation to generation. My dad is the winemaker at Raymond Vineyards and that is where I grew up learning about the business and winemaking – I did not always know that I would do this, but it is hard to find something more fun to do for your work! So, here I am making wine and raising the 6th generation to love wine too.
SPARKLE: How long have you been making wine?
KRISI: I have worked at the winery since middle school – bottling, cleaning, cellar work, lab analysis and all kinds of barrel action – you name it, I’ve done it! My first vintage with Five Vintners was in 2001 – I made a Zin and a Cab that year!
SPARKLE: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
KRISI: I make wines that pair well with food – they tend be balanced with fruit, oak and tannins working together and enough acid to add brightness.
SPARKLE: Who do you make wine for?
KRISI: Well, when I am out selling I always say that I make wine that I like to drink so that if I have to drink the whole vintage some year I will enjoy it! So, I would have to say I make it for the food, which I also like to prepare, and me!
SPARKLE: Do you think that women winemakers have an advantage over their male counterparts?
KRISI: Winemaking is not hard but you do have to pay attention to the details, some of them tedious, and I believe that women are very good at that. The sense of smell and memory for those types of details are also very important. When I was pregnant with my children my sense of smell improved due to increased sensitivity – it gave me more language to use in describing wines and remembering those impressions even now.
SPARKLE: What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered in your career, and how have you overcome it?
KRISI: I am so fortunate, I would not say there have been any obstacles. Oh no, let me take that back, MONEY!
SPARKLE: Who is your favorite woman winemaker and why?
KRISI: I really like the wines that Sarah Gott makes, they are feminine and restrained, delicious with food. She has one of the best blending palettes of anyone I know! I also really appreciate the wines of Kristen Belair at Honig.
SPARKLE: What is the one question that you would ask another woman winemaker – and what is your answer to that question?
KRISI: I ask so many, I cannot name just one. Winemaking is a different experience with each blend and each year, so the questions never end and there are so many awesome women winemakers in Napa now and we are all really very open and share ideas constantly!
SPARKLE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to a woman that is considering a career as a winemaker?
KRISI: Have as many internship experiences in as many worldwide winemaking regions as you can afford! Don’t go to Sonoma if you hope to end up in Napa – go to France, Australia, South America – it depends if you want to specialize in certain varietals.
SPARKLE: In the eyes of consumers and in the eyes of those in the wine business, is there gender equality among winemakers?
KRISI: I believe so – but being in the industry ensures that my impressions of that sort of stuff are not normal!
SPARKLE: What is your current favorite wine?
KRISI: Sauvignon Blanc. I like to hook up to my IV of SB at the end of the day – sunny or snowy! I just love the refreshing flavors of that varietal.
SPARKLE: What was the last wine you drank and did you enjoy it?
KRISI: Last night, every night! I started with a Gin and tonic as it was at least 90 in St. Helena yesterday – my friend Chris Weld is making his own gin in the Berkshire Mountains and is getting rave reviews – Berkshire Mountain Distillery! I then enjoyed some 2008 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc and some 2007 Bandol Rose from Domaine de Terrebrune. I loved them both!
SPARKLE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
KRISI: I am just releasing today’s wine so even I have not had it too often, but I would have to say that a grilled New York would be great with it – even a delicious paella with all of that rich tomato flavor!
SPARKLE: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know?
KRISI: I think one thing that is interesting to note about me is that I did not go to school to study winemaking – I have learned it on the job through ‘scraped knees’. I often question that decision or wonder what I was thinking, but the skills I learned at Skidmore and later at Emory Goizueta School of Business help me everyday!
SPARKLE: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
KRISI: You asked most of the good ones – I don’t think I can top those. It is always interesting to share what makes this job a job sometimes – and that would have to be bottling. Making sure that all of the materials, in the correct number are delivered on time and that the blend is ready on the scheduled bottling date and that I feel like I have made the best blend possible from the wines I have made is stressful! I always forget the pain before the next harvest though, so there are always more grapes!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Five Vintners can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This is a great vintage with a predominance of fruit from a fabulous little vineyard in St. Helena. The blend is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena with 6% St. Helena Cabernet Franc and 2% Yountville Syrah. This wine is full bodied with ripe fruit, balanced tannins and with our signature bright acidity that makes this a great food wine!
About The Winery:
Continuing The Family Tradition – Krisi Raymond represents the fifth generation in her family to grow grapes and make wine in the Napa Valley. Her family roots run deep, dating back to 1876 when her great-great-grandfather Jacob Beringer, together with his brother Frederick, established Beringer Brothers Winery just north of St. Helena.
The next generation continued to produce wine through Prohibition for medicinal and sacramental purposes. It was in 1933 with the repeal of Prohibition that Roy Raymond began his career in the wine industry at Beringer Brothers Winery. In 1936 he married Martha Jane Beringer, grand-daughter of Jacob Beringer. Their two sons, Roy Jr. and Walter, continued the family’s winemaking tradition at Beringer Brothers Winery after attending college.
With their share of the proceeds from the sale of Beringer in 1970, the Raymond family purchased 90 acres of prime vineyard land south of St. Helena on Zinfandel Lane and founded Raymond Vineyard & Cellar. They planted a variety of wine grapes on the property and crushed their first vintage in 1974.
Now, nearly 30 years later, Krisi Raymond is stepping out on her own as a grape grower and winemaker. With just one acre of newly planted Sauvignon Blanc and a handful of select grape growers she plans to produce fine Napa Valley wines. Krisi will focus on her favorite varietals: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.
Fruit Sources: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon from our favorite St. Helena vineyard.
Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cab Franc from St. Helena and 2% Yountville Syrah.
Oak: Aged in 100% French Oak. 50% New Oak.
Case Production: 878 Cases Produced.