Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Malibu: Newton Canyon
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Today’s selection from Rosenthal is truly a wine of elegance and distinction.
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Mission Codename: Newton Canyon Redux – Part II
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revist our good freinds at Rosenthal to bring you an exceptional Cabernet.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate
Wine Subject: 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Christian Roguenant
Cabernet Sauvignon, long the favorite varietal from Napa Valley and certainly among the most noble grapes. But did you know that the unique climate of Newton Canyon in the foothills of northern Malibu also provide the idea conditions to grow Cabernet Sauvignon? Network Canyon is a single vineyard AVA on the south-facing slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains and was formally designated in 1996.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple, almost black in color, with a dark inky core that fades ever so slightly to garnet and ruby along the edges. When swirled ruby red reflexes glisten and slow moving and thick legs cling to the sides of the glass.
Smell – Intense black fruit including blackberries are layered over woody notes of cedar and oak. Complex hints of mocha, earth, tobacco and spice round out the lovely bouquet of this wine.
Feel – This wine is full-bodied, smooth and dry with solid firm but fine tannins and balanced acidity and shows tremendous finesse and elegance in its structure.
Taste – Excellent layers of rich and plush dark black and red fruit including blackberries and cassis. This wine also has exceptionally balanced hints of oak and cedar along with a nice earthy minerality, mocha, and a lingering flavors of spice and black pepper.
Finish – A clean and long lingering finish that leaves you with flavors of ripe fruit, toasty oak and spice.
Conclusion – Each time we taste a Rosenthal Cabernet we are beyond impressed. It seems that each vintage is better that the previous. The 2004 vintage is a more traditional Cabernet than the 2003 showing excellent balanced flavors of fruit, oak, spice and a structure that will allow this wine to further develop as it ages.
Summer in Southern California, does it get any better? The last couple days remind us of why I love running to SoCal operations center.
Having wrapped up our recent intel projects on some great Italian wines, I had some free time. I decided to take a trip up the coast. Along the way, it occurred to me that I should check in with one of our inside agents at Rosenthal to see how their progress of the 2004 Cabernet is coming.
It was strange, I hadn’t heard much about the 2004 vintage yet – no doubt after the tough 2003 vintage, but we had no reports from the field. Upon arriving at the prescribed meet point, Agent Blanc (don’t blow her cover, but you may know her if you’re a member of the wine club) handed me bottle of their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon.
“I can make some of this available to your operatives,” Agent Blanc said, “but tell no-one.” Trying to hide my excitement and thinking to myself “another Wine Spies exclusive”, Agent Blanc continued “this wine is only available on a limitted basis, but I know you’ll love the wine.”
Love the wine we did; we love all the wines from Rosenthal that are expertly crafted by winemaker Christian Roguenant and this one is exceptional. Once you try this wine, we know you’ll agree.
It’s nice to be a Wine Spy!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – Eastern International Wine Competition, New York
Gold Medal – Critics’ Challenge
Gold Medal – Orange County Fair Wine Competition
Double-Gold Medal – Tasters Guild Wine Competition, Michigan
Exceptional – Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
Seven Silver Medals in Major Competitions
Winery’s Tasting Notes:
Exhibits deep purple-red color, with aromas of cedar and toasty oak. Polished flavors of cassis, chocolate, and red fruits, with hints of black raspberry, dark cherry, and exotic spices on the long finish.
About the 2004 Vintage:
After a difficult year in 2003, with lack of winter chilling and very poor bloom weather, the vines at
Rosenthal were ready to produce a full crop of top quality fruit in 2004.
We started the year with good winter chilling, and had uniform budburst in the spring. This followed with almost perfect weather during bloom, making for excellent “set”
of the flowers, and consistent berries. We thinned over half the crop, leaving only 3 tons per acre.
About Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate:
Fine wine from Malibu? Southern California’s Malibu, home to movie stars and Bay Watch?
Yes, these wines are from grapes grown in Malibu not on the famous beach, but in a scenic valley four miles from the coast, 1,400-feet up, above the coastal fog, in the AVA Malibu Newton Canyon.
George Rosenthal, owner of movie studios, hotels, and other enterprises, first planted vineyards at his 250 acre estate in 1987, after spending two years checking soil and weather to make sure he planted the correct varietals in the correct locations.
25 acres of hillside vines are planted in this unique microclimate, where cool breezes filter into Newton Canyon in the evening, tempering warm, sunny days. Even with this boutique size, individual plots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc are separately vinified and barrel-aged before blending.
Winemaker Christian Roguenant strives to bring out the unique terroir of the site. The reds are unfiltered and unfined, and the Chardonnay does not go through ML. All the grapes come from the estate vineyards.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay can be enjoyed in some of LA’s toniest restaurants, and some of Hollywood’s top stars have sipped the wines at the estate.
You may not be able to wrangle an invitation to the vineyard (then again, you might), but you can now enjoy these wines at your own – estate”.
Brix at Harvest: 26.2
Residual Sugar: none
Total Acidity: .66
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, all estate grown
Oak: Seguin Moreau château barrels — Allier and Tronçais, medium toast, 20 months
Process: Unfiltered, Unfined
AVA: Malibu – Newton Canyon
Case Production: 1,680