What We Say 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Today’s wine is a delicious and food-fantastic Classic Napa Cab, deserving of this special alert
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Mission Codename: Body and Soul
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate WaterMark and retrieve their famous 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, before it is gone forever
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: WaterMark
Wine Subject: 2005 WaterMark Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
Winemaker: Phil Steinschreiber
Backgrounder: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon continues to dominate as the leader in California red wine. For good reason, too, as Napa produces some of the richest and most delicious examples on the planet. Today’s wine is a beautifully balanced delight that had us wishing for another bottle, mere moments after we polished off the first. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report for the full briefing
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby red to Burgundy with a concentrated heart of pure, clear garnet. When swirled, the wine shows a tight and springy surface whose core continues to spin for a while before finally settling. As soon as you stop swirling, ropey legs are fast to emerge and slow to move down the glass
Smell – Bold, big and and intense with an initial rush of dusky dark cherry, black currant, and blackberry. These are soon followed by soft cedar, anise and subtle oaky vanilla with soft spices
Feel – Very round, but only at the very tip of the tongue. This is a truly unique attribute that add a great deal of intrigue on initial sip. The wine is the fast across the mid, where it grips in, starting just behind the tip of the tongue. This, another trick of the wine that adds character. Finally, as the wine spreads across the palate, it coats the mouth and dries the cheeks, the lips and the edges of the tongue
Taste -This wine begins dusky, dark and rich with juicy flavors of black cherry, currant, red plum and raspberry with soft tobacco, dark chocolate and natural cola nut. As the wine opens it softens and the fruit becomes more authentic
Finish – Starts dusky and dark and then finishes sweet and softly tart with dark fruit flavors that linger
Conclusion – Phil Steinschreiber shows of his quarter century of experience with this boldly delicious Napa Cab. Classically Napa in style, but with a brightness and freshness that defies calling it a standard Cab, this wine is built for enjoyment as a companion for a fine meal. Phil’s style of winemaking could be called hands-on. I call it deeply intensive, for he is so deeply involved in each phase of the wines progress, from vineyard to bottle, to dinner table. Balanced, food-friendly, rich and robust, this wine is also a great solo-drinker
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Phil Steinschriber
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/13/51
PLACE OF BIRTH: Camden, NJ
WINE EDUCATION: Masters in Agricultural Chemistry from Fresno State
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker Vineyard Manager for Diamond Creek Vineyards since 1991
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: My goal is to treat it gently and to allow it to evolve into its own character with as little intervention by humans as possible.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Producing and consulting for many high scoring wines.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Revere Mother Nature and she will reward you with wines of incomparable value.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Phil. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
PHIL: My pleasure to be here. Thanks!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
PHIL: I have been around wine for most of my life as my father owned package stores since 1962.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
PHIL: I learned the most in Israel when I was the winemaker for Yarden winery in 1983 to 1985 in the Golan Heights.
RED: Wow! You;ll have to fill me in on that story another time. Tell me, what is your winemaking style or philosophy?
PHIL: Allowing as little human intervention as possible other than aggressive fermentation and extraction. After that point the wines are allowed to develop and are fine tuned until bottling.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
PHIL: Probably Jerry Luper as he was the consummate winemaker at Diamond Creek and I had the pleasure to work with him under his consultation for several years.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
PHIL: I have been making wine for close on to 30 years and it has been in my blood since I was a child.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
PHIL: I used to make wines for wine writers but as one matures and tastes develop I learned that my palate is the one I need to satisfy. I find that what I like most others like as well.
RED: Right answer! Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
PHIL: It is the finest place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination of soil, sun exposure and weather is the best for growing cab. The Napa Valley has consistently shown through scores and reviews by wine writers that this is the best place in the USA to grow this varietal and one of the best places on the earth.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
PHIL: You better have lots of money and lots of passion and a hard shell to be able to take criticism from wine writers and still be true to yourself.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
PHIL: At the winery, we are preparing for bottling, thus making final blend, lab analysis and possible filtrations.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
PHIL: The 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several different vineyards in the valley including the floor and some hillside near Howell Mountain. It actually contains approximately 15% Howell Mountain fruit. It is produced using 100% new french oak, racked 5 times, mostly in it’s early life. The wine tends to grow in the barrel. Blending was first done early 2006 so that the tannin could complex the anthocyanins thus producing a darker, richer cab.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
PHIL: I happen to like lamb as the meat does not overwhelm the fruit.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
PHIL: I secretly drink chardonnay on occasion!!!!!
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
PHIL: I drink the Watermark all the time.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
PHIL: Don’t come with any preconceived notions and enjoy the wine as it changes in the glass over time.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
PHIL: Probably the 2005 Diamond Creek Lake. Had it yesterday and even I was blown away.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
PHIL: How long will this wine age? It should get better for the next 4 or 5 years and then will hold for about 10. If you don’t open this wine until after I am dead, I will personally guarantee it!!!!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
PHIL: Thanks it was my pleasure and hope yours and my fans enjoy this lovely cab.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This Cabernet Sauvignon has big, bold aromas; lots of raspberry, mocha, and vanilla with notes of cedar. Tobacco and smoke come through with a hint of cassis and jam which adds complexity to this full bodied wine. The entry is dense, with the cassis and raspberry character continuing to please the palate as the vanilla and oak notes come to play. This wine is great now but can be laid down until 2012 or beyond.
The grapes from the 2005 vintage are sourced from different parts of the Napa Valley Appellation. The wines are reminiscent of mountain grown grapes with some red fruit qualities of the valley floor.
About The Winery:
Phil Steinschriber has produced wines for over 25 years for some of the top rated wineries in the Napa Valley. Since branching out on his own in 2004, he has produced excellent wines with quality in mind. We hope you enjoy this wine and invite you to have a WaterMark Day
About The Winemaker:
Phil Steinschriber – Phil Steinschriber has been in and around the beverage industry since he was about the age of 12. He had no idea of how influential his father was to him at the time. His father had a 7th grade education and came to this country seeking his fortune when he started in the package industry and Phil would help him out in the store selling such items as Thunderbird, Annie Green Springs and MD 20 20.
Wine is a living organism. It evolves and changes in time. Our goal is to treat it gently and to allow it to evolve into its own character with as little intervention by humans as possible. In this way, Mother Nature will tell her story through earth, water and climate.
Appellation: Napa Valley
Ageing: 30 months in French Oak barrels
Bottling: July 2008
Varietals: 98.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.8% Merlot, 0.4% Cabernet Franc
Release Date: September 2008
Cases Produced: 434