2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE/QPR ALERT!
Today’s wine is superior in both price and performance. With a stellar QPR (Quality to Price Ratio), and incredible character, this richly delicious Cab drinks well above today’s price class.
FINAL AVAILABILITY ALERT!
With such limited production and such high quality, this wine is currently in short supply. This could be the last chance you have to experience this great wine
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Mission Codename: A tale of two counties
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Moser Scharding and, this time, recover a cache of their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Moser Scharding
Wine Subject: 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley – Napa County
Winemaker: Paul Moser
Winery Backgrounder: Today, we are pleased to bring you the second wine from Moser Scharding, the premium label from Napa wine superstar Cartlidge & Browne Winery. Given the reputation and quality of Cartlidge’s wines, The Wine Spies were deeply intrigued at the prospect of even better wines. Since its first vintage in 1980, C & B has earned the love and respect of wine drinkers worldwide. Their following is fiercely loyal and for great reason: Great wine!. Moser Scharding is the premium pet project of winemaker Paul Moser. The goal of his premium label is to deliver spectacular wines, made from the best California fruit, in a more classic French or Burgundian style. Mission accomplished, Paul.
Read Agent Red’s mission report below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful ruby red with great clarity though its darkening core.On swirling, this wine shows a tight and springy surface that takes a long time to settle, before it finally unleashes two rounds of chubby, cascading legs
Smell – A bright rush of cherry, mocha, red plum, cassis and raspberry rush up to meet your nose. After some time in the decanter, additional aromas of violets, green leaf tobacco, star anise, dark chocolate and earthy cedar appear, rounding out the big nose beautifully
Feel – Soft and velvety, up front, the wine quickly coats the rest of the palate as a Cclassic bigness sets in. The wine is bold with supple tannins, which give it great balance – without overpoering your mouth at all
Taste – Delicious, rich, bold and big, but with all of its flavors in check, this wine presents dark plum, smoky black cherry, overripe blackberry, subtle turkish coffee, cigar box and earthen forest floor and minerals
Finish – Super long and deeply dark, but with enough brightness (acidity) to keep the wine in breat bvalance as flavors tail off gently
Conclusion – This is another stellar offerin from Moser Scharding. Paul Moser shows off his passion and experience with this wine. With incredible fruit, an exciting mouthfeel and deep aromas, this wine holds everything in perfect balance. We enjoy our review bottles with a summer salad with pears and glazed walnuts. This was an unothodox Cab pairing, to be sure, but it worked perfectly. If you love big, classic Cali Cabs, this is a delightful and beautifully balanced option. Thank you, Paul, we love your wines!
What follows is a recap of our initial interview with Paul Moser. Please note that the wine that is referred to in the interview is the wine that we featured here, previously. Today’s Moser Scharding Cabernet Sauvignon is just as incredible
Yesterday I was able to catch up with Paul Moser, the winemaker and mastermind behind Cartlidge & Browne winery – and now his new premium label, Moser Scharding.
What follows is a transcribed extract of our short but powerful conversation:
AGENT RED: Paul! Thanks for having this quick call with me. I know how busy you are. Let me start by saying that I am crazy about your wines. They are fantastic! The Pinot that we are featuring today is really amazing.
PAUL MOSER: Thank you, Agent Red. I am so happy that you like it. This particular wine does exactly what a Pinot Noir is supposed to do. It makes the drinker go in and find it. That’s the reward. It’s not a full-throttle, California, stand a spoon up in it wine, like many California Pinots.
RED: So, what sort of wine drinker is this Pinot Noir for?
PAUL: Well, its not a beginner wine. For new wine drinkers, I would recommend a great Napa Cab. Those are easy to understand, maybe even more impressive. Pinot can be harder to grasp.
RED: Especially those that are more Burgundian, like yours?
PAUL: Especially! This wine is a wine for drinkers of more experience under their belts. That’s not to say that someone new to wine would not enjoy it. They do. It’s just that this wine has a more refined sensibility than they may be used to.
RED: So, who do you make your wines for, then?
PAUL: Another deep question! I would say that I make wines that strike a balance between my own mad stylings and what I know are wine-drinker preferences. Left to my own devices, I might go off into the woods and talk to myself as I make extraordinarily odd and eccentric wines for myself.
RED: And, have you achieved a proper balance?
PAUL: What do you think, Agent Red?
RED: I think that you have. You have crafted an extraordinary wine in this Pinot Noir. We here at Wine Spies H.Q. find it to be a brilliant balance between Burgundian and Californian. Where the fruit really does shine through, it does not muscle its way in. And, where that French refinement and restraint are there, this is no subdued wine. So, yeah, I’d say that you got this one just right!
PAUL: Thank you. I appreciate that feedback. I have always striven to reconcile the best-of fruity Cali against the refined elegance of French winemaking. When people point out the layers or depth in a wine, I really think this points to one thing: A general refined sensibility and elegance. I try for these in making my wines.
RED: Again, I think that you got it just right. Tell me, how did you come to winemaking?
PAUL: That’s easy. There was one defining moment for me. I was in college at Goergetown, in Washington D.C., a kid of 18 from California. There were several ‘alternative’ classes available, and I signed up for a wine appreciation class, thinking that I’d get some free wine out of it.
RED: Something happened in that class, didn’t it?
PAUL: I’ll say. I tasted a 1959 Chateau Lynch-Bages – and I was done for! That moment, that wine, that was a game changer for me. After that, I was obsessed! I would torment my local wine shop, buying up books and all of the wine that I could afford. I was hooked.
RED: After college, you went to work for Stanford University, right?
PAUL: You guys do your homework! Yes, I actually got very lucky. At twenty-two, the job sent me to France – to Burgundy and the Loire Valley – for two years, and it was an easy job. Every spare moment outside of work was spent working at various wineries. It was there that I got my grounding.
RED: Yet you somehow also stay true to your own California roots. At least you seem to have found a great balance between the two philosophies and styles of winemaking.
PAUL: Thank you, you pay me a great compliment, then.
RED: Thanks for your time, Paul. I am sure that our Operatives will be as crazy about your wine as I am.
PAUL: Thank you, Agent Red. Enjoy!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A full-tilt Cabernet, this wine is a study in black cherry fruit, espresso, and ripe sweet plum all enhanced by lush oak and notes of anise, cocoa, and sweet tobacco. With fine concentration and generous texture it is best appreciated when accompanied by simpler red meat and poultry preparations, so as not to obscure the wine’s wonderful character. It is also excellent with grilled portabella mushrooms, roasted winter vegetables, hearty stews, and all but the spiciest polentas, pastas, and risottos.
Moser Scharding wines are limited releases of a collaboration by winemakers Paul Moser and Rebecca Scharding Steinschriber. Paul and Rebecca have worked together producing the wines of Cartlidge & Browne for the last 9 years.
A true example of a “more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts” creation, this wine marries the best qualities of these two extraordinary growing regions.
The Sonoma component of this blend comes from a single vineyard located on Petrified Forest Road, northeast of Calistoga, just over the county line. It is planted
to clone 337, on SO4 rootstock and prduces dense, extracted wines with deep fruit character and plenty of tobacco and mocha tones. in 2004, it was harvested on the
6th of October at 24.9º Brix.
The Napa County fraction comes from a vineyard on the east side of the valley, off of Sage Canyon Road. It includes a shallow-soil “hill” section, and a section on more even terrain, with deeper soils. It is planted to clones 337, 15, and 7. The 2004 harvest took place on September 15th for the Hill section at 25.7º Brix, and the balance was harvested at 26.0º Brix on September 18th.
About The Winery:
Moser Scharding wines are limited releases of a collaboration by winemakers Paul Moser and Rebecca Scharding Steinschriber. Paul and Rebecca have worked together producing the wines of Cartlidge & Browne for the last 10 years.
TA: 5.8 g/l