What We Say 2006 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is, in a word, delicious! Today’s wine destroys the myth that Napa Cabs are the wines to be reckoned with! Give this Sonoma Valley Cab a chance to priove that wrong!
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Mission Codename: Live and Let Ty
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to Ty Caton Vineyards to retrieve Ty’s delicious 2006 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ty Caton Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Ty Caton
The Sonoma Valley AVA is one of the oldest wine growing regions in California with the first vines being planted in the early 1800s. The AVA is located along California Route 12 and its eastern boundary are the southern end of the Mayacama mountains. The unique micro-climate with less rainfall and fog than other parts of the region along with its unique soil provides ideal growing conditions for Zinfandel and especially Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark purple that lightens just slightly to an intense garnet hue along the edges. Dark and almost black, but clear through its dense core that allows just hints of garnet highlights shine through. When swirled, slow clusters of medium thick legs that show hints of color slide down the side of the glass.
Smell – A bold and youthful nose with aromas of dark fruit including black cherry that are complexly layered over a distinct oak and classic Cabernet herbal component. As it opens, hints of soft licorice, sweet smoke and mocha emerge.
Feel – This full-bodied wine is rich and supple on the palate. At mid palate, fine-grained but firm tannins and a slight tangy acidity and touch of spice coat the mouth and spreads to the edge of the palate.
Taste – Round, rich and complex Cabernet flavors of black fruit including black cherry, dark plum and blackberry that are supported by a solid oak framework. A touch of exotic spice and pepper, mocha, oak and licorice add to the robust flavor profile of this wine.
Finish – This wine finishes long with lingering dark fruit, oak, spice and bittersweet chocolate supported by its well structured tannins that goes on and on, tempting you into another sip.
Conclusion – The 2006 Ty Caton Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious and classic Cab that shows that Sonoma Valley can clearly rival the best of Napa. An aromatic nose invites you into a deep inhale, when sipped the rich and round attack that is followed by a solid structure that supports its excellent complex blend of fruit, oak, spice and other flavors make the mouth water.
Read about Agent Red’s original encounter with Ty Caton here when he discovered their Field Blend Red.
TY CATON: This is Ty.
AGENT RED: Ty Caton, Agent Red calling.
TY: Are we on a secure line?
RED: We are. I know how busy you are, so thanks for spending a few minutes with me today. Is harvest keeping you busy?
TY: Yes, but we’re about half way through. Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, and Petite Sirah are off – and next week the Cabernet Sauvignon will start to come off. By mid-month, we’ll be done and crush will continue. I won’t get a great until right around Thanksgiving!
RED: Such is the life of a winemaker, eh?!
TY: Indeed. I have to tell you, 2008 is looking really great. We had some crazy weather, but because of our elevation, we didn’t get hit hard by the frost like other wineries did.
RED: That’s good news! Tell me, Ty, how your career in winemaking began. Are you a lifer?
TY: Actually, I have a background in real estate development. When I was 26 years old, after completing a real estate project, I caught the wine bug. My parents has land in Napa. We became partners, and I began growing grapes.
RED: But that wasn’t enough for you, was it…
TY: No. I had made good friends with our neighbor, who was planting his vineyards at the same time. He turned out to be the winemaker for Ravenswood – and he continues with Ravenswood to this day.
RED: That’s Peter Mathis, right?
TY: Correct. We worked with Peter and, in 2000, released our first vintage. I’ve been honing my winemaking abilities ever since.
RED: I’d say that you’ve done a great job in that regard. Your 2005 Field Blend Red Wine is a super-delicious treat. Here at Wine Spies HQ, we really love the wine.
note: This was the wine we featured last year. We like today’s Malbec even better!]
TY: Thanks. The Field Blend Red is a really special wine. I call it my ‘mini-TyTanium’.
RED: So-called for your TyTanium wine – your flagship, right?
TY: Exactly, but where my TyTanium is a $65 wine, this Field Blend is less than half the price.
RED: We declare the wine to have an exceptional QPR. Its really a great wine, with very distinctive layers of aromas and unique flavors. Its delicious!
TY: I’m glad that you like it. I pick grapes for flavor and blend for maximum effect. I strive to create head turning wines that are rich and deep, yet approachable and fun to drink.
RED: Congratulations, then! You’ve managed just that with all of the Ty Caton wines we have tasted!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Ty Caton Vineyards & Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon greets the palate with rich and robust flavors of lush chocolate and cherry. The dark fruit flavors produce a sumptuous and rounded mouth feel that combines with soft, sturdy tannins, followed by a beautiful, long, silky finish.
About The Winery:
Ty Caton Vineyards is dedicated to creating wines of distinction with an authentic sense of place. Our commitment to excellence begins in the Caton Vineyard, where Winemaker Ty Caton sustainably farms all of the grapes used in our Sonoma Valley wine. As one of the few exclusively estate producers in Sonoma Valley, California, Ty personally works with the grapes from soil to glass. He handcrafts his wines in small lots with an acute awareness of the land that enables him to make wines that truly showcase the vineyards. Ty Caton Vineyards is forging a new definition of quality in winemaking and Actively Seeking Excellence.
About The Vineyard:
CATON VINEYARD – Located in the foothills of Sonoma Valley, the Caton Vineyard is defined by its sustainable farming and belief that healthier vineyards produce very unique and distinctive wines. The vineyards have multiple sun exposures, soil types, and vary in altitude over 300 feet between each other. Our meticulous farming practices showcase the love for our land and our passion for the wines that come from it.
We achieve wines of authenticity by working with nature to showcase the true flavors of the grapes. Ty Caton personally manages the entire winemaking process, from planting the vines, to farming the grapes, to making the wine here in Sonoma Valley. By using exclusively estate grown grapes he is able to have complete control over the process and personally tend to the wine from soil to glass. His acute awareness of the land enables him to make wines that show the great potential of the vineyard site.
Ty Caton’s philosophy is that wine is a natural product and should be treated as such. His winemaking uses limited intervention, which allows the wines to speak for themselves and import the true expression of the vineyard. He ferments with wild yeast that naturally occurs in the grapes so that the wines are manipulated as little as possible. As a Sonoma Valley winemaker and grape grower he strives to produce the ‘wow factor’ by creating wines that are bold, highly extracted and beautifully structured. Ty Caton believes that blending is an art form and uses master blending techniques to combine different grape varieties and clones to create wines with many layers of complexity in aroma and flavor. By allowing the grapes to show their true character and enhancing it through blending, Ty Caton is forging a new definition of quality in Sonoma Valley winemaking.
Varietal: 76% Cabernet, 16% Merlot, 5% Petite Sirah and 3% Syrah
Appellation: Sonoma Valley
Oak: 30% New Oak
Bottled: April 29, 2008
Production: 468 cases
Cellaring: Enjoy now or hold up to 15 years