Hans Fahden

2006 Narrative - Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

California: Sonoma County

Offer Expired:Oct 21, 2009 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


We have always been big fans of Hans Fahden wines and have always declared that they represent exceptional value. Today’s new wine from Hand Fahden is no exception; It carries a stellar QPR (Quality to Price Ratio), making it a wine that drinks well above it’s price category


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Mission Codename: Don’t Tell

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Respond immediately to reports that Wine Spies Operative favorite, Hans Fahden, has released an new, upscale, Cabernet Sauvignon – at a down-to-earth price. If the wine is great, secure as much as possible – before they run out – forever!_

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Hans Fahden Winery

Wine Subject: 2006 “Narrative” Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Israel Montanez

Backgrounder: Hans Fahden wines continue to be among the most popular with our Operatives. Today we are pleased to bring you Hans Fahden’s newest Cabernet Sauvignon, their exceptional 2006 Narrative, made from the winery’s finest vineyard sources

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dense and deep purple with an inky core. The wine has dark garnet edges that glint when help up to the light. When swirled, this wine shows a soft surface that settles fast. Tight clusters of medium-width legs move steadily down the glass

Smell – Bold, with an initial rush of smoked bacon that becomes more subtle as the wine is exposed to the air. After some swirling, the wine shows beautifully deep aromas of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry with savory spices, toasted oak, cigar box, soft espresso and dusty minerals

Feel – This full-bodied wine is smooth and rich with fine grained tannins that intermingle with a soft minerality. Balanced acidity and a hint of soft spice emerge as this well-structured wine spreads across the palate, coating the mouth

Taste – Flavors mimic the nose, with added cassis and toasted oak that round out the overall experience. With time, additional notes of soft white pepper, subtle tobacco leaf and dark minerals present softly at the mid-palate

Finish – Long and lingering, with rich dark fruit that is supported by lush tannins and soft spice

Conclusion – The 2006 Narrative Cabernet Sauvignon, from our good friends at Hans Fahden, is a delicious wine that drinks beautifully. We have always loved Hans Fahden Cabs, and we have always contended that their wines represent an exceptional value. This wine is the winery’s entry into a more upscale Cabernet. Still priced below where it should be, but we won’t tell Hans Fahden that if you don’t. Enjoy this richly delicious wine now, and for at least the next ten years as flavors and feel continue to develop. This is a great holiday wine, so be sure to stock up on enough to last you through the holidays – while also securing some for your longer-term stash.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Israel Montanez

DATE OF BIRTH: January 1970


WINE EDUCATION: Napa Valley Junior College – Enology/Winemaking Program, U.C. Davis Extension Courses, Many Wine and Viticulture Seminars, Years of hands on experience

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 19 years in the industry. Far Niente, William Hill, Franciscan

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Quality wine is made in the vineyard. I like to pick by taste and need to have ripe flavors. I don’t like to handle wines more than needed. Tannin management starts early. It’s important to work with tannins early so it has time to integrate.

SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “There are thousands of little details that go into producing great wine”.


AGENT RED: Greetings, Israel We are thrilled to be showing your “Narrative” 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

ISREAL: Thank you. You’re doing a fantastic job taking all types of wines to the consumer in a very fun way.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

ISREAL: I took a part-time job working a harvest back in 1989. I was fascinated with the process, the equipment and the smell of fermenting grapes. I loved it and was hooked.

RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?

ISREAL: Back in the 90’s I worked with winemakers at Far Niente who were ahead of the game in terms of research and technology. During my seven years as cellarmaster I learned a lot.

RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?

ISREAL: I am all about making rich, well-balanced wines. Ripe fruit is a must. I work hard to extract as much flavor and color without overdoing it.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

ISREAL: I worked with Ashley Heisey at Far Niente. She has been very influential in the development of my winemaking style. She’s now the winemaker at Long Meadow Ranch.

RED: How long have you been making wine?

ISREAL: This harvest celebrates my 5th vintage at Hans Fahden. I have worked in the industry for 19 years.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

ISREAL: Hans Fahden cab lovers and myself

RED: Tell me, what makes this mountain region of Sonoma County so special?

ISREAL: This area is tough to farm but the microclimate and rocky/volcanic soil is ideal for making very concentrated cabs. It’s a pretty unique area in terms of terrior.

RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?

ISREAL: If you have the passion, go for it. It’s fun and hard work at the same time. But the results are rewarding.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

ISREAL: We don’t typically pick until late October so we are getting the winery facility ready for harvest. I am also working on the blends for the ’07 cabs we are getting ready to bottle.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today

ISREAL: To craft this wine, I selected the best lots from the ’06 vintage. I wanted to make a sophisticated cab, balanced with good structure. Something with good ageability.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

ISREAL: I love cabs with grilled meats. Steak or lamb is always great.

RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know

ISREAL: I am a big kid at heart.

RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?

ISREAL: Hans Fahden cab, of course. I also like Markham and Simi wines.

RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?

ISREAL: Always with an open mind, being sure to savor and enjoy every sip.

RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?

ISREAL: Screaming Eagle cab.

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!

ISREAL: You’re welcome! I’ve enjoyed sharing some time with you. I also want to say “thanks” for being great fans and representing our wine so well.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Hans Fahden estate can be seen in this satellite photo

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

“This is a big, bold wine,.. full-bodied with a long, smooth finish. Rich black fruit, cassis, chocolate, and spice flavors are layered over notes of sweet vanilla oak. The flavors are supported by the supple and textured tannins. This cab is blended from my selection of the best lots produced in 2006. It’s approachable now and will continue to improve with age”. ~ Israel Montañez, Winemaker

About The Winery:

The Fahden Family, now in its third generation as growers, produces Cabernet Sauvignon. The limited production of 2,500 cases per year comes from our estate vineyards, located in the mountains on the western ridge above Calistoga.

Our Sonoma County Mountain Cabernet is always deep in color and distinct in flavor, due to the influence of the volcanic ash soils in which they are grown. There is a unique note of earthiness not found in wines grown on the valley floor. Our first vintage was bottled in 1986. It was made in the traditional style producing a wine which was a chewy, tannic monster. We have spent the last decade developing a more elegant style of wine which is consistent vintage after vintage. This style reflects a balance between the intense character of mountain fruit that ensures aging ability, and makes the wine more approachable for enjoyment during the wine’s youth.

The new style has been further complemented with a program of tannin management and blending a small amount of Merlot to create a more complex mid-palate, pleasing mouth feel and smooth full-bodied finish. The wines are aged predominantly in American oak from Appalachia and Minnesota that adds a hint of vanilla leading to a smooth finish.

Winemaking & Vineyards:

Located at 1200 feet in the Mayacamas Mountains, Hans Fahden Vineyards stretches over 100 acres and features panoramic views of Mt. St. Helena.

Early wines were crafted in the traditional California style and exhibited intense and jammy characteristics. Earthy aromas accented by smoke and cedar overtones distinctive of Bordeaux were direct results of the volcanic soil.

The Fahden Family, now in its third generation as growers, produces Cabernet Sauvignon. The limited production of 2,500 cases per year comes from our estate vineyards, located in the mountains on the western ridge above Calistoga.

Due to the influence of the volcanic ash soils in which they are grown, our Sonoma County Mountain Cabernet is deep in color and distinct in flavor and exhibits a unique note of earthiness not found in wines grown on the valley floor.

Our winemaking style reflects a balance between the intense character of mountain fruit that ensures aging ability, yet it is approachable for enjoyment during the wine’s youth.

Technical Analysis:

Harvest Date: October 28, 2006

Appellation: 100% Sonoma County

Varietal Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon /10% Merlot

Sugar At Harvest: 25 brix

pH: 3.9

Total Acidity: .6 g/L

Cooperage: 24 months on 50% American and 50% French Oak

Alcohol: 15.5%

Bottled: April 16, 2009

Production: 376 cases

Release Date: September 1, 2009

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