What We Say 2006 Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
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Mission Codename: The Urge
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: With Burgess Cellars under extended surveillance, rush to procure their newest Cabernet Sauvignon – and make it available to our Operatives long before the public gets wind
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Burgess Celllars
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Winemaker: Steve Burgess
Backgrounder: Our Operatives love Burgess Cellars’ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2004 and 2005 vintages we featured here in previous years quickly became best-sellers! When we learned that Steve’s 2006 was ready, we sent Agent Red to secure an ample supply. Read Agent Reds tasting notes and mission report below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red, with a heart of slightly opaque darker garnet. Color maintains solid concentration, right out to the edges of the glass. Swirl the wine and you’ll see a tight surface that settles fast, leaving behind skinny tears that take a long time to emerge before they march steadily down the glass
Smell – Lush and full of red berries, leading with raspberry, dark cherry, ripe strawberry and cranberry. These yield to a softly earthy aroma of forest floor, and dried meats with licorice and hard leather. Underneath all of this you will find a lovely herbaceous aroma, with very subtle dried rosemary and thyme
Feel – Soft and plush at first. Then, gradually, softly grippy and slightly drying as the wine winds its way around your mouth, leaving behind a soft coating as it moves
Taste – Dark and full, with deep red fruit from the nose. Add to these, additional flavors of overripe blackberry and smoky black plum, with dried meats, tobacco leaf, black licorice and soft spice
Finish – Exceedingly long, with ripe fruit flavors, a hint of dark smoke and a soft flinty minerality
Conclusion – I have had the distinct pleasure to enjoy 3 successive vintages of Steve Burgess’ exceptional Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Of all of them, I find this one to be the most intriguing – and the most complex. This, according to Steve, is attributable to the precise timing of the 2006 harvest. The result is a wine with deeper fruit and greater intrigue. With bold but balanced flavors, wonderful aromatics and a dynamic feel, this iteration of Steve’s estate Cabernet is a delicious and delightful treat!
What follows is Agent Red’s first encounter with Burgess Cellars. Now that we have a mole deep within the Burgess organization, procuring specials like today’s pre-release allotment is a snap. Please enjoy this mission recap:
In which Agent Red has enjoyed a few glasses of today’s 2004 Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon – and finds himself waxing poetic. Or does he?
Ode to Burgess and their fanTAStic Cabernet Sauvignon
Your wines appeal
they make us feel
to the Mountain Howell
The true soul of your wine shines
in the tall pours that I desire
Your Cab is beyond compare
_In which Agent Cuvee, sensing that Agent Red is not the Pablo Neruda of wine, steps in and stops Agent Red from writing any more poetry.
Okay, Red, put down the pen and go get some rest. I got this one.
Greeting Dear Operatives. Agent Red had to, umm, leave. I’m taking over this briefing.
All of us here at Wine Spies Central Command agree: Bill Sorenson is a winemaker of remarkable talent. All of his wines shine with a uniqueness and distinctiveness and all of his wines taste great. The fantastic Howell Mountain fruit grown on the Burgess estate doesn’t hurt, either.
We recently had the great fortune to taste through all of his current release red wines and it was his Cab that really stood out as our favorite. With bright fruit, a tender mouth feel and a rich finish, this wine is not a massive monster Cab that bullies your senses. This is a refined wine that is real pleasure to spend quality time with.
During our tasting, we found ourselves discussing this wine at length. It was really interesting to pull apart and describe in detail all of the aromas and flavors that the wine conveys. With its bright acidity, we suspect that the wine would pair nicely with most anything. We were hoping to enjoy it with the meal we had planned for later that evening, but Agent Red seemed to have enjoyed most of the remaining bottle, leaving none for our dinner. Alas. At least it led to some poetry that we can tease him about – once he returns from his latest mission!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Burgess Cellars in Napa Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The Burgess Cellars’ hillside vineyards are on the steep slopes of Howell Mountain. The various exposures result in grapes that complement one another and build a complex, delicious wine. Soils range from volcanic ash to rocky, this, combined with mature vines and skilled wine making give us all the positive components and a very elegant wine. The wine shows off Cabernet Sauvignon character with dense layers of fruit delicately accented with vanilla and toasty oak from traditional barrel aging.
Vineyard & Winemaker Notes: Napa Valley is known for excellent and consistent wines, this year was no exception. From a solid fruit set to ideal harvest conditions, the grapes came in with stunning quality. More family involvement from Jim and Steve Burgess in 2006 resulted in a stricter, more detailed, and more thorough evaluation of maturity resulting is some of the most accurate picking dates ever. Knowing wines are made in the vineyard, this is paramount to success. True to Burgess style, our wines showcase the fruit, complemented by a hint of French oak.
About The Winery:
Burgess Cellars, located on the slopes of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, focuses on creating exceptional, hand-crafted estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah.
Burgess traces its origins to an original winery on the property in the 1880’s. Since 1972, Napa Valley pioneer Tom Burgess and his family have followed the belief that it is vital to grow only those varietals ideally suited to a particular vineyard’s soil composition, sun and wind exposure, and overall micro-climate. The French refer to this as “terroir,” and it certainly explains the consistent aromas and flavors found in the hillside Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon.
Over the years three distinct estate vineyard sites have been cultivated and nurtured to create the very best handcrafted wines. The Burgess flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, thrives on the western slopes of Howell Mountain near the winery; Merlot is ideally suited to the Triere Vineyard on the Napa Valley floor in the Oak Knoll AVA just south of Yountville; Syrah is perfectly matched to conditions in the estate vineyard site on the eastern slope of Howell Mountain.
Burgess is somewhat unique in the Napa Valley today, in that it is truly a family-owned winery which has employed the same gifted winemaker, Bill Sorenson, since the winery’s re-birth in 1972.
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Vineyard Locations: Burgess Estate Vineyards, Western & Eastern slopes of Howell Mountain
Grape Variety: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot
Process: 100% Malolactic Fermentation
Harvest Notes: Harvest was in late Fall, resulting in long “hang time.” This is ideal for excellent character.
Cases produced: 5,870
Release date: February 2010