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Another superstar of the vintage is the 2011 Thorevilos. Abreu and Grimes clearly crop-thinned in this vintage, and did heroic work in the vineyard to eliminate any possibility of tainted grapes getting in to the flavors. Sensational purity of blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with hints of camphor and violets are found in this 2011, which has a much higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than usual as the Petit Verdot was decimated by spring frost. Deep, serious, rich and one of the most concentrated 2011s I tasted, it should age effortlessly for 20-25 years, and should never close down given its precociousness and relatively evolved showing from barrel.
As a set of wines, it is hard to surpass the four cuvees from the estate vineyards of David Abreu. As I have written many times in the past, all of these wines are truly world-class efforts that stand alongside proprietary red wines made from Bordeaux varietals from any appellation in the world. Abreu has two vineyards in and around the town of St. Helena, the Madrona Ranch at the base of Spring Mountain and the Cappella, which is further toward the town. Ironically, his Thorevilos is not part of any AVA, but might be one of the three or four finest vineyards in all of Napa Valley. It sits on steep hillside behind the luxury Meadowood Resort. His other vineyard is on Howell Mountain. All of these sites total about 70 acres, and while Abreu sells some of the fruit to other high quality wineries, he continues to produce around 240-320 cases of each of these four selections, but that varies with each year. They are called proprietary red wines, but there is no doubting that these cuvees are dominated by 60-75% Cabernet Sauvignon and have increasingly high percentages of Cabernet Franc, especially Madrona Ranch and Thorevilos which no doubt accounts for their incredible perfumes and complex aromatics. These wines are all aged 24 or more months in 100% new French oak. Abreu, who first established his reputation as Napa Valley’s premier viticulturist, and who has a list of clients that reads like the guest list at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on New Year’s Eve, is impressive. While he clearly suffers no fools, his formula is intense work in the vineyard, radical viticulture techniques such as shoot positioning, crop-thinning, and a belief that the vine is never happier than when its in the shadow of its owner. His efforts and obsessive-compulsive work in the vineyards can’t be underestimated when it comes to seeing the results of what is produced in the bottle. These are spectacular wines year after year. Even in a challenging vintage such as 2011, Abreu’s viticultural work has paid off, even from the valley floor vineyards of Cappella and Madrona Ranch. Looking at the four vintages of Abreu’s St. Helena vineyard called Madrona Ranch, which was first planted in 1982, this is another cuvee that is usually composed of 47-50% Cabernet Sauvignon and an extremely high percentage of Cabernet Franc, now averaging between 33-45% in most vintages with smaller quantities of Petit Verdot and Merlot added in. The Howell Mountain project of David Abreu tends to be a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and 15-18% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot. Coming from a higher elevation, mountainside vineyard, it is a completely different wine than the Madrona Ranch or Cappella. It also emerges from a bigger vineyard, although I suspect Abreu still sells some of its fruit to some of Napa’s better wineries. All of these wines are amazing efforts, but for me, there is something about the Thorevilos Vineyard that boggles my mind. Co-owned with Ric Foreman, this is a steep hillside site above and behind the famous luxury resort of Meadowood. This cuvee is normally a blend of 45%-61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28%-40% or more Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot.
94-96 Points - Wine Advocate
Sale Price: $599.99
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Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most prominent dark-skinned grape varieties except Merlot in terms of area under vines, but which comprises our largest selection of wines. Grown in just about every wine producing region and climate, Cabernet Sauvignon can express a huge range of aromas, from green peppers in cool climates through to dark jammy fruit in hot regions. Common aromas include blackcurrants, mint, graphite, and forest floor, to name a few. Maturation in small oak barrels can develop a complex range of aromas from cedar wood, cigar box and tobacco to eucalyptus and undergrowth. Cabernet Sauvignon’s success is partly due to its ability to adapt to a range of soils and climates. It is the main constituent of the Bordeaux blend in the revered communes of Pauillac, St. Estephe and St. Julien, and has achieved equal success in California’s Napa Valley. It is grown extensively throughout Southern Australia, with some outstanding examples from the Terra Rossa soil of Coonawarra. Cabernet Sauvignon also plays an increasing role in Tuscany, Italy, where it is blended with native varieties such as Sangiovese to produce the Super Tuscans.
Country: United States
Although wine is made in all 50 states, it is understandable, with almost 90% of the country's production, that California is synonymous with domestic wine. As of 2010 harvest, reports indicate that Washington, New York & Oregon account for additional 6% of production, meanwhile Virginia, Missouri and Texas's wine industries are growing to a point beyond that of just a tourist attraction.
California is one of the most diverse wine producing regions of the world. Although it has a history spanning over 200 years, it has experienced most of its growth in the last fifty years. The regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County have become as renowned as France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are by far the most popular fine wine varieties, producers in the Golden State have also experimented with an unparalleled array of diverse varieties, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used.
Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.