The Thursday before Labor Day weekend marks a unique celebration, it is National Cabernet Sauvignon Day. It’s a day that honors and recognizes this most famous of all grape varietals. While Cabernet Sauvignon is famous on a global scale, some of the best expressions of this varietal comes from the Napa Valley, where the Cabernet is King.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a small, thick-skinned grape that is easily adaptable and thus grown in many regions, altitudes, latitudes and climates around the world. When I think about high quality, consistent vintages, and highly structured Cabernet Sauvignon, I always look to the Napa Valley. Click on the link here to see the many reasons why Napa Valley is so unique and special for winemaking.
Napa Valley is the epicenter of wine in the United States. With such a wide variety of soils, elevations, and climates you get wines that are distinctively unique; wines that express a sense of place. Cabernet Sauvignon from the valley floor can be more acidic and tannic with bold intense flavors and a concentration of fruit, whereas the mountain Cabernets can have more purity of fruit, great structure and are highly age-worthy. There is a style of Cabernet to appeal to a wide variety of wine lovers.
National Cabernet Sauvignon Day originally started as a way to celebrate the upcoming harvest. So this fall season, as the weather starts to cool down, and you are in the mood for a more fuller bodied wine, pick up a few bottles of Napa Valley finest Cabernet Sauvingon and toast the start of the autumn season.
These 15 Cabernet Sauvingons are produced by a diverse group of winemakers. Some are small off the grid wineries, while others are some of Napa’s most historic and iconic wines. Several of these vineyards are entirely family owned and operated, where the wines are handcrafted and artisanal in style.
Some of these Cabernets are Napa’s hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The wines are in a range of price points that will please every wine drinker, from the oenophiles on a budget to the high rollers.
Charles Krug is regarded as one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the Napa Valley. The 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has flavors of ripe black cherry, blackcherry and black currant with hints of dried blueberry and cocoa. Full of bold flavors, this wine has a long and memorable finish.
Louis M. Martini has been producing wine since the end of Prohibition, making it one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley. Throughout its history, Louis M. Martini has continuously been known for its spectacular red wines. The 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception, with notes of fruit, spice and cedar. The wine is juicy and ready for drinking now.
This 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Long Meadow Ranch is produced using organic and sustainable methods, leading to a Cabernet Sauvignon with a fresh finish. The 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of blackberry, plum, cocoa, and fennel that pair well with beef and other hearty meats.
From one of the pioneers of Spring Mountain, this Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% estate fruit grown at the top of Spring Mountain. Black cherry, oak and black pepper on the nose precede a layered, rich palate, where soft tannins are the backbone for flavors of forest floor, cloves, savory herbs and cassis. A long and complex finish persists with notes of loam and red fruits. These grapes grow on slopes of up to 30% at an elevation of almost 2,000 feet: this mountain pedigree insures deliciously integrated tannins and a long life span.
From the Coombsville AVA in Southern Napa, the 2014 Eminence Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. This wine shows a deep ruby color, with an immense power just waiting to jump from the glass. Blackberries, cassis and cooking spice aromas fill your glass. This is a full-bodied wine, showing a nice balance between the soft, approachable tannins and the mouth-coating fresh black fruits. A fresh finish keeps your palate clean, begging for more.
“G” is a beautiful blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Syrah, 10% Merlot Sourced entirely from Guarachi’s Meadowrock Estate. The grapes for“G” come from the finest 30-year old vines found on the property’s rich rocky earth, perched on Atlas Peak above the fog line that often blankets the valley below. Rich flavors of cherry and dark chocolate tie harmoniously with toasted vanilla and a touch of cedar from just the right amount of oak.“G” is rich, well-balanced and has a long, lasting finish. Pairs well with smoked meats, steak and chocolate.
The 2016 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon is from Stags Leap District. It is a lithe and tempting elixir that dazzles the senses. Even in its youth, it displays a fully integrated nose of fresh red and black currants, wild blackberries, and a perfumed bouquet of violets and lavender. Spice notes of smoked cardamom, anise, and cumin dance among the fig and cherry flavors. The opulent finish crescendos in a wave of supple tannins, which nimbly glides along the palate and draws the taster back for another joyful sip.
Cabernet is all about elegance. This bottle perfectly demonstrates the owner’s (Ronaldo) mastery of producing vibrant, award-winning Cabernets. Lush and well-structured, this wine is meant to age in your cellar. This is a great classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of black fruit, coffee, and chocolate, which lead into rich layers of ripe berries, black pepper, and caramel. Velvety and well-balanced, with approachable tannins and beautiful oak integration, this is a wine to be enjoyed for years to come.
The Corley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the flagship wine of the Corley Family. They are a small family operated winery producing approximately 15,000 cases of wine annually. This Reserve wine is luscious, powerful and richly textured. It is a full-bodied wine, that while ready to drink now, is also a wine to lay down for the years to come. Aromatics of juicy red fruits, toasty sweet oak and hints of vanilla. The mouth-feel is rich in texture with a finish that is framed by firm but velvety tannins, one of the hallmarks of this wine.
The Sisters began in 2000 as a project by the Jones Family to create a wine from the youngest of their estate-grown vines. It has now evolved into a wine that is a quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 has a complex brambly flavor profile that is highlighted by a pleasing high-toned finish. Aromas of allspice, blackberry, and fresh leather emerge from the glass. The palate suggests notes of macerated blueberries, nutmeg, flint, and lavender. This wine has a sleek mouthfeel, complimented by fine chalky tannins.
Arns is very elegant Cabernet with a deep, dark purple color. The 2012 vintage marks the 20th Anniversary of Arns Estate Grown Cabernet. You can taste the fleshy and refined tannins in the mouth covered by juicy fruit tones of black cherry, licorice, chocolate, and cedar. For the best tasting experience, decant and enjoy.
Straight away this wine shows an extremely dark color with very little lightening at the rim. On the nose there is black raspberries, dark spices, cloves and a little bit of slow smoked meats. On the palate this is extremely rich and dense with ample tannins that are sweet and add frame and balance to the wine.
From one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, this classic Napa Cabernet is filled with aromas of cassis, black cherry, and hints of mint. Aging in the finest French Oak barrels and small lot fermentation contribute to an enticing bouquet of cedar, anise, vanilla, mocha and sage. This full-bodied, rich Cabernet has smooth polished tannin and flavors of berry and plum on the palate.