2008 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
This is St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon in its pure form. It is inky purple in color, dark, powerful, and concentrated. Rich, ripe black and purple fruits are immediately evident on the nose, supported by earth, licorice, and tobacco spice. The palate is met by flavors of blackberries, cassis, and a hint of toast. The tannins are beautifully integrated, creating a balanced, silky, elegant wine.
2008 Estate Grown Petite Sirah
Produced from a stellar block of old, head trained vines; this Petite Sirah is true beauty and elegance. The purity of fruit shines through in the nose, with notes of black fruits and bramble berries, which are complemented by aromas of violet and graphite. The entry is silky and full, with bright flavors of ripe purple fruits, perfumed flowers, and baking spices. The mid palate is broad and rich, with concentration that is dense and opulent. The gentle use of French oak on this wine rounds out the tannins for a seamless, seductive, and lingering finish.
2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Ripe purple and black fruits are in the forefront of aromas exuded by this wine. The bouquet is accentuated by rich earthy elements, leather, tea leaf, tobacco and minerals. It has a strong entry consisting of plum, blackberries, and forest floor; carrying through to a rich mid-palate. The tannins are rich and balanced with vibrant acidity and subtle oak character, creating a supple mouth feel and long finish. I love the influence of the Ermitage barrels, the Tarandsaud barrels are nice and mellow, and the Demptos barrels give a nice spiciness. I also love the Darjanou barrels! Good fruit, mellow and subtle. More of an old world style wine consistent with the 2000 and 2003 vintage. Good acidity with fruit dominates.
2007 Estate Grown Petite Sirah
This wine is rich with dark blue fruits, toasty oak, crème de cassis, ripe and lush, good acid balance. It is immediately striking with its inky, brooding purple hue. It displays bright aromas of blueberries, purple fruits, black tea and cardamom. Lavender notes add complexity to the nose, as well as lingering aromas of vanilla and spice. The entry is silky, filled with ripe mulberries, floral notes, and hints of oak. Tannins are well structured, giving the wine balance, intensity and staying power. The bright acidity keeps Petite Sirah the fruit the focus throughout the entire time, carrying through to a long, elegant finish.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah – elegant!
The 2006 wines are pouring beautifully. While still a little tight on initial opening both wines open up slowly to a beautiful fruity wine with many layers and a long finish. The best approach we have found is to open them a little early, usually a little more than an hour before you want to drink them. Decanting is always an option or enjoy the wine as it leisurely opens in your glass.
2006 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a very powerful and fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon. It shows off ripe currants, black raspberry and dark cherry. It has a lovely smoky character that mingles with a meaty note and a dried herb component. All of these facets make up a very complex and divers aroma profile. In the mouth these same flavors become more lush and supple. It has soft tannins for such a big Cabernet, but they carry through to the finish well, making it an approachable wine. The acid profile is balanced, giving length and age-ability while helping the wine to be focused and food friendly.
Older Vintages Tasting Notes (and more…) all of these older vintages are available in limited quantites, if you are interested please contact the winery.
The 2004 and 2005 wines…There were less than two hundred cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah for each vintage. We thought we would have more of each of these vintages but when we bottled we ran out of wine before we hit our anticipated numbers so we released both the 2004 and 2005 vintages here at the winery and moved into the 2005 for sale in stores and restaurants. The 2004 is a great Cabernet, nice and soft and easy to drink. The 2005 is huge and chewy and a great CA red. Both are great Cabs. There just isn’t enough 2004 to make a release into the market on its own so we are offering them exclusively to our mailing list and I am afraid we will not have enough of either of these vintages to get us through until the release of the 2006 vintage in the Fall of 2010. All of the tasting notes and wine information are available on our website for all four wines. These two vintages are both great but not destined to be around for long. I know you aren’t supposed to pick a favorite, but I have to admit I have been in love with the 2005 Cabernet from the first day we tasted it in barrel. Jack on the other hand will usually choose a Petite Sirah.
2005 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon- Blackberry and black raspberry fruits are on the forefront of this wine. It’s subtle and elegant fruit tones are enhanced by tea leaf and rich forest floor elements. There is a lovely minerality to this wine, reminiscent of wet stones and freshly rained on gravel. The mouth matches the nose well with ripe fruit characters and cigar smoke. The tannins are supple and lengthy and the acid meshes well and carries the mouth feel through to a long lasting finish.
2005 Estate Grown St. Helena Petite Sirah- This wine, as with every vintage of Petite Sirah that I have worked with, has amazing color. It is dark purple with glints of blue and black. Blueberry is the dominant fruit aroma, layered with all manner of bramble berries. There is a lush creaminess of the nose, bringing blueberry pancake batter and blackberry crème brule to mind. Combined with the lush fruit notes is a sexy mesquite wood character that makes the fruit even more exotic. The mouth matches the nose well with the same concentrated fruit. The tannins are big, but have a satin, mouth filling texture. The acid balance is lovely, carrying the wine to a long and lasting finish. The fruit keeps on going and going, taking over in the end.
2004 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon – This is a big wine with ripe fruit dominating the nose. Black berry and plums and currants are layered with mellow tobacco, oiled leather and sweet pie spices. This wine is well structured and long lasting. The fruit in the mouth compliments the aromas and are long lasting. It is a wine that you can enjoy now and will hold up for many years to come.
2004 Estate Grown St. Helena Petite Sirah- This Petite Sirah has lots of color and density in the glass. It is filled with aromas of cassis, Bing cherry and cream soda accented by a lush minerality. In the mouth it has lovely balance and a very supple structure. That same lovely fruit from the aroma fills the mouth and reminds me of ripe cherries and strawberries. Enjoy this wine now and over the next five years.
The 2000 through 2003 wines are all pouring well. In a vertical tasting of the first four vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon at the California Wine Festivals Rare and Reserve event I was very surprised that the wines were equally well liked. There was not one bad vintage and while everyone picked their favorite they still liked the other three. Usually one vintage comes out a clear favorite but while each of these vintages are unique in their own way they were equally appealing to the group.
2003 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon- This is a very lovely wine. The fruit is still alive and well, expressing mainly dried cherry, dark boysenberry and craisin. The nose carries a lot of spices. Clove and allspice dominate with layers of tobacco, cedar and tea leaf. In the mouth this wine is lush but elegant. The fruit dominates with the same ripe red fruit as the nose. There is a sexy hint of red meat, blood and minerality that mingle with those same cedar and tobacco aromas. It has a healthy acidity that carries the very lush medium bodied mid pallet to a long and lasting sweet finish.
2003 Estate Grown St. Helena Petite Sirah – This wine is all about black brambly fruit. Black berries dominate with some blue berry hints. It has a lovely creme caramel character that compliments the dark fruit and a mild root beer layer that seems to be a strong vineyard characteristic. There is an abundance of spices, clove mainly in addition to a lovely Swiss milk chocolate. In the mouth this wine has an abundance of fine, mouth coating tannin. The flavors match the aromas well. The finish is very fruit driven and has a great acid level that make it a fun food wine with your heartier meats, especially game.
2002 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon – This is a Cabernet that is very true to it’s varietal. It displays gorgeous raspberry and cherry driven aromas entwined with earthy notes of vanilla, toast and chopped wood. These characters carry over nicely to the mouth and are set off by a lovely acid balance. This acid will sustain this wine for years to come, making it an exceptional food wine. It’s a supple wine that has a medium length and soft finish. A very good year in the vineyard with a little more heat and earlier harvest than we would have liked.
2002 Estate Grown St. Helena Petite Sirah- This is a very rich wine. The ripe black fruits jump out first, boasting black berries and cassis. Below this are rich layers of creme brule, oiled leather and cola. On the pallet it displays a lovely acidity and richness of fruit that belies it’s age. It is very supple and mouth filling with a very pleasing and mellow finish.
2001 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon – My very favorite vintage ever!!! We will remember this summer as the perfect year for the vineyard. Beautiful sunny days that started off with the coastal fogs and burned off to bright warm afternoons and evenings. The wine is initially a bit tight, opens slowly building layers of complexity with a strong satisfying finish. Given a chance to breathe it expresses aromas of deep dark fruits, hints of cocoa and tobacco. On the palette, the wine shows a real affinity for black fruit; plum, black cherry and blackberry most prevalent, hiding behind muscular tannins. This wine gives indications of being there for the long haul, guaranteeing a reward for those with the patience to allow this wine to unfold at its own pace.
The 2001 Petite Sirah was our very first from the 80 year old vines on the ranch. Previously under contract to St. Clement we were very happy to get the fruit back and it is the cornerstone of our winery.
2001 Estate Grown St. Helena Petite Sirah – Opening with aromas of rich fruit and berries, blackberry, thyme and cracked pepper – this wine has a classically firm entry with dried cherry and blackberry flavors, big and full with good tannins. A fan of the “big red” will love the volume of fruit and lingering finish.
2000 Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon- Our first vintage celebrated it’s ten year harvest anniversary October 2010 and seven years in the bottle March 2011. It is still Jack’s favorite, with a very Bordeaux style due to the weather that year, and it has proven itself over and over as a vintage that will hold up. Even though it’s said that 95% of wine in this country is consumed within four hours of purchase. This 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon is a California Cab that shows its worth. With hints of vanilla and round, lush fruit on the nose, this Cab says “Drink me now.” Those fruits pay off with flavors of baked jam and a hint of herbs. Blueberry and black cherry dominate, but cocoa finds a place at the table, as well. The finish is long, but pleasant, with subtle oak and supple tannins. It goes really well with cheese and chocolate or a big steak. A must try.
Wine is meant to be enjoyed with those you love, friends and family. We hope you enjoy the wines as much as we have enjoyed making them.
Thank you for your support,
Jack and Dianna Varozza