Outer quote mark The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine for classicists. Savory, floral and mineral notes abound in a wine with gorgeous aromatic complexity, but little in the way of typical Napa Valley fruit. Cedar, smoke, tobacco, sage and leather are some of the many notes that inform the tense, pointed finish. The style is definitely European-leaning in the 1998, a wine from one of the most challenging Napa Valley harvests in recent memory. (AG) Inner quote mark (6/2014)
About the wine. About 2,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon are made each year from the steep rocky slopes of the vineyards at Mayacamas. Small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Merlot (generally totaling 10% to 15% of the final wine) are blended into the Cabernet Sauvignon. Seven to fourteen days of fermentation on the grape skins are preceded by crushing and destemming. The grapes are then pressed and racked several times in the next few weeks. Two years of large American oak cask aging is followed by a year in 60 gallon French oak barrels. After bottling, these wines are given an additional two years of aging in the bottle before being released for sale at about five years of age. Full development requires many more years. This is a Cabernet to be consumed at twelve to twenty five years of age, although some vintages will be at or near their best for even longer.
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