Duckhorn Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

from
Napa Valley
,
California

Winemaker's Notes

The season began with bud break occurring later than normal. Ideal weather conditions optimized fruit hang time on the vines and resulted in full maturation of the grapes. With little risk of rain in the forecast, we picked some vineyard sites several times, harvesting only the ripe fruit with each pass. The 1999 wines consistently exhibit the ripe, rich fruit flavors that were allowed to develop in the vineyard.

The aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon are a sweet medley of vanilla, caramel, black cherry, raspberry, toffee and chocolate that is supported by undertones of toasted oak. Layers of fruit and a dash of cracked pepper are followed on the palate by a long, rich finish. This wine is structured, with well-integrated tannins that will help it to age gracefully for ten to fifteen years.

About the Region

The most famous American wine region, and one of the most highly regarded in the world. The first grapes were planted here, northeast of San Francisco (with a climate influenced by an arm of San Francisco Bay), in the mid-19th century; one of the earliest commercial wineries, Charles Krug, still in operation, was founded in 1861. Wineries proliferated in the late 19th century and, after a downturn during Prohibition, the Napa wine scene continued to expand. The so-called "Paris tasting" (later renamed "The Judgment of Paris") in 1976 — in which a panel of French wine experts rated cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from the Napa Valley higher than their famous and far more expensive French counterparts — brought international renown (and higher prices) to the valley's wines. While these remain the two most widely grown grapes in Napa (the cabernet is particularly highly regarded), scores of other varieties are planted and do well here. There are now at least 450 wineries in the Napa Valley (700 or so in Napa County as a whole), from modest warehouse facilities to multi-million-dollar showplaces mimicking European castles, and the area has become a major tourist attraction.