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  • 1999 Altamura - Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 Altamura - Cabernet Sauvignon

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 93 WS
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 42941-1999-750-3A
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    Beautifully crafted, rich and polished, with a complex core of currant, black cherry, anise and plum flavors that unfold gracefully. Shows off pretty vanilla and mocha oak flavors, too. Tannins are smooth and integrated. 3,000 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: Billy the Kid
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: Dougobrick
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: Howard R
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: Dan McD
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Drinking beautifully now but plenty of time left to hold and see how it evolves from here.
    Drink Dates: 2005-2020
    Author: Steve Bachmann
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Flat out delicious. Blueberry and cassis on the nose. Creme brA¯lAce on the palate. This is very smooth and drinking at peek now. Long finish.
    Drink Dates: 2010-2018
    Author: Conrad K
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Still going strong. The fruit is bright with just a hint of black olive coming in on the back end. Nice silky texture and it opened up beautifully. Suffered a bit next to a truly exceptional bottle of '99 Bond Vecina that we drank with it.
    Author: Jeffrey M989
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Very good wine - better than anticipated. The entire party was impressed.
    Author: Ben
Born and raised in Napa, trained in winemaking at Sterling and Caymus, Frank Altamura has serious credentials. In 1985 he and his wife Karen began their own quest to make exceptional, collectable wine, turning an old cattle ranch in Wooden Valley into vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. The small valley, nine miles northeast of the town of Napa, provides an ideal setting for the production of intense, multi-layered wines. Warm days give way to temperatures cooler than those of Napa Valley, as fog is blown in, resulting in a longer growing season for this unique sub-appellation. Altamura's two flagship wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, represent hallmarks of Frank's winemaking philosophy: low yields in the vineyard and only free-run juice in the barrels. A Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc are also produced.

See other similar producers:Von Strasser Winery,Blankiet Estate,David Arthur Vineyards

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 1007 bottles owned
  • 132 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 95
    (Out of 132 collectors)