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2005 Wolf Family - Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 92 WA
  • 91 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 69811-2005-1500-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    ($75) Full, bright ruby-red. Expressive aromas of dark berries, mocha, truffle, licorice, smoke and tobacco. Sweet, lush and creamy but not at all sloppy, with a truffley note complicating the berry and tobacco flavors. Broad, ripe tannins won't get in the way of drinking this rather forward wine now, but it's balanced to age.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2009
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 92

    The three red wines include the impressive 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (539 cases of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon). Offering classic creme de cassis, licorice, scorched earth, and new oak characteristics, this nicely structured, medium to full-bodied red is built for 15-20 years of evolution.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: tiberite
  • Self | Rating: 96

    14.9% alcohol, 535 cases produced, planted in 1996 Aromas: dark, intense and pure blackberry jam, herbs and coffee. Palate: extremely sexy flavors of layered plum, blackberry and violet - some of the purest flavor components I have encountered. Impression: a stunning wine that is a joy to drink, impeccable structure, depth and elegance.
    Author: dougwilder
  • Anonymous | Rating:

    Super big wine. Berry forward and needs to either sit longer or air before serving.
    Author: Chez Fisher
Doug and Jane Wolf's property at the base of the Mayacamas range in St. Helena produces some of the top wines from the Valley every year. The historic Inglewood estate is planted to 7 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. Vineyards are managed by Jim Barbour and winemaking is handled by Karen Culler, who began with the Wolfs in their premiere 1997 vintage.

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

  • 175 bottles owned
  • 29 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 97
    (Out of 29 collectors)