Friday, January 1, 2010

The Madrona Ranch 2001 of Abreu

Name one super premium Napa Valley vintner, and you'll most likely find the crew of David Abreu in her or his vineyards. David Abreu is the number one leading star of all vineyard managers in California, but he is also a vintner himself. Although not making the wines all by himself – until 2001 they were made by Ric Forman, and since then by former chef Brad Grimes as assistant winemaker – he’s considered to be one of top wine makers of Napa Valley as well.
Abreu owns and leases four vineyards in St Helena and Howell Mountain, and most of these grapes go into a total production of 600 to 1 000 cases per year of exclusive and hard to find red wines. The wines are made up at Sloan Winery, one of many esteemed clients of Abreu.

2001 Madrona Ranch / 96 p
There is approximately eight to ten percent of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and some Petit Verdot in this dark and still youthful Cabernet Sauvignon based premium wine. Tasted two years ago, it was massive and still quite tannic, tasted today it’s slightly more developed and much more elegant and drinkable. Still there are a lot of primary fruit flavors, also a delightful grassy note (which is not underripe, but a variety quality), and although young and densely full bodied with a slight sweetish touch, it is not closed or overly firm anymore. Expensive new oak barrels are still present on the nose as well as on the palate, but the oak flavors are much more integrated today than some years ago. Overall it is an impressive wine with intensity, depth and length, and the structure of skin and oak tannins has just begun to become softer – and it’s just delicious. Still, it needs at least 30 minutes in a decanter to open up. Drink it 2010-2019.

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