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Category - General
Posted - 04/21/2011 12:18pm
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Food Friendly Cabs, Dane Cellars, Audelssa & Charles Creek Vineyards

Grapes to Glass

Wine Education with Chris Sawyer

Food Friendly Cabs

<---Special guest Bart Hansen, owner winemaker Dane Cellars, named after Barts son.

Barts has wine history with Kenwood Winery, Benziger and Lassiter with whom he is still with.

Dane cellars - 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit sourced from 2 vineyards. One from Southern end of valley, rocky sunny all day long & the other is from up valley near Glen Ellen. This wine is a good marriage of these two vineyards.

Nose: Blackberry, Cherry

Taste: Allspice, Cocao

Pairs well with: Sturgeon with a soy sauce marinade. Duck.

Audelssa 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - Mountain Terraces Vineyard. 1700-2800' elevation, on a good day you can see San Francisco. Erich Bradley is the winemaker. Volcanic soil. New tasting room in Glen Ellen. Extreme farming.

Nose: Dark berry fruit. Chocolate. Earthy "moon dust"

Taste: Beautiful, full, smooth, balanced and subtle.

Eat with: More of a red meat wine. Filet not lamb but good beef. Not big and flabby its elegant.


Dane Cellars Jack knife 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Sonoma Valley Mayacamas side above Kunde Winery. Mountain fruit.  Larger berry

Nose: Cassis

Taste: Good fruit flavor with balanced tannins. Bigger body. More spice. Leather,& tobacco flavor.

 French oak.

Gold harvest fair

Double gold San Francisco.


Charles Creek – 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. Won best of class harvest fair. Sonoma Valley.

Kerry Damsky winemaker

Nose: Dark Fruits, Dusty, Spice

Taste: Berry, Dark Chocolate, Caramelized Oak

Pairs with: More flavorful cuts of Beef or Lamb Loin

90% mountain terraces. These owners and landmark are related to John Deere. 

Special notes:

Napa valley is commonly noted for Cabernet Sauvignon – in Napa there is one more set of mountains between it and the ocean therefore hotter evenings creating riper fruit. Hence the big fruit bombs in Napa. Hence the fact Pinot Noir doesn’t grow well in Napa – Carneros being the exception.

The Sonoma difference, the ocean -  provides cooler evenings, therefore shutting down the ripening process and preserving the acidity, which is super important in wine making.

Bordeaux is near the ocean, hmmm.

Smaller berries mean a lot in cab, the ratio of skin to juice, more skin to juice than in larger berries so a more tannic wine.

French Oak very commonly used in Cabernet Sauvignon.

Silver Oak - infamous for Cabernet Sauvignon,  uses American oak.

go figure...

Past vintages in a snapshot:

2007 genius!

2008 frost 25% lost

2009 also great.

2010 trying, a tougher vintage due to heat n rain spikes.

Food for thought: At the time, the 1997 vintage was considered amazing, 1998 not so much so. However, now some 1998 wines are showing great. So you never really know.

Pursuit of balance: Mt. Eden winemaker "My definition of balance how the first glass tastes compared to the last" i.e. How does it taste from when it is first open to after it’s been open for it bit. Does the wine evolve in the glass and bottle or is it one note, flat? Bottom line, everyone’s opinion is just that.

Note : avoid 2010. Back up 2009 - just kidding, or maybe not, what are you gonna do?

Quote of the evening: "What’s my favorite vintage, the one in my glass”

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