2002 Bryant Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1021570 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby. Sappy black fruits on the fresh, slightly medicinal nose; shows an almost grapey primary character. Dense, bright and full-bodied; offers an uncanny combination of weight and energy. This has superb fruit, given lift by floral, medicinal and licorice notes. A pure cabernet with terrific power and thrust, but without any heaviness. The very fine tannins belie the wine's serious structure for aging. Winemaker Philippe Melka points out that this is the second vintage to come from completely different vines planted in 1996 through 1998: different row spacing and row direction, different clones, different rootstocks.  (5/ 2005)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon was made during a transitional period for Bryant when the winery was being constructed and a dramatic change in the winemaking was taking place, from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, who had made all the vintages until 2002, to Philippe Melka and Mark Aubert, and of course today, a new team. One of the finest vineyards of Napa Valley, Bryant is situated high in the Lake Hennessey region. While the 2002 is not one of their all-time great wines, it is performing beautifully, revealing plenty of classic notes of blueberry liqueur intermixed with acacia flower, incense, camphor and graphite notes. Full-bodied, opulent and generous, with low acidity, it can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years. (RP)  (6/ 2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 This intense Cab boasts a muscular presence, dense, tannic and chewy, with a tight core of dried currant, mineral, sage and cedar flavors. Tannins suggest this will always be so. My advice: Sooner is better.—2002 California Cabernet blind retrospective (May 2012). Drink now through 2018. (Web-2012)

K&L Notes

Bryant Family is one of the premier collectors' dream Cabernets in California. Serious wine here--just as an example, David Abreu is their vineyard manager and Michel Rolland is their consulting enologist. Always highly rated and sought after, the Bryant Cab is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate vineyard "Pritchard Hill" which looks out over Lake Hennessey.

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Price: $349.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.