2008 Snowden "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $75)

SKU #1060468 90-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium ruby. Aromas of dark cherry, smoke, graphite and rocky minerality, lifted by a violet topnote. Juicy, spicy and sharply delineated, with lovely floral lift contributing to the impression of clarity and giving the wine a light touch. A nicely broad midweight with captivating floral perfume and fine-grained but firm tannins. Snowden told me that at first she thought the 2008s were a lot like the 2006s-i.e., wines from tiny berries that were tannic and tightly wound in the early going. "But now I think that '08 will be a nice early drinker, without quite the same structure or richness as 2007." I liked this wine's aromatic lift and refinement.  (6/ 2010)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A dramatic upgrade, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve exhibits aromas of creme de cassis, burning embers, licorice and smoked herbs. It ratchets up the body, concentration and depth yet possesses silky smooth tannins and a forward style. This beauty should drink well for 15+ years. While Snowden's 2008s do not approach their brilliant 2007s in quality, they are very strong efforts from this 22-acre vineyard (11 acres are in the process of being replanted). Snowden produces just under 2,000 cases of extraordinary wine from their 23 acres of hillside vineyards on the eastern side of Napa, above the Auberge du Soleil. Proprietor Scott Snowden and his daughter, Diane (whose permanent home is in Burgundy), along with consultant David Ramey have fashioned superb reds along with a delicious, French-inspired Sauvignon Blanc. For Napa Cabernets, Snowden’s wines are relatively great bargains for their quality.  (12/ 2010)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Sleek and refined, with a tart edge to the currant and wild berry flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, this is a wine of finesse and grace, finishing with a watermelon candy edge. A good bet to improve. Best from 2012 through 2022.  (11/ 2011)

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Price: $59.99

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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.