1999 Mount Eden "Old Vine Reserve" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1000612 92 points Wine Spectator

 A dense, rich and distinctive wine, with baseline currant, earth, anise, herb and wild flower aromas. Sleek, complex and concentrated, you can chew on the rich layers of sweet ripe fruit, yet the tannins, even while firm, show signs of softness and elegance.  (5/2003)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The opaque ruby/purple-colored 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Reserve reveals leathery, animal-like notes intermingled with classic aromas of creme de cassis, smoke, and underbrush. Ripe, medium-bodied, and moderately tannic, it is more accessible than the 2000 Estate, but also more rustic as well as artisinal.  (12/2003)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full red-ruby. Sweet aromas of black raspberry, leather, cola and sassafras, with an herbaceous topnote. Dense and strong in extract, with the red fruit and earth flavors nicely framed by integrated acidity. This has excellent weight and a claret-like texture. Showed increasing sweetness and lushness with time in the open bottle. This reminded me of some Mount Eden cabernets from the old days. I'd give this at least six or eight years of additional bottle aging.  (1/2004)

K&L Notes

The clonal heritage for this rare wine dates back to the 1890s when the famed viticulturist Emmett Rixford of Woodside, California, obtained selected cuttings from Chateau Margaux. Rixford planted his famous "La Questa" vineyard with these selections in the same proportions as Margaux. It is dense, perfectly balanced, long and pure in the mouth with ripe tannin on the finish.

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Price: $79.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.