2004 Levy & McClellan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1126535 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The exquisite 2004 Proprietary Red Wine offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, licorice, Asian plum sauce, black currants and a hint of underlying minerality. Full-bodied yet beautifully silky and seductive, it has shed most of its tannins, resulting in a complex, singular red wine of majestic proportions. The finish is among the longest of any 2004 I tasted, and gorgeous levels of fruit and extract hide any notions of new oak. This cuvee tastes like a hypothetical blend of a great Pauillac, Pessac-Leognan and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It should drink well over the next two decades. Bob Levy, long-time winemaker at Harlan Estate, and his wife, Martha McClellan, who has done incredible consulting work at such top-flight wineries as Sloan and Blankiet, have their own small project whose results to date have been magnificent wines. Although expensive, no one will complain about the quality in the bottle as they are clearly Napa Valley first-growths. (RP)  (4/2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

 A rich, savory, extracted style, with strong mocha-espresso bean and spicy currant flavors that are intense, focused, long and persistent, ending with firm, ripe tannins. Combines power with finesse. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.  (10/2008)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Merlot) Deep medium ruby. Complex, pure aromas of cassis, mocha, brown spices, licorice, and menthol. Chewy, lush, and aromatic in the mouth, with remarkable intensity and depth for a vineyard planted in 1999. Thoroughly ripe flavors of dark berries and spices. What I like best about this wine is its layered texture and very sweet, ripe, fine-grained tannins. This is the new venture of husband-and-wife team Bob Levy (winemaker at Harlan Estate and Bond) and Martha McClellan (Sloan and Blankiet), from a vineyard leased from McClellan's parents. The budbreak in this site on Franz Valley School Road, at an altitude of 600 to 700 feet, occurs later than in Oakville, and afternoon wind routinely cools things down during the peak of summer, according to Levy. (ST)  (5/2007)

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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 M├ędoc 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.