2006 Grand Rêve "Collaboration Series I - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1271927 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2006 Collaboration I is the same blend but spent “only” 23 months in barrel. It reveals a similar aromatic and flavor profile but appears to be just a bit more forward, succulent, and voluptuous. It will deliver prime drinking from 2012 to 2025. Grand Reve Vintners is a collaboration between Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson to grow grapes and produce wine focused on the Red Mountain AVA. They are planting the first hillside vineyard in Red Mountain on the slopes above Col Solare at 955 to 1230 feet of elevation. The winemaking is in the hands of five top local winemakers, Ben Smith (Collaboration I) making a Cabernet blend, Ross Mickel (Collaboration II) a Rhone blend, Mark McNeilly (Collaboration III) a Syrah, Carolyn Lakewold (Collaboration IV) a Merlot, and Chris Gorman (Collaboration V) a Grenache. The above four wines are the first releases from the project. They are all produced from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard which Ryan Johnson manages until the estate fruit becomes available. (JM)  (10/2009)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Very fragrant and surprisingly soft upon entry, this blend ultimately lives up to the vintage's reputation for compact, unyielding red wines. This wine, made by Cadence's Ben Smith, manages to be both approachable and at the same time cellar-worthy. Cassis, plum, and the vineyard's characteristic minerality thrust up through the palate like basalt monoliths. (PG)  (11/2010)

Wine Spectator

 Smooth in texture, relatively light and airy, offering a nice core of berry, wet earth and herb flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. (HS, Web-2010)

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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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.