2002 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1019849 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the opaque purple-hued 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals a fifth-growth Pauillac Pontet-Canet-like creme de cassis purity intermixed with lots of graphite and a touch of vanilla. This young, vigorous, full-bodied wine possesses an exciting personality as well as a terrific finish and length. It is coming into full maturity, where it should remain for another 15-20 years. One of Napa Valley’s most hallowed vineyards, with a history dating back to the 1800s, is Larkmead. I have been raving about these wines over the last decade, but I am not sure they are on Cabernet lovers’ radar to the extent they merit. Their performance with age only reinforces what a great site this valley floor north of St. Helena and south of Calistoga is. (RP)  (6/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A delightfully rich and complex young Cabernet, with tiers of ripe currant, black cherry, plum and hints of mocha and chocolate, showing a touch of sweet fruit on the finish and finishing with ripe, firm tannins. (JL)  (10/2005)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good medium ruby. Blackcurrant, currant leaf, leather, smoke and tobacco on the nose. Sweet, dense and lush, with flavors of black raspberry, plum and mocha complicated by tobacco and currant leaf. This, too, finishes with a hint of tartness but possesses a bit more buffering mid-palate material. (ST)  (6/2005)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Big in body and unabashed in it ripeness, this weighty effort is true to the loamy, black currant imperatives of good Cabernet. It is thick and slightly viscous, and it does let a bit of last-minute heat show through, but richly seasoned roast lamb or especially juicy cuts of beef promise to pair up quite nicely with its ample and direct style.  (4/2006)

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Price: $99.99
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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:

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.