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2004 Quintessa Rutherford Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1030267 96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 This dazzling effort from Quintessa recalls the first-rate bottlings of a few vintages back and re-establishes the winery at the top of the list for varietal excellence. From the very outset, the wine establishes a strong base of deep, cassis and sweet plum fruit and adds in layers of enriching, wholly complementary oak. It comes with exceptional balance and is buttressed by an ample dose of youthful tannin, and everything about this handsomely executed bottling points to its certain acquisition of increased complexity and polish over a decade and more. *Three Stars*  (4/2008)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 A dramatic young wine, fleshy and dazzling now for its lush fruit and oak, although the tannins have a crunchy hardness. But that merely ensures ageability. It’s beautiful the way the acid-tannin structure plays against the cherry, cassis and olive fruit, creating an architectural tension. If you open this wine now, decant for a few hours. Otherwise, it should hold for six to eight years, and develop further bottle complexity afterward.  (12/2007)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 From the Huneeus estate on the east side of Napa Valley in Rutherford, Quintessa is a selection from 170 acres of vineyards, mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Merlot and small blocks of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenère. The concentrated crop in 2004 produced a wine with elegance as well as resonant power in its tannin. The fruit is perfumed, the tannin tremendously rich, almost chewy. It leaves a lasting impression of warm red spice. Delicious with tea-smoked duck.  (12/2007)

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Price: $119.99
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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.