2005 Ramey "Larkmead Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1035418 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark red. Intensely perfumed scents of kirsch, blackcurrant, dried rose and tobacco. Round and pliant, with juicy dark fruit flavors, velvety texture and slow-mounting tannins. As big and weighty as this is, there's also excellent balance and clarity. Finishes with lightly chewy tannins and outstanding persistence. (ST)  (5/2008)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Larkmead Vineyard (1,360 cases produced from a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, and 9% Merlot) possesses abundant amounts of creme de cassis, graphite, cedar, roasted herbs, and spice. This is an attractive Cabernet that should drink well for 15-20 years. (RP)  (12/2007)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, rich and concentrated, with ripe blueberry, currant and black cherry fruit that's fleshy and well-centered, offering subtle flavor nuances of nutmeg, anise and dried berry. (JM)  (11/2008)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "Our second release from this historic vineyard on Larkmead Lane surrounding the former Hans Kornell Winery which in turn enclosed the historic Larkmead Winery. That winery dated from the 1880’s, when it was owned by Lillie Hitchcock Coit of Coit Tower fame. Located on the valley floor, we surmise that Ritchie Creek, separating the Spring Mountain and Diamond Mountain appellations, once ran through this site, resulting in the prominent gravel and excellent drainage which distinguishes this vineyard. I had worked with some parcels from Larkmead while I was with Rudd, so I knew its potential for quality. This vintage is blended of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec."

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Price: $89.99
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.