2009 Behrens Family Winery "Spare Me" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1089848 93 points Wine Spectator

 Walks on the wild side, with savory, loamy earth and roasted herb attached to the dried berry and currant flavors. Firmly tannic and built to gain, this impresses as it opens more flavor doors with every sip. Drink now through 2022.  (4/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (blended with 10% each merlot and cabernet franc; 15.2% alcohol): Good full ruby. Blueberry, candied cassis, sexy oak and a touch of minerality on the nose. Nicely concentrated, fine-grained and supple, with a slightly exotic quality to the dark berry and dark chocolate flavors. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and very good length. Needs some time in bottle but this is already more pliant than the Sainte Fumee.  (5/2012)

K&L Notes

Erna Schein is a tributary name for the boutique winery founded and owned owned and by Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward (Behrens Family Winery) honoring Les' late mother. These poweful, intense wines are hand-crafted in small-batches. They bear distinctive, eye-catching labels, but there's a lot more going on beneath the surface in terms of fruit complexity and terroir-driven soul. The 2010 "Spare Me" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, with 270 cases produced. Winemaker's Notes: "The dense, opaque, dark purple color of the 2009 Spare Me portends what is to come in this beautiful Napa Valley Cabernet. A bouquet of resin, bacon and Beef Bourguignon lead to the sweet, round palate infused with chocolate, blackberry and black plum. The lingering finish of sweet cherry and cinnamon completes this gorgeous wine. We spared nothing in making what we think is the best of this series to date!"

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Price: $59.99
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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.