2008 Erna Schein "Cemetery" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1238517 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Cemetery, from a well-known parcel of vines planted near a graveyard (with a portrait on the label that resembles me after two weeks of 12-14 hour days spent tasting), exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with classic aromas of creme de cassis intermixed with floral undertones. With sweet fruit as well as impressive balance, this is a wine of considerable flavor authority, integrity and richness. Given its forward, precocious style, it should drink well for 10-15 years. Les and Lisa Behrens are two of my favorite people in Napa Valley for the simple reason that they love wine and make gorgeously delicious wines with a fun approach that is reflected in their creative labels. They had issues with some of the synthetic corks they used early on, but they are now back to true corks and are, hopefully, on the road to even greater success and good fortune. All their wines now appear under the label Erna Schein. Les and Lisa are like truffle dogs in terms of sniffing out somewhat underrated top sites for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Early on they discovered many vineyards that were later swiped away by people with more money. However, the Behrens still have a loaded deck of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. If you haven’t yet discovered these wines, it’s about time you do. If there is a future in the wine world for real people, Lisa and Les Behrens have to succeed. (RP)  (12/2010)

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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.