1995 Flora Springs "Hillside Reserve" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #300898 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Readers looking for blockbuster Cabernet Sauvignon offerings should check out the 1995 and 1996 Hillside Reserve Cabernets from Flora Springs. The winery tends to give this wine 12 months aging in old oak barrels. At the conclusion of that period, the wines are moved into 100% new oak for 10 months. At that point they are racked into tank and bottled unfiltered. This is not dissimilar to how Caymus handles its Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. Sadly, only about 800 cases of these exquisite Cabernets are produced. The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Reserve is a backward, tannic wine with an opaque purple color, and copious quantities of sweet black currant fruit, cedar, and spice. Muscular, rich, and full-bodied, with sweet tannin, this is a layered, concentrated, unevolved and youthful Cabernet Sauvignon that requires 4-5 years of cellaring. All the necessary "goodies" are present in this formidably-endowed wine. While it will not provide seductive drinking at an early age, it will last 20 years. (RP)  (12/1997)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth, plush and elegant, with pretty plum, currant and black cherry flavors, on the light side for this bottling. Drinks well now, with its well-integrated tannins, but is worthy of cellaring.  (10/1998)

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Price: $79.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.