*2005 Cardinale Estate Red
Cardinale Estate Red, Napa Valley, USA 2005
An absolutely spectacular showing for Cardinale in 2005, their Proprietary Red is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that comes in at 14.7% natural alcohol. It is aged 20 months in 100% new French oak and bottled unfiltered by winemaker Chris Carpenter. He sources the fruit from Jackson Family vineyards such as the Veeder Peak Vineyard and the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain and several other sites elsewhere in Napa. In that sense, it’s a cross-Napa Valley blend. A beautiful nose of pure kirsch liqueur as well as crème de cassis jump from the glass of this opaque purple wine. The fabulous fragrance is followed by an equally compelling, full-bodied, opulently textured mouthfeel. The wine has incredible length of a good 45 seconds. It is voluptuously textured, gorgeously pure and fruity, and already strutting its stuff. (RP)
The core of Cardinale is estate vineyards located in two prime sub-appellations, Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain. The supporting components come from mountain and benchland plantings in Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, St. Helena and Stags Leap. Mountain-grown fruit is elemental to Cardinale, as vines struggle in the thin, rocky soils and on steep slopes, thus producing grapes with intense flavor, layered complexity and age-worthy tannins. At lower elevations, the fruit has a more vivid floral character, rich mid-palate and finer tannins. Blending brings it all together into a singular wine.