2017 Castle Rock Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery

Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret to providing “appellation wines at affordable prices” is to operate as a kind of “virtual winery,” owning neither its own vineyards nor a winery. Instead it maintains close, long-term relationships with around forty growers in such areas as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley and Colombia Valley and leases state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in all three states. Winemaker August "Joe" Briggs works closely with the growers to ensure they produce the best quality fruit while overseeing the winemaking at the same time. This unique method of operating allows Castle Rock to avoid the “money pits” of land and fancy buildings that sink many wineries and focus everything on securing the best grapes and crafting delicious wines. Since the beginning in 1994, Castle Rock has focused particularly on Pinot Noir, making distinct bottlings from such key Pinot districts as Carneros, Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley. However, over the years the winery has also branched out into other popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Riesling. Though an oft-repeated wine country adage goes, “it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business,” Castle Rock Winery has shown there is a way to make captivating wines for the discerning drinker without deep pockets. 

Wine

After a six-year hiatus, Castle Rock has again produced a Napa Valley Cabernet. While almost three dozen grape varieties grow in the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly king, accounting for 40% of Napa’s grape production. Today, “Napa Cab” suggests a style of wine that is deep, rich, luxurious, hedonistic…. and pricey. However, Castle Rock avoids the pricey part by focusing exclusively on sourcing excellent fruit and making fine wine and avoiding such costly ancillaries as a fancy winery, visitor’s center, or art collection. Sourced from three vineyards, the wine impresses with its dark black purple color, aromas of black cherry, spice and chocolate, and a palate that’s rich and mouthwatering. A Napa Cab that doesn’t require a special occasion to enjoy it. 

Winemaking

Aged 12 months in 50% French and 50% American oak with 25% of that being new barrels. 

Tasting notes

Black cherry aromas entice the nose with toasty notes of cedar, spice and chocolate while the palate comes on strong with supple tannins and flavors of cherry, plum, and cassis.

Appellation

Napa Valley

Varietal

95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Size

750ml

Closure

Cork

Alcohol

14.5%

UPC

083837006162