Gold Medal- 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
R&B Cellars is one of the many "urban wineries" that have popped up in the San Francisco Bay area that take advantage of their proximity to the vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and the rest of the North and Central Coast. While many of these wineries are producing excellent wines, R&B has stood out in our tasting as exceptional not only for the quality of their wines, but also the value for money that they represent. R&B has several inexpensive wines that are wonderful, but their reserve wines really shine, and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon represents the pinnacle of their production. But at only $35 on WineHeist, it also represents an unbeatable value for Napa Cabernet of this quality.
The 2006 R&B Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a single vineyard in Calistoga, with vines averaging 35 years of age yielding tiny, concentrated grapes packed with flavor. Ruby plum in color, this reserve Cab shows classic aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and mint. The palate shows blackberry, blueberry, cherry and spice, with firm tannin extending the finish. Spicy with good acid, this wine beautifully shows the character of these aged Cabernet vines. A small (3%) addition of Merlot from the same vineyards adds extra depth and complexity. This Cab is drinking beautifully now, but should age nicely for at least another five years. At this price, this one is going to be sold-out fast, so don't miss the chance to snag some of Napa's finest!
Bingham Ranch - The Bingham Ranch in Calistoga is one of the oldest cabernet vineyards in the Napa Valley, dating back to 1850s. There are three parcels of vines used in our cabernet, one is 55 years old another is 35 years old and the third is 17 years old. It is a small berry clone with very low yields, approximately one and a half tons per acre. The resulting fruit is very intensely flavored with a rich dark blackberry profile that makes intensely structured cabernet sauvignon.
Cellar Practices and Winemaking
Perfectly ripe grapes were harvested in late October early November 2006. They were crushed into a stainless tank and cold soaked at 50°F for 5 days. The temperature was increased to 70°F, and cultured yeast fermentation started and lasted thirty days at a peak temperature of 90°F. The grapes were gently pressed and the resulting wine racked into barrels, which were 100% new French oak 60 gallon barrels from ten different French coopers: Vicard, Seguin Moreau, St. Martin, Billon, Trieul, Ermitage, Boutes, Jarnac, Bel Air and Chalufour.
This 2006 R&B Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an extraordinary wine with remarkable depth and complexity. It exhibits a huge core of dark black cherry fruit with elements of dark black currant, tea, blackberry and violets in the bouquet. The small addition of Merlot enhances the mouthfeel, adds complexity, and a touch of sweet cherries. The flavors of dark black berry, currants, chocolate, and cassis are evident, with a huge juicy blackberry finish. This wine is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon with all of the exotic spice and layers of fruit you would expect from a Reserve wine.
Vineyard: 100% Bingham Ranch, Napa Valley
Composition: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Merlot
Harvest Date: Oct 27 ~ Nov 4, 2006
Sugar at Harvest: 25.2 Degrees Brix
Total Acid: .69 gm/cl3.37
Aging: 22 months in 100% French Oak
Bottling Date: February 2009
Release Date: April 2011
Production: 600 750ml Cases
R&B Cellars is Alameda's largest family-owned winery. As part of the burgeoning East Bay urban wine scene, the winery's core mission has been to create high quality wines that deliver tremendous value to the consumer. Since 1997, winemaker Kevin Brown has taken a detail-oriented and labor-intensive approach to crafting the highest quality wines. Each of the winery's varietals, having earned 90+ point scores and numerous accolades across the country, has helped to set R&B Cellars apart from the traditional players in the marketplace.
Kevin and Barbara Brown, the owners and winemakers, are jazz musicians, performing at winery events, winemaker dinners and wine tastings across the country. Their passion for jazz is evident by the beautiful musical wine labels and the fun, jazzy names. With over 30 years of experience in various areas of the industry, it is natural that the Brown family has extended their passion for making music into creating fantastic wine. Their motto: Wine That Swings! And it does.
R&B Cellars originally started in 1997 as a side project to create some of California's finest Cabernet Sauvignon, producing only 230 cases that first year. The first vintage, the 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, was critically acclaimed, winning the Vinalies D'Argent in Paris of 2000. This year's 2006 has garnerd a GOLD MEDAL, from the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The previous 2005 vintage won a Double Gold Medal from Tasters Guild International Wine Competition; it was voted "Best of Class" and "Judges Choice" with a TRIPLE GOLD MEDAL, from the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Most recently, it added a Platinum Medal to it's numerous decorations, this time from the Critic's Challenge International Wine competition.
Learn more at www.rbcellars.com.