Lately in the wine industry there seems to be a lot of interest in obscure grape varieties both grown in their native homelands and grown here in California, and with so much exciting wines available on the market, it is easy to get caught up and forget about the classics. But when you taste a wine like the 2012 Reynoso Estate Cabernet, you remember why certain grapes and growing areas became famous in the first place. Alexander Valley leaves its own signature on a wine, and this 2012 from Reynoso beautifully captures the place, while at the same time expressing classic Cabernet characteristics as well.
The 2012 Reynoso Estate Cabernet, from Joe and Elena Reynoso’s vineyard in the Alexander Valley, is deep garnet in color, verging on purple. The nose shows black cherry, kirsch, mineral and violets, all the distinctive aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with the slightest hint of bell pepper or dried herb, which is so crucial to varietally correct Cabernet. The palate has more cherry and berry, along with a strong iron component that makes the palate unique. Firm tannins hint at a long life ahead in the cellar, and the wine remains impeccably balanced through a long, fruit driven finish. This wine is a great bargain the release price of $36, at $28 it is surely not to be missed.
The fruit for this wine was harvested from a 1.5 acre vineyard parcel with a SSW facing slope 450 feet above the Russian River. Planted in 1998 in challenging terrain with great soil for Cabernet, the vineyard faces many challenges during the growing season. This block requires a specially designed fertilizing, irrigating, and leaf-pulling regimen to keep the vines in optimal health for growing perfect Cabernet.
This parcel also required a retro-fit of its trellising system to optimize ripening time. All work is done by hand: from leaf-pulling and green drop, to harvesting into half-ton bins. Once the growing season is over, the fruit is gently crushed into half ton bins, where they undergo a slow, cool fermentation with 2-3 gentle punch downs per day. When fermentation is complete they pump the juice into French barrels, where they finish secondary fermentation and gently age for about 20 months. As with many of their wines, they're inspired by the great wine-growing regions of France, where minimal manipulation allows the elegance of the terroir to be most fully expressed.
APPELLATION: Alexander Valley
VINEYARDS: Estate-Grown - Hillside Fruit
VARIETAL: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
AGING: 30 Months in French Oak, 25% New
ALCOHOL: 14.2% by volume
PRODUCTION: 19 Barrels
In 1994, Joe and Elena Reynoso were happily pursuing careers in Chicago: Joe in proprietary derivatives trading, Elena in fine wine sales. Joe had grown passionate about wine during his many years as a wine collector, and had been searching for vineyard property in California for about five years. Finally, in 1994, he found a 550 acre parcel fronting the Russian River in the Alexander Valley that became Reynoso Vineyards. Over the next seven years, an extensive planting program was instituted, the property became a working vineyard, and Joe and Elena found themselves drawn to both hands-on farming (meaning their hands), and to eventually making their own wines from the fruit on the estate. They began their odyssey into the wine business in 2001, when Elena quit her job and began managing the vineyards. Dipping her toe into winemaking, she started experimenting with the varied characteristics of different vineyards during that harvest, improving knowledge with each successive vintage. Over the last seven years their passion for making balanced and extraordinary wines has only grown. Since that time grapes have been sold to several of Sonoma’s finest wine producers.
They are currently farming 155 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier. Only a small percentage of the finest grapes on the estate are used for Reynoso Vineyard wines.
Learn more at www.reynosowines.com.