Spiriterra’s Cabernet Sauvignon named one of 11 great Napa Cabs from 2011

Wine Searchers’s W. Blake Gray recently named our first release Cabernet Sauvignon one of 11 great Napa Cabernets from 2011. “It was restrained and complex and interesting and I thought I could drink deep into the bottle...Too bad there were only 120 cases made,” said Gray.

Gray blind tasted over 90 Cabernets with a minimum retail price of $60 submitted by members of the Napa Valley Vintners, retasting his favorites over two days. He was looking for elegance, balance, structure, and complexity from a vintage frequently described as a challenging for Napa Valley’s vintners and growers due to unusually cool temperatures and early rains.

Gray found ‘the 2011 Cabernets might one day be the best-tasting bottles in those wineries’ cellars.’

Trade and wine critics agree that winemakers who rose up to these challenges produced exceptional wines. Cool years tend to make elegant, crisp wines lower in alcohol with solid tannins and acidity, and typically show their best after a few years of cellaring.

A winemaker’s vintage

2011 has also been described as a ‘winemaker’s vintage’ -- a chance to celebrate the skills of Napa Valley’s talented winemakers. This was particularly true for our winemaker Kenn Vigoda who prefers a Bordeaux-style of winemaking.

“Since drinkability is a personal assessment, I feel that a wine should be well balanced in tannin through the mouth and also well balanced in acid and pH to keep the fruit together while the tannins age out. I am not a big fan of tannic, high alcohol, high pH wines which seem to taste good now but have little hope of longevity,” said Vigoda.

In the end, the 2011 vintage may prove to be one of the most memorable, not only for its challenges, but also for its unique style and the outstanding opportunity to shine the spotlight on the craft of winemaking.