Saturday, October 8, 2011

David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Scenic Pritchard Hills Vineyards
overlooking Napa Valley
David Arthur Estate vineyards sit up on Pritchard Hill, overlooking the southern Napa Valley from the eastern slope at the south end of the range. Three generations of the Long family (no relation to our in-law Long's and our family farms in Indiana) produce Estate wines from mountain fruit grown on their 21 acres of vineyards sitting 1200 feet above the valley floor. Hence the name 'Elevation 1147' of their flagship ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon. 

They grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo grapes. The mountain terrain and rocky red soils provide ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. David Arthur hand crafted Estate wines express the unique terroir of the site - rich extracted fruit character and silky tannins. They also bottle a blend based on the typical Italian varietals they whimsically call "Meritaggio".

We first discovered David Arthur Wines during our Napa Wine Experience back in 1999. We visited Pritchard Hill and the neighboring Chappellet winery during our Napa Valley Wine Experience during the Autumn of 2009.  

From our vertical of this wine dating back to the 1997 vintage, tonight we drank 1998 David Arthur Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It shows dark inky garnet color and is medium-full bodied. It exhibits bight vibrant black raspberry and current fruit flavors highlighted by a layer of soft cedar turning to a hint of anise and eucalyptus with a smooth silky tannin finish. Very nice drinking in this thirteen year old - still has life left, no need to hurry - a very nice wine from a vintage that was given a bad rap as many of the 1998s turned out reasonably well, beyond expectations set by reviewers at the time. Top producers manage to produce good wines even in challenging years.

RM 92 points.

Drank at home w/ L over grilled beef tenderloin.

Tasted again on 26 November 2011, w/ L,  BYOB at Enoteca Roma in Wicker Park - fabulous accompaniment to Ricotta, Pear and Walnut Ravioli in a Gorgonzola Cream sauce.