Erba Mountainside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Wow, what a find in this new emerging Napa Cab. Watch for great things to come from this exciting new producer Paul Erba, proprietor, and winemaker Denis Malbec.
Starting in 1998, Paul and Debbie Erba planted the five Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec) and some Syrah high on the steep rocky volcanic soil slopes of Atlas Peak at 1100 to 1550 feet above south east Napa Valley. Seventy percent of the vineyard planting are Cabernet Sauvignon. Their first release of this wine was in 2003 followed by inaugural releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in 2006.
Winemaker Denis Malbec studied viticulture and oenology in France and worked for the storied first growth Chateau Latour starting as one of the cellar workers in 1993 and moved up to enologist and cellar master in 1994, making the vintages from 1994 to 1999. Denis consults several boutique wineries in and around the Napa Valley including Kapcsàndy Family Winery, Blankiet Estate in Yountville, and Captûre Wines and Respite in Sonoma.
Blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot.
Dominus Estate 1999
This 2005 Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon is their first commercial release the using the Oliver Vineyard Cabernet grapes sourced from Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard clone 7 planted in 1993. The 100% Cabernet from the Oliver Vineyard, Oakville is barrel aged 36 months in French Oak.
The 2005 Oakville Cabernet medium to full bodied with aromas and flavors of black berry and cherry fruits, hints of dark plum, cola, mocha and cinnamon with lingering soft tannins on the finish. Released at $28 an advertised in the $20-25 range, this wine represents great QPR (quality to price ratio) in a Napa Cabernet.
RM 88 points.