Firm, tight and well-structured, with a medley of floral, spice and dried currant and a touch of herb and cedary oak. Well-integrated, focused and concentrated, with a long, deep, persistent finish. Will reward cellaring. *Collectibles* (JL)
Despite having over 40-plus acres of vineyards in the northeasterly sector of Napa just south of Calistoga, the production at Araujo remains relatively limited, with the flagship wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, producing between 1,600 and 2,200 cases of wine, and the second wine, the Altagracia, between 800 and 1,200 cases. Add to that another 1,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc and 300-400 cases of Syrah, and there is just not a lot to go around given the greatness that can be achieved from this vineyard. Much of the credit has to go to proprietors Bart and Daphne Araujo and, of course, their top-notch winemaking team, which has always been led by Francoise Peschon. Araujo’s second wines are among the finest second wines consumers will find in northern California. For example, the Altagracia cuvees, which represent 25-35% of the production, have been outstanding examples of Cabernet Sauvignon. Araujo has done an excellent job with Syrah, which they typically co-ferment with 3-4% Viognier. Sadly, only 300-400 cases are produced. (RP) 94+
(includes about 3% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) Saturated ruby-red. Highly nuanced, Graves-like aromas of black plum, raspberry, warm stones, tobacco, minerals and nutty oak. Sweet, suave and wonderfully fine-grained wine with a fleshiness given shape by harmonious acidity. A step up in intensity from the '03 bottling, with the Petit Verdot component adding aromatic character and structure. Finishes with lingering sweet notes of cherry and currant. (ST)
Graceful as ever, with vibrant black cherry and currant fruit backed by sturdy tannins, refreshing acidity, and hints of dried herbs and oak spice. Medium full and expertly balanced, with great length and generosity. (LM) 18.5/20 points
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