Cain Vineyard & Winery2002 Cain Five
Chris Howell and his team at Cain Vineyards on the southern slopes of Spring Mountain are refashioning their reserve wine, the Cain Five Bordeaux-style blend. Where once the blend was made only from estate grapes, in recent years it’s been sourced from other vineyards, while Cain embarked on a replanting program. But the fruit will soon be all Cain once again with the vintage after this.
With the 2002, most of the grapes come from the estate, but a percentage comes from York Creek, just a ways down the road but still on Spring Mountain, and from Andy Beckstoffer’s famous Tokalon Vineyard in Oakville, which represents only 8 percent of the blend. The varietal blend is Cabernet Sauvignon (43 percent), Cab Franc (20), Merlot (19), Petit Verdot (13), and Malbec (5).
When all’s said and done, what we have here is an elegant wine with beautiful fruit on a silky texture. The wine is approachable now with soft tannins, which carries a long finish. Drink it now and for the next dozen years. The price tag is hefty – $100 – but this is one of Napa Valley’s elite wines.
The wine spent 22 months in French oak, 80 percent of which was new. The listed alcohol is 14.7 percent and there were almost 5,000 cases produced.
Reviewed February 28, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Winery: Cain Vineyard & Winery
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.