Schweiger Vineyards & Winery2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
(Spring Mountain District ~ Napa Valley)
The Cabernets from Schweiger usually display a European bent in that they have an earthiness, a tarryness and an herbaceousness that all add up to a very appealing whole. Also, they usually come in at under 14 percent, which adds to the consumer being able to get to the essence of the estate’s vineyard on Spring Mountain, whose vines, at 2,000 feet elevation, are 12 to 19 years of age.
In the front of the palate, one gets the aromas and tastes of the earth, but at mid-palate, deep-flavored dried fruit seeps in to commingle with the substantial tannins. I’d suggest not drinking the wine for a year or two and then enjoy it and watch it evolve over the subsequent 15 years.
The wine is comprised of 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not the norm these days, as are Schweiger’s vines, which are cane pruned. The barrel regimen too is somewhat unorthodox, as winemaker Andy Schweiger has opted to use new American oak (21 percent) and used domestic wood (2-4 years old), as well as French (54 percent new), while the remainder of the wine was fermented in 2-year-old French barrels. The listed alcohol is 13.9 percent and there were less than 3,200 cases produced. The price is $48.
Reviewed March 15, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Winery: Schweiger Vineyards & 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.