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Average critic rating : 96.0 points
As I reported last year, the 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is a spectacular wine from a vintage that has consistently received unfavorable press (particularly from the Wine Spectator). It seems to me that if the 1993 vintage were taken out of the context of the historical succession of outstanding years in the nineties, and put in the eighties, qualitatively, 1993 would tower over the likes of 1987, 1985, or 1984. The Eisele Vineyard 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the half dozen or so candidates for wine of the vintage. I have tasted it three times out of bottle, once rating it as high as 98, but never less than 96. It is a mind-boggling Cabernet Sauvignon that is remarkably well-balanced for its size and intensity. The color is an opaque purple, and the nose offers up smoky, chocolatey, blackcurrant, licorice, and mineral scents. On the palate, the wine reveals fabulous density, concentration, sweetness of fruit as well as tannin, and a 30-40 second finish. Although there is a high percentage of new oak, this wine has completely soaked it up, a testament to its extract and concentration of fruit. While the wine displays a certain precociousness, unusual for a 1993, there is plenty of tannin lurking in the finish, but it is well-concealed by the wine's exceptional richness. This beauty is destined to age effortlessly for 20-25 years.|The Eisele Vineyard has always produced concentrated Cabernet Sauvignons with blackcurrant/cassis personalities intermixed with a mineral component. What the Araujos have been able to achieve is to intensify the fruit character, as well as the wine's purity and definition. That, plus high quality French oak barrels and a natural approach to winemaking has resulted in a succession of extraordinary Cabernets that began in 1991, and shows no signs of abating.|Tel. (707) 942-6471; Fax (707) 942-6471 Wine Advocate.December, 1996
Located in the northeast Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga, the Araujo Estate (which includes the famed 35 acre Eisele Vineyard) is principally dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. Originally planted in the 1880s and broadly dedicated to Zinfandel and Riesling, it was replanted in favour of Cabernet in 1964 and its wines are today renowned for their distinctive elegance and finesse.
For the past 23 years, Daphne and Bart Araujo have been committed to raising the property up to the status of California “First Growth”. Producing their first vintage of Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon in 1991, this inaugural wine was declared “an unqualified success” by Robert Parker, and they have gone from strength to strength ever since.
Organic and biodynamic, the estate is dedicated to the emphasis of terroir. Although the Cabernet is unquestionably the most celebrated of the range, their Syrah is equally compelling, described by Antonio Galloni as “easily one of the finest Syrahs being made in Napa Valley”
Purchased in 2013 by The Artemis Group – owners of Chateau Latour – Araujo and the Eisele Vineyard now sit beneath the same impressive umbrella as a variety of world-class wineries in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone.
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