2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard Araujo

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Average critic rating : 97.0 points



The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is breathtaking. Everything is in the right place in this dazzling, superb Cabernet Sauvignon. Layers of dark fruit, plums, camphor, licorice and espresso emerge from this effortless, gracious wine. The integration of fruit, tannin and French oak (100% new) is simply phenomenal. There is a dark, brooding quality to the 2008 that is immensely appealing. This is a stunning wine from Araujo. The 2008 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028. ||This is a great showing from Bart and Daphne Araujo and their team, headed by consultant Francoise Peschon and winemaker Nigel Kinsman. The Araujo wines are defined by their distinctive elegance and overall finesse. Earlier this year I had a chance to taste a number of wines from the Eisele vineyard made in the 1970s, before the Araujos bought the vineyard, that showed the inherent greatness of this Calistoga site. Naturally the Cabernet Sauvignon gets most of the attention here, but I find the Syrah almost as compelling. It is easily one of the finest Syrahs being made in Napa Valley. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard had just been bottled a few weeks prior to my visit. I tasted two bottles, but neither was particularly forthcoming. I will report on the 2009 in a few months, once the wine has had a chance to settle down. Readers interested in learning more about the estate may want to take a look at my two-part interview with Bart and Daphne Araujo on www.erobertparker.com||Tel. (707) 942-6061 Wine Advocate.December, 2011

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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