Wine Last Sold on: August 20, 2011
Mario Bazán Cellars
2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley|
|Total Allocation:||Elite Operative Saturday|
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The Winery Says:
About This Wine:
Our 2005 Harvest occurred in late October. Variable weather conditions were the norm for the season. We received higher-than-average rainfall compared to normal, with a few spring showers for good measure. The weather during the growing season was relatively cool, which allowed the grape berries to mature at an even pace. An Indian summer allowed color, aromas, and flavors to develop in synchrony with sugar accumulation.
The 2005 Mario Bazán Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon reveals zealous aromas of blackberry, cassis, espresso, and chocolate. Delicious flavors of berries as plum, blueberry, and blackberry follow a smooth, round entry. The mid-palate is soft and rich with supple tannins. The finish lingers with a hint of seductive dark chocolate.
About The Winery:
Mario Bazán, an immigrant from Oaxaca, México, arrived in the Napa Valley in 1973. Charmed by its beauty, he settled and began his life’s work in the vineyards. Mario’s experience and dedication to excellence have coaxed him to capture the essence of grape growing in a bottle. Mario Bazán Cellars, a boutique and family run winery, has been operating since 2005.
October 28, 2005. It is a Friday morning, cold and drizzly, and all is ready to start the picking of perfectly ripened grapes. Sleepy-eyed men and women with sharp knives in one hand and picking trays in the other begin to gather, their shoulders hunched up against the cold, their breath evaporating in the icy dawn. The tractor’s engine is running and there is a trailer holding a plastic bin behind it. You can almost breathe the excitement in the air, along with the smell of fermenting grapes so characteristic in Napa valley during the harvest season.
The action begins. There is a torrent of movement in the vineyard, and soon people are dumping the trays bursting with ripe fruit into the plastic bin. Mario, in charge of the harvest, asks the crew to select only the very best clusters. The pickers nod solemnly and go about their work. Victoria is inspecting the fruit now, while Gloria shoots some pictures and helps to remove the soggy fall colored leaves from the bin.
Later on, at the winery, Victoria and Gloria sort through the fruit, while Mario helps to put the clusters into the roller. Two more of Mario’s crew members help out with one thing or another to ensure the production runs smoothly. A chilly mist lingers in the air.
At the end of a long day of work, feeling exhausted, Mario, Gloria and Victoria dine together. Their clothes are soaked through, and they feel the cold digging into their bodies, but the idea of someday holding a bottle of wine in their hands with the Bazán family name on the label can only warm their souls. For them, it has gotten to the point of no return. The adventure has begun.
On this day, Mario Bazán Cellars
About The Winemaker:
Victoria Coleman’s passion for viticulture and winemaking is stimulating. To see such joy and determination as she tastes grape berries or works with her wine is contagious.
The Seattle native began working in the wine business as a production assistant to Michael Silacci, who oversaw viticulture and winemaking at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Victoria learned to make harvest decisions based on tasting grape berries. On the winemaking side, she learned how to evaluate fining and blending trials. The exposure and encouragement fueled her passion for winemaking. With her intuition and experience bulging at the seams, Victoria wanted to understand the science behind the art.
Victoria began working with Mario Bazán in 2004. She enrolled at UC Davis in Fall of 2006 with her first vintage, the 2005 Mario Bazán Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, under her belt. Victoria was graduated in June, 2008.
Mario had always dreamed of going beyond the vineyard and into the bottle. He recognized that Victoria was the person with whom he could accomplish this goal. From harvest decisions to bottling, Victoria has taken a hands-on approach to winemaking. With her Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Shepherd, Oliver, at her side in the vineyard or waiting outside the cellar door in the shade, Victoria is in her element.
VARIETAL: 100% CABERNET SAUVIGNON
APPELLATION: NAPA VALLEY
BARREL PROGRAM: 20 MONTHS IN FRENCH OAK (55% NEW)
RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2008
CASE PRODUCTION: 250 CASES
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Mission Codename: From Vineyard to Bottle
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure a very limited production elite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mario Bazán Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Victoria Coleman
We all love Napa’s Cult Cabs, with many receiving the top ratings, awards and accolades, we deserved in every sense of the word, but at prices of $100-200, and often times much more, the are difficult to justify in these difficult economic times. This is the motivation behind our mission today.
In today’s selection, we’ve been negotiating with the winery to be able to offer you this exceptional, and extremely small production wine, at an unbelievable one-day only price. Once this wine gets out into the mainstream, it will be gone fast. This is your chance to stock up for your own Cult Cellar Collection.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautifully dense ruby red with garnet tints with a dark garnet but clear core. Ruby red along the edges and when swirled, long slender legs quickly descend and ring the glass.
Smell – Rich and tangy black and red fruit including black cherry, blackberry and dark plum are framed by wild black licorice. Notes of spicy white pepper, toasted oak with vanilla and mocha coffee emerge and invite a sip.
Feel – This full bodied and dry wine is balanced, smooth and textured with rich, round and plush tannins, soft acidity and a dusty minerality making this expansive wine both long and chewy.
Taste – Rich ripe blackberry, black cherry, cassis and plum blend with a solid wild black licorice component. This wine’s toasted oak with vanilla hints blends with earthy undertones, tart cherry pit and mocha coffee.
Finish – Extremely long and clean with this ripe and tart fruit fading as licorice, tart cherry pit, mocha, toasted oak and other flavors linger for several minutes.
Conclusion – The 2005 Mario Bazán Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that shows Cabernet’s rich and powerful aromas and flavors with a sturdy and generous mouthfeel that lingers for several minutes. Enjoy this wine with gourmet grilled steak burgers, topped with truffle oil sauteed mushrooms a Gruyere cheese tonight after letting it breathe for about an hour or cellar for five to ten years.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Victoria Coleman
WINE EDUCATION: Work experience, Napa Valley College, UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Production Asst.; Bazan Vyd Mgmt, Field Tech.; Bazan Cellars, Winemaker;Lobo Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemaker; Darius Anderson, Winemaker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Do as much as possible in the vineyard to balance the grape clusters with the number of leaves to reach near perfect ripeness with lots of character. Do as little as possible with the fruit in the cellar to allow it to give the wine a sense of time and place.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Wine is the essence of time and effort spent in the vineyard paying attention to every detail as you work with grapevines and Mother Nature.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: October 2008
AGENT RED: Greetings, Victoria. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Mario Bazan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
VICTORIA COLEMAN: Thank you, Agent Red. I’m glad to be here.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
VICTORIA: Since Viticulture was my main interest, it wasn’t until I tasted my first of Mario Bazan Cabernet Sauvignon, right after the primary fermentation, that I said to myself “WOW”. I fell in love with that wine. Another experience was the first time I tasted the 1994 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
VICTORIA: Michael Silacci, winemaker for Opus One
RED: Who do you make wine for?
VICTORIA: Myself (until Mario tells me otherwise). Someone once told me you can’t please everyone. If I’m happy with what ends up in bottle, then I cannot be disappointed when others see it differently than I.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
VICTORIA: It’s a wine I began making prior to entering UC Davis. It’s 100 percent cabernet sauvignon from a single vineyard. I was all hands on with this wine—every process I did myself from beginning to end. This wine and I have a special relationship.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
VICTORIA: Gloria Bazan grills delicious lamb chops that go smashingly with this wine.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
VICTORIA: The rocks, the dirt, the water, the sunshine, and the passion.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
VICTORIA: Bottling preparation—rackings, filtrations—before harvest gets underway.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
VICTORIA: Expect to fall in love … No, really, keep an open mind and have fun with my wines. I’m making wine in China now, so I can honestly say that.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
VICTORIA: Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and to taste the wine. I hope everyone enjoys this wine as much as I do!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Silenus Vintners where you can taste the great wines of Mario Bazán Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.