Sodaro Estate Winery
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon • Sodaro Estate
California: Napa Valley
What we say
TOP SECRET ALERT: Today we are featuring another incredible value. This is a wine that should be selling for $50. Why is it so much less? Its simple, the winery wants you to taste their wine… and fall in love
Mission Codename: Viva La Evolution!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Evaluate the theory of evolution as it pertains to winemaking
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Sodaro Estate Winery
Wine Subject: 2003 Felicity Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemakers: Bill and Dawnwine Dyer
Sodaro Estates Winery owners Don and Dee Dee Sodaro believe that winemaking is an evolutionary process, where each year better wines are produced than during previous years. This dedication to refinement and experimentation, coupled with their assemblage of a brilliant growing and winemaking team, has yielded an exceptional wine worthy of your attention.
Awards and Accolades
Awarded a Gold medal in the 2007 Tasters Guild Consumer Wine Judging, this wine has won a total of four medals to date, including a Silver medal in the 2007 Riverside International Competition; this judging was open to every wine-producing country in the world and included approximately 4,000 wines
I first learned of Sodaro Estates wines through our network of field agents. With so many assets scattered across the wine producing regions of the world, The Wine Spies constantly receive chatter about great wines. Normally, Central Command waits for patterns to emerge before they order me to place a winery under active surveillance.
In the case of Sodaro Estates Winery, the recommendations were so numerous and so frequent that I was dispatched without Command performing the usual pre-mission data analysis.
On arrival at the winery, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the place – which reminded me very much of Tuscany in Italy. The rolling vineyards overlook the southwestern corner of the Napa Valley, in an area called the Tulocay. Cooler and more hilly than most of the valley, this vineyard enjoys what most agree is the ideal climate to produce a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon.
Napa has a reputation for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world and the fruit from this region is an average of 60% more expensive than in neighboring counties. I was here at Sodaro to find out if their Cabernet Sauvignon deserved to be held in such high esteem.
While at the winery, I learned that the entire team here works together to assure that every aspect of wine production, from the growing of the grapes to the making of the wine is a process which they learn from each year – to improve upon the next.
Because the winery was nearing harvest I took only a brief tour of the vineyards and the winery. This exciting time of year requires the fullest attention of vineyard managers and winemakers and I did not wish to get in the way. We wound up the tour with a tasting and I was dazzled. This is a well-rounded and very delicious Cab that drinks like the $50 or $60 Napa Cabs I had become accustomed to tasting in this valley.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is surely a winner. With their first vintage drinking as well as is does, we expect great things from this winery.
I secured a small number of cases for our Operatives and I am recommending this as a ready-to-drink classic that will also improve with a little aging. It is recommended that our Operatives collect enough bottles to have on hand for immediate enjoyment and for cellaring.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, rich red plum with soft and almost clear highlighting
Smell – Exotic spiced cherry preserves, mixed berries with sandalwood, cedar and ultra subtle peach
Feel – Soft and warm in the mouth with great tannins that to not overwhelm
Taste – Big boom of cherry, followed by restrained lavender, lightly toasted caramel, vanilla and easygoing oak
Finish – Super long-lasting, all over mouth flavors, including parts of the mouth that you didn’t even know could taste.
Conclusion – This wine gets a vigorous Wine Spies recommendation! Want to know why Napa Valley is so famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon? You’ll find the answer here. Actually, to be more precise, you’ll find a wine that some other Napa Cabs should aspire to be. Each subsequent vintage will evolve and be better than the last. If this is so – and the Wine Spies believe that it is – you’ll be seeing their wines here again!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Sodaro Estate Winery can be seen in this satellite photo
Wine Spies Technical Wine Analysis
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal Blend: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
What the winery says
“Evolution—the exact word that describes our efforts at Sodaro Estate Winery and that of 13,000 of the finest vines planted in one of the best wine growing soils and climates in the world.
As you can see by the dictionary definition, evolution is a gradual process. This is particularly true in wine making; a process that takes years.”
About this wine
Our first vintage released to the public, this Cabernet has been swift to gain critical acclaim.
Our 2003 Felicity Cabernet Sauvignon has a lovely depth of color—rich and red. Dark fruit flavors; red cherry compote and plums with a soft, dusty overlay of sandlewood and a floral hint of potpourri. Developed and lush, both in the nose and on the palate. Tannins are mature, soft and supple.