Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Cinnabar Winery – 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted by Gabe on March 10, 2011

More and more over the last few years I’ve been impressed with wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains. I’ve taken a few looks at some wines from Cinnabar and the time has come to revisit them. Cinnabar Winery has a history there that dates to 1983. The name of the winery comes from the belief of 14th century alchemists that they could use the mineral Cinnabar to transform everyday metals into gold. Cinnabar Winery founder Tom Mudd applied that magical thought to winemaking. In total Cinnabar Winery produces approximately 17,000 cases per year. Incorporated in that are three lines or tiers of wines.

The Cinnabar Winery 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon was produced using hand picked fruit from two parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Oak aging took place over 30 months in small French Barrels. The final wine was assembled from a cuvee of select barrels. A mere 198 cases of this offering were bottled and it sells for $45.

Heady dark fruit aromas lead the nose of this 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Spice notes such as clove, vanilla and a hint of thyme underlie them in a firm supporting role. The palate shows off rich dark fruits that are filled with mountain grown intensity and concentration. Black cherry dominates with blackberry and blueberry fruit playing secondary roles along with a host of spices. Toasty oak, black pepper and wisps of nutmeg are all part of the finish which features terrific persistence. Firm tannins yield with some air and everything is kept in check by terrific acidity.

This is a fine example of Cabernet Sauvignon and an equally compelling illustration of the excellent wines being produced from Santa Cruz Mountains Fruit. If you drink this wine over the next couple of years I’d plan to decant it for 90 minutes and pair it with hearty for best results. However if you have some patience I’d lay this wine down for 5-8 years and drink it in the 5 after that. In either case you can’t go wrong this is a terrific Cabernet Sauvignon.

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