Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Chateau Souverain and secure an allocation of their flagship Cabernet, the gorgeous 2005 Winemaker’s Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that is totally sold out at the winery.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Chateau Souverain
Wine Subject: 2005 Alexander Valley Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Ed Killian
Today’s wine is made from choice vineyard sources that were hand-selected by master winemaker, Ed Killian. Mister Killian sought out the finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from his best vineyard sources, in order to craft today’s extraordinary wine.
The Alexander Valley, where today’s wine hails from, , is located in northeast Sonoma County, on the western side of the Mayacamas range. It extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but recently people are starting to discover its Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Chardonnay as well.
Look – Deep, dark garnet with a dense, darker heart. The color retains even concentration, right out to the very edge of the glass. After swirling, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall, thin, wine-stained tears that move slowly down the glass.
Smell – Lush and very aromatic, this wine leads with bold blackberry, candied dark cherry, cassis and dark chocolate. As the wine opens, it reveals additional aromas of boysenberry, blueberry, subtle cigar box, tobacco leaf, with hints of star anise, soft spice and black tea leaf.
Feel – A plush medium body is evident immediately. As the wine crosses the mid-palate, medium-fine tannins and a balanced acidity add a terrific intrigue as they do their part to drive dark flavors to the corners of the mouth.
Taste – Richly layered, leading with bold black cherry, overripe blackberry and dark plum. These are layered over sweet green tobacco leaf, brown spice, cigar box, cocoa dust and dried fall leaves.
Finish – Sweet and then tart as fruit flavors eventually morph into more earthen flavors. The finish goes way long, and eventually fruit and earthen character are replaced by mineral-laden dark spice, black pepper and flinty minerals. At the very end, a dry and slightly chewy feel persists for a long time.
Conclusion – A truly fantastic wine, the 2005 Chateau Souverain Winemaker’s Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the sort of well-rounded gem that has something for any Cabernet fan; Dark, rich and bold fruit are tempered against softly earthen characteristics that add complexity and balance. This wine is ready to drink, now, and it will continue to improve for at least 7 more years. I know that we’ll be stashing some in our Top Secret wine cave. Pair this food-fantastic wine with a hearty red meat dish, lamb or a spicy grilled chicken. We’ll enjoy a bottle, all on its own, at our next gathering.