The 2008 growing season was year of extremes, beginning with intense storms that brought rain and high winds, but the precipitation soon waned and for the second year in a row, less than 60% of normal rainfall was received. The spring season was one of the driest on record. The dry soils prompted grapevines to push out early, just as frigid, dry air in early spring created conditions for the deepest and longest frost period in three decades, against which our wind machines proved ineffective. The Cabernet grapes were not spared by the frosts, which caused a loss of over 20% of the normal crop. The vines produced a small canopy in response to the lack of soil moisture, while enduring an early heat spike at bloom. A cooler summer ensued, allowing the naturally resilient vines to focus on ripening their small crop in the mild temperatures. After the early start to the growing season, the Eisele Vineyard harvest began slightly earlier than normal, with the first block of Cabernet harvested on September 11th and the final grapes picked on October 1st. The fruit was sorted, de-stemmed and cold-soaked, undergoing native yeast fermentations and long macerations in small stainless steel and concrete tanks. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 26 months and bottled in December 2010.
Tasting Notes: This wine exudes heady aromas of black currant, blackberry and dark plum, enhanced by touches of anise, smoke, cinnamon and cola. In the mouth, the fruit notes are pure cassis spiced with nutmeg and sarsaparilla, leading to more earthy notes of loam, graphite and espresso. The wine is dense and concentrated but balanced, its core sweetness embraced by firm but silky tannins; the wine seems to dance across the palate into a lingering finish of spice and minerals. Notes winemaker Françoise Peschon: Beginning with soft creaminess on the attack, becoming powerful and rich in the mouth, and finishing with a supple sweetness,
there is tension in this wine that holds your interest throughout. It is a wine of power, persistence and grace.
Actual bottle from our inventory is pictured. These bottles are in excellent condition, from their original case and all fills are into the neck. All bottles are as good or better than the bottle pictured. To see other wines currently available from this producer, please click the link with the name of this producer underlined above, just to the right of "Producer."
December 201197+ 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.
November 15, 201197 Dense, rich and enormously concentrated, mixing power with finesse. Pure, ripe, riveting aromas of blackberry, blueberry, currant, sage, cedar, espresso and mocha lead to a full-bodied palate, firming beautifully on the finish, where the flavors glide along and gain traction. Drink now through 2028. 1,392 cases made.
International Wine Cellar
May 201194+ (89% cabernet sauvignon, 6.6% cabernet franc and 4.4% petit verdot): Ruby-red. Reticent but pure aromas of black cherry, black tea and flowers. Densely packed and youthfully tight, with juicy, high-pitched flavors of sweet dark fruits, leather and licorice. At once lush and perfumed, showing lovely vibrancy for a wine from this hot site. The long, building finish displays the firm tannic structure for a graceful evolution in bottle. This has turned out very well.