Cardinale is more than one wine – it is several wines from disparate mountain and benchland vineyards along the Mayacamas and Vaca ranges that surround Napa Valley.
Every bottle reveals the artistic sensibility of the winemaker, each vineyard lot fused into a seamless blend in which you can sense the constituent parts, but still taste them as one wine. Our philosophy is guided by the pursuit of grape selectivity in the vineyard, gentle handling and the ability to accommodate the different winemaking needs of each vintage.
Grapes arrived at our Oakville winery in small 30 pound lug boxes to prevent premature crushing. Hand-sorted and destemmed, grapes were gently crushed into specially designed, semi-open top, stainless steel fermentation tanks. This unique open-top configuration allows for lower alcohol conversion, permitting our winemaker to prolong harvest and ensure full ripeness. During native yeast fermentation, the tanks are “pumped over” two or three times per day. After fermentation, free run juice was sent to barrel with a small portion of wine pressed from a traditional basket press, ideal for controlling soft tannin extraction. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 22 months before an unfiltered bottling.
- WINE MAKER
- Christopher Carpenter
- 100% Napa Valley
- 91% Cabernet Sauvignon9% Merlot
- BARREL AGING
- 22 months100% new French oak barrels
- BOTTLE DATE
- Over 1,000 cases of the 2008 Cardinale were made from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot. Interestingly, the To-Kalon portion is the only fruit source located on the valley floor, which is not surprising given Jess Jackson’s propensity to buy, plant and source fruit from high elevation hillside and mountain sites. The 2008 exhibits a dense purple color along with sweet kirsch, unsmoked cigar tobacco, toasty oak and black currant characteristics. The wine hits the palate with a resounding opulence, full-bodied richness, moderate, sweet, well-integrated tannins and a long, heady finish. There is a floral component in the 2008 that was not noticeable in the 2007. This beautiful, full-bodied wine was aged 21 months in 100% new French oak. Slightly more evolved than the 2007, the 2008 should last for 20-25+ years. Here is a case where the 2008 is slightly superior to the 2007 (rated 94). From Jess Jackson’s viticultural empire, this wine, made by Chris Carpenter, is essentially a selection of some of the best lots of grapes from six separate Napa Valley regions, including Veeder Peak, Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, the To-Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and the Andrew Geoffery Vineyard.