2008 Maple Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
 
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4.01 stars out of 5!
Member Reviews:

Surprisingly great Cabernet
We wish we would have tried it earlier so we could buy more! We enjoyed the layers of flavor when we opened it and they developed further when we finished the bottle the next night.
-- Don from Casco, WI

Super wine
Incredibly rich a dense. A cabernet lovers dream.
-- Naomi from Del Ma, CA

Napa Blockbuster!
Just had to try this Cab over the holidays.My impatience got the best of me. WOW! Beautiful color with lots of blackberries and wood on the nose.Nice tannins.Mocha,black fruit,with a hint of coffee give way to a satin finish. This is keeper. Great find WA! Thanks.
-- William from Valrico, FL

Quality at Great Price
Very impressive. Great bottle, well corked, Opaque to the edge. Fresh fruit notes. As noted by others well balanced. Opens up quickly to reveal wonderful full Cab experience. Won't last in my cellar. Kudos to WineAccess!
-- Keith from Glenview, IL

In the Shadow of Diamond Mountain

Finally, Brad Smith thought he could take a deep breath, put up his feet a little, and let Napa Valley behave as it's supposed to behave. The 2007 growing season on these 14 manicured acres at Maple Lane had been a Godsend. The vintage had it all: healthy crop levels, superb maturity -- and a Wine Spectator vintage cover story that would suck every top Napa Valley cellar dry. Winemaker Smith and partners Richard and Lucy Parks appeared ready for a long stroll down Easy Street. Or so they thought before the spring frost of 2008.

Napa Valley's Cabernet crop was ravaged on a single spring night, when the mercury plummeted. Yields at Maple Lane would be trimmed by 30%. By early summer, most of the top sites in Napa Valley remained behind schedule. Many plucked leaves to spike maturity. But, at Maple Lane, they played it safe, trusting in the exquisite balance of these carefully trained Cabernet plants, paving the way for Brad Smith's finest estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon in the history of this Calistoga jewel.

We first visited Smith at Maple Lane in April 2009. Planted in 2000 by Jim Barbour's vineyard management team (Grace Family, Martha's Vineyard, etc.), the Cabernet blueprint couldn't have been more exacting. We walked the tightly spaced 4 x 6 rows in the shadow of Diamond Mountain. Word travels fast in Napa Valley, and it wouldn't take long for the likes of Pahlmeyer and Newton to come calling, bidding up the price of Maple Lane Cabernet.

After the frost and the inferno during the last week of June, the remainder of the summer in 2008 would be mild. Smith wouldn't feel a drop of water between budbreak and harvest. The extended growing season led to small clusters of even ripeness, with densely concentrated berries and fine acid structure. In October, Smith cherry-picked the property, bringing in just 10 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon -- less than two tons per acre! -- for this superb 2008 powerhouse.

Opaque purple to the edge, with chiseled blackberry aromatics, laced with ripe currant, tinged with new wood cedar. The attack is massive, packed with Calistoga crème-de-cassis, dark chocolate and wild berry jam. Despite all the low yield concentration, Smith managed the thick-skin tannins masterfully, buttressing all that black fruit opulence with sleekly polished backbone.

157 buyers rated the finest Cabernet ever produced off of Maple Lane an average of 4.01 stars out of five (see the histogram). This is Redux. 600 bottles remain -- all earmarked for WineAccess on bargain Friday.



Tasting Notes

2008 Maple Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
"Opaque purple to the edge, with chiseled blackberry aromatics, laced ripe currant, tinged with new wood cedar. The attack is massive, packed with Calistoga crème-de-cassis, dark chocolate and wild berry jam. Despite all the low-yield concentration, Smith managed the thick skin tannins masterfully, buttressing all that black fruit opulence with sleekly polished backbone. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism, or lay down for a 3-5 year rest."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


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