Aromas of blackcurrants and blackberries with sweet oak and espresso
Vincent Arroyo’s friends must have thought he was certifiable. When he left a promising engineering career behind in Silicon Valley in the 1970s, Napa Valley had barely made a ripple in the world wine pool. Who would want to farm 23 neglected acres in the Valley’s scorching upper reaches?
Arroyo staked out land in Calistoga, at the northern-end roasting point of Napa Valley. Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson put it simply: “Most tourists give up long before they reach this end of the valley.” But those continuing past Napa’s opulent and jam-packed tasting rooms will find some of Napa’s best Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. The Calistoga elites are household names: Arroyo neighbor Chateau Montelena reshuffled the world wine order at the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, and the Eisele Vineyard, year in and year out, produces exquisite fruit that lands in some of California’s highest-scoring and priciest Cabernets.
Knowing that Calistoga’s 100-degree days and cool nights created perfect conditions for ripe concentration and lively acidity, Arroyo planted his flag and built a stellar reputation as a grower, raising dark, dense fruit for eager producers. For years, none other than cult favorite Turley produced a single-vineyard wine from Arroyo’s Rattlesnake Acres Vineyard. After a decade as a grower, Vincent Arroyo founded his namesake winery, and has been selling out his entire production to a list of loyal clients for over 30 years.
Vincent passed the day-to-day operation of Vincent Arroyo Winery to his children, but couldn’t stay out of the game long, and dove back in with Otra Vez — “Once Again.” He tapped his own proven holdings — dry-farmed 40-year-old vines on the valley floor as well as the legendary Rattlesnake Acres Vineyard — to produce a 100% Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon of giant proportions.
Arroyo’s new project couldn’t have been timed better: 2014 has been hailed as a “dream vintage” by Wine Spectator.
This 2014 Otra Vez Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet and shows a deeply concentrated ruby core in the glass. Lavish aromas of blackcurrants and blackberries lightly touched with sweet oak and espresso notes. Opulent and powerful on entry, showing the decadent dark-fruited profile of ripe Calistoga fruit, brimming with crème de cassis and ripe black plum flavors, which peel back to reveal layers of minerality and forest floor nuance with a hint of licorice and a savory umami finish. A baby now, it will cellar effortlessly through 2024. But if you can’t wait, decant for a good 40 minutes to enjoy.
This was a really interesting wine...he clearly used a differentiated barrel program, as there were heavy spiced vanilla notes throughout. The wine was really good, however...with good fruit, great acidity, easy tannins, and some interesting wood/vanilla/coconut notes. Bottles were all consistently great. Very pleased with the wine.
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