Our Cabernet is full of rich blackberry and boysenberry fruit, dark chocolate and chewy tannins. The cabernet grapes are allowed to hang on the vine as long as possible to maximize those deep flavors typical of Calistoga fruit. We age our Cabernet in 50% new French Oak and it gives the wine a subtle caramel flavor.
Walking into the Vincent Arroyo Winery, one gets the sense that it has been here forever. Is it just the comfortable atmosphere of a big barn full of oak wine barrels that lends to the sense of permanence? Vincent Arroyo, himself, may feel like he has been here forever, as well. He left behind a career as a mechanical engineer in the Silicon Valley during the early 70’s and headed to Calistoga, at the northern tip of the Napa Valley. He felt much more at home close to the land, being able to see and taste the fruits of his labors.
The purchase of the 23 acres of the Greenwood Ranch property in 1974 began the evolution of what is seen today, 85 acres cultivating 9 different wine grape varietals. Vince has always been a farmer at heart, taking care of the land to produce the best that it can. He began to transform the Greenwood Ranch by ripping out existing prune trees and unhealthy vines and planting new vineyards. For many years, he did it all alone, the tractor work, cellar work and a one-man sales force. Originally he made just a few hundred cases of his favorites, Petite Sirah and Cabernet, selling the majority of the grape tonnage to other Napa wineries. Today, he produces over 8,000 cases of seven different varietals.
Vincent Arroyo now has help in the winery and vineyards, but the daily operations of the winery are still truly a family affair. Both Vince’s daughter, Adrian, and son-in-law, Matt, work full time at the winery. While Matt can usually be found in the cellar tending to the wines, Adrian’s primary role is overseeing the daily operations of both the winery and tasting room. However, Vince still does quite a bit of work himself. You may catch him on the tractor or down with the barrels, always , wanting to have a hand in what goes on around the winery that he grew. In fact, it is hard to keep him away from the barrels, with a wine thief in hand, when inquisitive customers stop by for a sample!
Vincent Arroyo’s winemaking style is the embodiment of his philosophy about his land. Take what you have, and do the best you can with it. Each wine at the winery is hand-crafted, starting from before the grapes are harvested. Vince decides how the grapes from each vineyard will be vinified, when they will be picked, how they will be crushed, what fermentation regimes they will undergo (pumpovers, extended macerations, pressings), and finally, what percentage of French or American barrels, new or old barrels to maximize the optimum flavors of the wine during the barrel-aging process.
The wines produced at the Vincent Arroyo Winery have put a star on many Napa Valley maps as a place that shouldn’t be missed. His signature wine, still Petite Sirah, has become so popular that it often sells out before it is bottled every year. Once you have tasted the wines, you’ll know why. The winery also makes a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and several red blends.
AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
@smittypap Just another example of notoriously lame CT notes on drinking window. Two nights ago, we had a 2010 Iron Horse Chardonnay that was nothing short of sublime. This Cab is good for at least another few years.
Sheesh…y’all are not patient! I was travelling for work and didn’t even get home until 7:15 tonight.
Lots of tartrate on the cork and in the neck! I decided I’d try to use rpm’s scoring system here.
Initial impressions on opening:
Appearance: Very clear to brilliantly clear. Colour: A nice purply garnet. Tells you almost immediately this is likely no over-extracted or overripe (or, god forbid, full of mega-purple). Aroma: Pretty closed even after a few swirls. This led me to drump the rest into a decanter to get more air. What few notes come through on repeated swirling are herbaceous but not particularly distinct aside from some eucalyptus. Total Acidity: Tart but not higher than my preference. Leaves my mouth watering. Sweetness: Not notable. Hints of fruit but not jammy. Body: Medium Flavour: Nothing out of place, but nothing particularly distinct at this stage. Red fruit, perhaps the long pepper we learned about at St. Supery way back. Bitterness: Not particularly bitter. A bit on the finish. Astringency: Slightly chalky, fine grippy tannins at a medium level General: This needs some time to open!
After about half an hour and a vigorous decant and swirl: Aroma: hints of alcohol now that were not there before. Also more fruit is starting to come out now. The eucalyptus is still there. A strong earthy note presented itself as well. Sweetness: fruit quality is sweeter now. Flavour: More red fruit, currant perhaps, hints of plum as well. The earthy note shows up again here now, too. Astringency: Picking up in intensity a bit. Tannin quality still grippy. This would be happy alongside a steak.
At the two hour mark:
I think it needed possibly even longer to decant because it’s still getting better in the glass. Even though it’s my last glass. The fruit is coming out more and more while the herbs and spices are coming in and out. The tannins are still present. Only at this point do I get any of the caramel notes mentioned in the winery tasting notes. They are pleasant, all things considered, and not overwhelming. I suspect this wine is on the edge of a dumb phase in a way. I’d probably wait until 2020 to drink these.
Thing is, the bottle vanished rather quickly. I’m having the last few sips right now.
Would I buy this at $30/bottle…harder call. At $20/bottle it would have been a steal. $30 feels fair. Given my overstock situation I’m on the fence. But given how Vince’s PS ages (I just had a bottle of the 1998 Napa Valley the other night), I’m wondering what this will be like 10 years hence…
2010 Vincent Arroyo 2010 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
Earlier this week I was graced with a Golden Ticket email from Ariana with the promise of,
With no idea what to expect I was quite pleasantly surprised to find a bottle of VA CS.
Thanks to MdS I’ve been a fan of VA Petite Sirah for a number of years, but have never purchased and don’t recall tasting any of their CS.
FedEx did the deed on Wednesday and I was able to fetch it that night. Normally I’d let this stand for weeks before sampling, but no time this time.
Natural cork was tight! It came out clean but in two pieces as 2/3 top and 1/3 bottom sections; I guess I was too impatient. Heavy sediment and some tartrate on the bottom, but only 2~6 mm of penetration at the edges. After a pour, the shoulder also showed sediment suggesting these have been stored inverted rather than on their side.
PnP at ~21C presented a shy nose, with less than brightly clear (not filtered?) ruby to garnet color with no browning at the rim in glass, and first sip presented tight with nondescript dark fruits and suggested some decant time was needed. Finish was tart with ample tannins.
Recork for tomorrow.
Shared at close of work with four other frequent drinkers, 2M/2F, still exploring what they like and not accustomed to putting into words what they like or taste. Pretty much describes me as well…
Following a one hour decant, group consensus was to me surprisingly uniform. All expressed aromas of dark, but non-descript berry fruits, with two additional comments of floral and dark cherry.
Entry, for the most part, follows nose; ample dark fruits, dry, with brisk acidity and added tannins on a lingering finish while morphing into some plum.
This is a fairly big and serious wine that seems to suggest some extended skin time and extraction, but not with the common fruit-in-your-face style and is in no way a patio pounder.
Later at home, with some additional decant time, aromas of fruits opened up nicely but remained, for me, rather non-descript. I can’t with confidence say blackberry, or cassis for example.
The acidity remained consistent, as did the tannic balance. Not sure if this is from barrel or maceration, but it’s firm, and lacks the oak/vanilla associated with barrel.
While this clearly doesn’t present as a young wine, nor does it suggest it’s now eight years post vintage, as it seems lacking in any secondary or tertiary leather, tobacco or other elements I’d expect to expect to begin sensing in an eight year old cabernet. Once or twice I thought I got the slightest hint of some VA on the nose that got my attention.
This is however, a food wine and both benefits from and complements red meat offerings.
The buy on bread and sell on cheese phrase well befits, as both complement.
All agreed $20 would be a good “woot” price that would prompt a buy.
I’d be up for a case split to take three or so bottles.
Just read the winery description, and notes from Klez.
Not getting the caramel from winemaker notes.
Disagree on the very clear to brilliantly clear; my bottle was neither of these.
Other than those differences, and his ability to tease out some details I can’t, I’ll pretty much agree with his more organized, rpm-ish, notes.
$30/bottle seems fair, but not as compelling as I’d wish. Still, a nice offer from WD for a bottle few of us would otherwise have access to.
@rjquillin not uncommon to see potassium bitartrate present in the bottle with a wine of this age- nobody stores pallets of wine on their side , I prefer mine cork up personally (I’m still a slave to my mentors training ) -
I would imagine a cab like this of that age would taste beautiful once decanted - I had an 04 Barbera at thanksgiving with plenty of tartrate , but gosh it was good
@rjquillin@klezman@winedavid49 Re caramel notes: Thinking the note above is a generic winery blurb and not necessarily a current note, and not necessarily about this specific wine. Which is kind of unfortunate. Happy to be corrected.
@foxrunner@rjquillin@Winedavid49 I’d have to make another Petite Sirah hoss - I had a little 2 barrel bottling for my winter wine club last year that went over well - it grows good up here in Amador County! There’s a vineyard in Fiddletown that was always my fav of the varietal (probably crushed a couple hundred tons of petite out of that field during my career )
Wow klezman and rjquillin! Outstanding and professional ‘rattage’! While your successes are entirely your own, still, may I be permitted an honest pride in you based on whatever role I have played in your vinous educations?
@rpm Also thanks, for the education, worth far more than the cost of the tours and it lasts forever; well, at least as long as I’m above the turf line.
So much to know/learn and all too frequently I feel I’m a huge fail, especially with the the “remember what you drink” part. That cab tour with those old bottles in the cellar was the turning point if there ever was a single one.
Based on what I have read here today, there seems to be a variation in reviews and consensus on this wine. I didn’t read that BIG WOW FACTOR OR HAVE TO BUY THIS! I’m sure some may disagree. Since I’ve found many great offers on previous Woot and Casemate offers, this is a pass for me!! I’m retired now for three years and while I have income to spend on wine, I realize that I need to focus on the great QPRs that I have bought in the past and had time to cellar. I’m not looking for wine that may need to be purged from a sellers inventory. With a huge stash of great previous offers ready to be consumed and cellared, I have decided to become VERY selective!! Crucify me if you want, I’ll still be lurking this and other sites for a great QPR buy!!
@Boatman72 You don’t have to defend your wine purchasing habits!!
I agree this is not a “wow, must order cases of this for the cellar amazing qpr” offer. It is, however, a solid offer on a wine that you don’t see available almost anywhere outside of the winery.
Interesting you saw variation in the reviews…I thought Ron’s and my reviews were actually very consistent.
@Boatman72@klezman I would have to agree the reviews were consistent. In fairness to the wine, the more experienced and sophisticated a reviewer is – and I’d say by this point klezman and rjquillin, along with Mark DaSpark, are quite possibly the most sophisticated and experienced non-professional tasters on the Casemates boards (though Mark is a wine judge) – the more it takes for a wine to trip the "WOW GOTTA BUY factor, irrespective of price.
Unless a reviewer is a pro I know and trust, or someone like the aforementioned three stars, I’m suspicious of “wow this is amazing” reviews.
What I want is the sort of solid, honest review you saw here. This is a good wine - as was the one I reviewed for Monday. Is it likely a great wine? Probably not. Is it a good value? That’s what a detailed review helps you discern.
All you need to know about winetasting in 8 Words: Pull lots of Corks Remember What You Taste
@klezman@rpm RPM, I agree with what you said above. You are correct that they were very solid reviews. As you stated about a good value, I didn’t see a good value in front of me. After checking other reviews from other sources, I couldn’t see the justification of buying a 2010 $46 bottle retail at a $28 - $30 Casemate price for 25.36 ounces of good wine when I have a 1000 excellent bottles of wine in my nice cool basement from Wellington, Harvey, Rasmussen, Pedroncelli, Corison, Iron Horse, Zahtilla-Michaels, Smith, etc on and on.
I’m not just a cranky old 70 yr retired guy. Since my son got me hooked on Wine.Woot many years ago, I’ve consumed over 1000 bottles since purchasing over 2000 bottles. I’m shocked that my wife hasn’t divorced me since she hates wine!! I believe in RPMs “Pull lots of corks, remember what you taste” theory!! I started that in college with low grade headache wine and up’d it a level during my Army stint in Germany with wine we bought from the locals and Gasthaus’s. Over the years and with the help of WW, I further defined the types and styles that I like, which are so dependent on the varietal and how I plan to consume them. Chilean and Argentine areas produce what I call sleeper wine, so I just don’t focus on West Coast wine.
Sooo, maybe what I should have stated was that the wine offer as described in the reviews didn’t meet my criteria of the wines I like, nor QPR I look for. Or maybe I should have just not put in my 2 cents. At my age and amount of wine I have on hand, I choose to be very selective and not purchase wine nearing it’s end point!! I also think that there are a lot of old WWs that are stocked with wine like me and are probably being selective also!
Finally, to give credits where due…WD4 does a hell of a job keeping the variety of offers flowing!!
I think there’s some misunderstanding. Nobody here is saying you should have thought it was the right value proposition for you. RPM specifically avoided saying whether the value was there, just that the reviews would help you figure that out for yourself.
Please continue putting in your two cents and more!
And my reviews are meant to be straight ahead and not to tell you whether the QPR is there for you unless I feel it’s an unequivocally amazing QPR. This offer did not cross that threshold, but others that I’ve reviewed have. I aim to give you the sort of information you can use to figure out whether the QPR is there for you.
Based on my tasting, I’m getting some, the question is just how much. I’m good with one or two orders, or could do a 4-way case split for 3 bottles each.
Additional discount isn’t all that great, but it all ads up, along with that $10 off coupon.