The Weekly Wine – 2004 Altamura

Posted on 08 February 2009

By K.L. Riley    

I have always had a love hate relationship with California Cabernets because my palette leans more towards old world style wines. The California Cabernets that are more fruit forward lack structure and acidity that help the wine maintain age-ability and structure. Over the last couple of years I have learned to accept certain things in life for their face value and not for my expectations of what I think they should be, especially when it comes to California Cabernets. The Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 vintage is a wine that disproves this theory.
Altamura Winery was founded in 1985 by Frank and Karen Altamura in the Wooden Valley within Napa California. They are known for their meticulous hands on approach to wine making.
Wooden Valley is a small valley located 9 miles northeast of the town of Napa within the Napa Valley appellation. Formed by volcanic activity, Wooden Valley boasts a number of soil types and a rolling topography. The warm summer days in Wooden Valley are cooled by dramatic fog banks and afternoon breezes, which can produce temperatures as much as 10 degrees lower than the Napa Valley average resulting in a long growing season. This 2004 vintage was surprisingly intense and soft and after observing this wine for ten minutes it was easy to see why Robert Parker gave it 94 points. Aged in French Oak for 34 months, this wine is truly a great specimen. The color is a deep dark purple with no color variations and the nose will give you hints of earth, cedar, licorice, pepper, and ripe plum. The wine is velvet on the tongue and the soft layers of textures and flavors linger on the palette. One thing that really attracts me to this wine is its shelf life which is about 15 to 20 years. It is pretty rare to find wines that are so well balanced and drinkable now but have integrity and will evolve into a masterpiece to be consumed later. There are about 3600 cases of the 2004 Cabernet and I found some online sites that are selling this bottle for about 70 dollars US. I would definitely recommend buying more than one bottle because once you drink one your hand will automatically reach for a second, and if you don’t have anyone to drink it with give me a call and I will be right over!

Wine quote of the week:
A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Refreshing himself at the Piazza Coffee House as his Drury Lane theatre inn went up in flames on 24th February 1809. Quoted in Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the Life of Sheridan, Vol. ii. Ch. 20 (His mistress, Lady Bessborough, said ‘Sheridan is never sober for a moment’.)

Categorized | Wine Lover