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Beringer Montagia Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

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Credit: Beringer Vineyards.

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    THE WINEThe style of wine is big, intense and brawny, like Ed and Joe wanted, but it also has an elegance that is the result of Joe's wife Jennifer's influence. The blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon from Rancho del Oso (66%), Chabot (15%), Bancroft Ranch (9%), Steinhauer Ranch (7%), and Cabernet Franc from Steinhauer Ranch (3%).Total Case Production: 750 Cases
    THE STORY For the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction, Beringer Winemaster Ed Sbragia and retired football quarterback Joe Montana collaborated to create a Cabernet Sauvignon blend from some of Beringer's Howell Mountain fruit from the stellar 1997 vintage. Called "Montagia," one case of 750ml bottles and one nine-liter bottle of wine, as well as some Montagia-logo sportswear and a dinner at Beringer’s historic Hudson House with Ed, Joe, and his wife, Jennifer, was auctioned and brought a whopping $210,000, to benefit Napa Valley health charities. Joe and Ed had a lot of fun making that wine together, and when they saw that their collaboration could make such a positive impact, they decided to continue making Montagia and focus it predominantly toward charitable donations. So, since then, Joe and his wife Jennifer join Ed to create a blend made from Howell Mountain fruit each year.
    THE VINTAGEThe 2001 vintage got off to a quick start with warm weather in February and March, which caused bud break and fruit-set to occur 7-10 days earlier than normal. In early April, temperatures cooled down significantly and slowed the development of the clusters. Winter and spring rains were below average but were adequate to restore essential moisture in the soils. Moderate weather conditions through the rest of the growing season helped produce high quality grapes. The grapes for the 2001 Montagia Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested from September 21 through October 10.
    THE WINEMAKINGEach individual vineyard lot was kept separate during vinification and aging so that Ed could track the development of their aromas, flavors and tannins, thus maximizing his flexibility to focus their best attributes when blending. As they were fermenting, Ed tailored the maceration and gentle pump-over regimes for each lot to get optimal extraction. He hand-selected new thin-staved French oak (Nevers) barrels to match the wines. “My choice of barrels is as important as any other decision I make,” Ed explains. “For our cabs, I prefer oak from the Nevers forest because it provides everything I’m looking for while still maintaining a framework that is subtle.” The wines were aged for almost 23 months, and Ed tasted them regularly to monitor their development.

    Posted by thewinery on December 1st, 2007 at 9:51am | report comment

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