Antica Cabernet Sauvignon Antinori Estate 2014, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California

Nestled high upon Atlas Peak, in the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley lies a majestic property, owned by one of the “royal families” of winemaking; this property is Antica. The name Antica is a combination of the last name Antinori and California, and represents the Antinori family’s longstanding desire to craft exceptional estate wines that are a true expression of Napa Valley terroir. The Antinori family’s winemaking history has been synonymous with the famed wine growing regions of Tuscany and Umbria since its inception more than 600 years ago. Marchese Piero Antinori first visited and fell in love with Napa Valley in 1966, after which he dreamt of producing an Antinori Napa Valley wine. In the mid-1980s, the opportunity presented itself; a 1,200-acre estate on a high plain, in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. Antinori knew that the property’s Atlas Peak location had great potential for growing quality wine grapes, so the family took part in developing the property. Situated above the fog line, the Antica estate offers a mix of steep, rocky soils in its higher elevations and loamy, well-drained soils in the lower ones. There are more than 50 blocks within the estate, a true patchwork quilt that takes advantage of the variations in soil, elevation, and exposure to best match varietal, rootstock, and clone to attain the ideal expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. The high altitude (1,800 feet) means cooler daytime temperatures, which provides a long growing season, and gives the grapes complexity, enhanced textures, and dark colors. The steep, rocky and well-drained soils result into low yields (three pounds) per vine, but the fully ripened grapes show great structure with concentrated fruit, and focused and persistent flavors. Tannins are ripe, balanced, and integrated.