1997 Renaissance Vin de Terroir Cabernet Sauvignon Sierra Foothills North Yuba California. 356 cases; released December, 2005. 12.5% alcohol. Rare Wine Company, $49.95.
This is the best Cabernet Sauvignon I've ever tasted. Deep red color, deep hue, restrained, complex lovely aromas and tastes of olives, fruit, leather, tobacco, minerals, medium mouth feel, complex tannins, slight acidity, perfect balance to my taste, long, long finish. Lovely with buffalo burgers, lovely sipping and reading for hours. Great wine. 5*.
Renaissance "Vin de Terroir" Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 is a 100 percent cabernet sauvignon from a four-acre subplot that Renaissance romantically calls Slope No. 1. It's their oldest cabernet vines -- 22 years old in 1997 -- and is 1,800 feet in elevation facing southwest, with granitic soil. What emerges is one of the most profound cabernet sauvignons I've tasted from California -- or anywhere else, for that matter. It delivers classical cabernet scents of olives, plum, black cherry, leather and tobacco with an unmistakable scent and taste of minerals. I can think of no other California cabernet sauvignon quite like this. It's a big wine that can really be understood only alongside food such as a steak or a rack of lamb.