La Vie Cabernet Sauvignon (with grapeskins):
Intense, tannic, powerful, with hidden depths that are revealed by cellaring.
Usually, French Cabernet Sauvignon is part of a blend, but this forward-thinking wine brings both old world notes of cedar and herbs, backed with firm acidity and floral highlights to New World richnesses of blackcurrant, dark fruit, pepper and a soupçon of vanilla and spice. A complex, densely imagined wine, its youth will be dominated by tannin and lean structure. Cellaring for six months to a year will allow the fruit to come into balance, and will reveal more complex aromas of leather, cedar, chocolate and coffee. It will improve for 2 to 3 years, gaining elegance and depth as it goes. Serve with stroganoff, dry-rubbed grilled ribeye, or roast lamb.
Limited Edition kits come from the peak of the vintage: Master Vintner searches the world for the very best grapes and juices, from prestigious vineyards in the best growing regions. Competition for these grapes is fierce, and supply is limited: we can make only a small number of these truly exceptional kits, once a year.
Master Vintner Limited Edition 2016
Master Vintner Limited Edition wines for 2016 come from France, the birthplace and spiritual home of fine wine. In the 21st century we see France as a unified whole, home of an eclectic and egalitarian people enjoying a typically French lifestyle of great wine and fabulous cuisine.
But the truth is that while France is the cradle of winemaking excellence, by which all other wines are measured, and it produces more fine wine than any other country in the world, history has shaped each region's distinct character, from the sublime intensity of Bordeaux, to the languid elegance of Burgundy, and all the myriad regions that make up the dizzying variety of French wine.
France has pioneered the term 'terroir' (tear-wahr), the set of all environmental factors that affect a crop's epigenetic qualities, unique environment contexts and farming practices, when the crop is grown in a specific habitat. It is the 'is-ness' that defines the soul of that a wine takes from the place it is grown. French wines, with centuries to adapt the vine to the land and vice-versa, get their unique character, complexity and richness from a long game of patience between land and vine.
Located in the Southwest, Bordeaux encompasses the Gironde estuary where the rivers Dordogne and Garonne flow into the Atlantic Ocean Bordeaux produces over 600 million bottles of wine each year and accounts for over one-quarter of all fine wines produced in France. Soils are a mixture of gravel, sand, clay and limestone, with the better wines coming from the well drained gravel and calcareous regions. The climate is mild and heavily influenced by the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean. The environment is perfect for the three big grapes of Bordeaux, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc.
It's Bordeaux's unique location that influenced how these grapes came to be made into wine: as a major shipping port since ancient times, it is a natural crossroads between land, river and sea, and the world's first trade expositions were held there. The wily merchants who shipped wine out of the port were clever: historically, the grapes were vinified separately and then 'assembled' within a few months of fermentation. This assemblage ensured consistent character and a steady supply in years with challenging weather. Aficionados claim that the wines of Bordeaux are more complex and engaging for the drinker.