2005 Levendi Winery Sweetwater Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Codename: The Water of Life

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Levendi Winery, this time to procure the astonishingly great update to their near-perfect Sweetwater Cabernet Sauvignon – which our Operatives went crazy for earlier this year

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Levendi Estates

Wine Subject: 2005 Sweetwater Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley

Winemakers: Alison Doran

Backgrounder: Earlier this year, we procured a small allotment of Levendi’s fantastic 2004 Sweetwater Cabernet Sauvignon. We loved the wine, as did our Operatives. When we learned that Levendi was readying the release of their 2005, Agent Red was dispatched, with the specific mission of procuring a larger cache. For his misison, Agent Red also enlisted the support of new Wine Spies recruits from around the wine blogesphere. Included below are their reviews as well.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark and concentrated, burgundy to deep garnet at its core, with richly concentrated color out to the edges. When swirled, the wine moves quickly and settles quickly, leaving behind tightly-packed legs that take a very long time to emerge

Smell – A deep and aromatic perfume rush up to greet you, delivering sweet and rich aromas of toasty cherry, dark currant, leather, anise, mint, oak and mildest dried fall leaves

Feel – Cool and light at very first – then slightly round and bright – and then quickly mouth-coating with grippy medium tannins

Taste – Delicious with big black and red fruits of dark plum, cherry, and cassis with hints of European salty licorice, vanilla and bramble with soft oak

Finish – Begins bright, sweet and fruity, then goes deliciously dart, with bold flavors that taper slowly with a mineral dryness

Conclusion – You know how much I loved the 2004 vintage of this wine. I gushed about it then, and I have no reservations about gushing about it now. While it may present a little young to some drinkers, this wine really is ready to drink now. Lay a few bottles down for a few years and I know that your patience will be handsomely rewarded. What strikes me about Levendi Cab’s is the beautiful balance that they all seem to strike. Where some Napa cab can be dark and dusky monsters, Levendi wines are hewn from brighter stuff, making them beautiful food companions or wonderful solo-sippers. In neither case with this wine overpower your meal or your palate. Look no further for the great Holiday Cab you are seeking! You’ve found it right here…

Mission Report:

In place of our usual Mission Report, we are proud to present you with these select reviews from our wine blogger friends around the world:

Sonodora from wannabewino.com:

”Sugar plums dance through heads Tart black cherries tingle tongues Noses delighted by enticing aromas. Dark chocolate envelopes mouths Big juicy blackberries picked fresh Mingle in pie with vanilla essence. Beguiling bramble flavors lure black fruit gives way to hints of red berries. Structure and tannins promise
Years of life to come”

Dr. Xeno from WineLog.net:

”Dark garnet. Black/blue fruit with some big anise at first and good! Then almond with hazelnut, followed by nicely integrated oak. Silky tannins, but with nice grip. Blackest fruit now with just a hint of blue whispering up from the depths. Dried herbs and anise are closer to the end. Full body. Great balance with good food-centric acidity. Tight right now but still drinking well, needs some time. Ends with some black cherry and mocha.”

Douglas from www.chicagopinot.blogspot.com:

”Drank with steak and stuffing with Heinz gravy. Tobacco and mint on the nose, light on tannins, positive blend meal, especially harmonious with gravy. Soft leather mouthfeel, at least twelve second finish. A Cab that’s more about the finesse than power.”

Denise from WineSleuth:

”A savoury nose, not very fruity but what I could detect were black stewed fruits,prunes, blackcurrant jam, bit of spiciness, words like dark and harsh were thrown about but I think that was because of the alcoholic content. A surprisingly medium bodied wine on the palate with more of the black fruits, particularly blackcurrant and very ripe plums, soft tannins which was again a surprise. I think everyone was expecting a monster of a wine when in reality, it was more like a pussycat. Having said that though, it did have a nice acidic balance which meant the wine went really well with the mature English cheddar Ele had on hand. The cheese made the fruit a bit brighter on the palate, a nice foil.”

And, finally, you can read about our great blogger party at the Mutineer Magazine website.

A hearty Spy Thanks to those of you that sent in your reviews!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Sweetwater Ranch Vineyard, where today’s Cabernet Sauvignon was grown, can be seen in this satellite photo.

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