2005 Charles Creek Vineyards Las Pasiones Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Codename: Passion Runs Wild

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Return to our friends at Charles Creek Vineyards and retrieve an allocation of their much sought after Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Charles Creek Cellars

Wine Subject: 2005 Las Pasiones Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Kerry G. Damskey

Backgrounder: Our Operatives are crazy for Charles Creek wines. The first time we featured their excellent wines here, our Operatives snapped up our entire allocation before the one-day sale was over. Today, we return to Charles Creek to bring you their Las Pasiones, Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Extremely dark purple with garnet hues and tiny streaks that barely shine through this wine’s dense but clear heart. Deep garnet shows along the edges. When swirled, widely-spaced, medium legs quickly descend, ringing the glass.

Smell – Ripe and rich aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, blackberry and other dark fruit lead the way, are framed by soft toasted and vanilla oak and spice notes. A touch of sweet black licorice and earthy undertones blend with a hint of cocoa that also emerges.

Feel – This dry wine is full-bodied and has well developed, finely grained, firmly structured mouth-drying tannins that expand to the far corners of the tongue. A touch of tangy acidity and textured minerality grasps the rich fruit and other flavors and holds tight into the finish.

Taste – Rich and plush with generous and almost jammy dark fruit including black cherry, blackberry and plum, along with a touch of cherry pit. All of the fruit is framed by a spiced and toasted oak component that lingers and lingers. Touches of vanilla and cocoa along with hints of hot spice, subtle herbal and pepper notes add depth and complexity.

Finish – Extremely long with the finely grained, sturdy tannins that last and last while the fruit and other complex flavors fade, leaving behind a textured and mouth-coating feel that invites another sip.

Conclusion – The 2005 Charles Creek Vineyards Las Pasiones Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Cab that is both sturdy in structure and generous in its aromas and flavors. Rich on the nose with plenty of black cherry to lead you in and a mouth feel that cuts right to the chase and lasts long into the finish. Drinking very well right now, please descant or let it breathe, or cellar for another seven to ten years. A real keeper. Pair this wine with a big juicy steak and pomme frites.

Mission Report:

WINEMAKER INTERVIEW

AGENT WHITE: Please tell us a little something about today’s featured 2005 Las Pasiones Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon?

KERRY: This is a mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Two vineyards; both grown at 1800 feet. One is the Mountain Terraces Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. This constitutes 92% of the blend. The second is the famous Stagecoach Vyd in Napa Valley which is within the Atlas Peak sub appellation. Again, at 1800 feet.

WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

KERRY: Meat man! Because these wines are of mountain origin, they have great tannic structure. Perfect for fatty and rich red meats. Lamb or beef.

WHITE: In your opinion, what makes these vineyards so special?

KERRY: Mountain Cabernet. Can’t beat it. Volcanic soils which are lean in organic material. Not very good water retention either. Because of this, we get great concentration from small berries and very low yielding vines.

WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

KERRY: Always focusing on making great wines that have “the yummy factor”

WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Charles Creek Vineyard tasting room can be seen in this satellite photo.

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