2005 Mario Bazán Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Codename: From Vineyard to Bottle

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Secure a very limited production elite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Mario Bazán Cellars

Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Victoria Coleman


We all love Napa’s Cult Cabs, with many receiving the top ratings, awards and accolades, we deserved in every sense of the word, but at prices of $100-200, and often times much more, the are difficult to justify in these difficult economic times. This is the motivation behind our mission today.

In today’s selection, we’ve been negotiating with the winery to be able to offer you this exceptional, and extremely small production wine, at an unbelievable one-day only price. Once this wine gets out into the mainstream, it will be gone fast. This is your chance to stock up for your own Cult Cellar Collection.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautifully dense ruby red with garnet tints with a dark garnet but clear core. Ruby red along the edges and when swirled, long slender legs quickly descend and ring the glass.

Smell – Rich and tangy black and red fruit including black cherry, blackberry and dark plum are framed by wild black licorice. Notes of spicy white pepper, toasted oak with vanilla and mocha coffee emerge and invite a sip.

Feel – This full bodied and dry wine is balanced, smooth and textured with rich, round and plush tannins, soft acidity and a dusty minerality making this expansive wine both long and chewy.

Taste – Rich ripe blackberry, black cherry, cassis and plum blend with a solid wild black licorice component. This wine’s toasted oak with vanilla hints blends with earthy undertones, tart cherry pit and mocha coffee.

Finish – Extremely long and clean with this ripe and tart fruit fading as licorice, tart cherry pit, mocha, toasted oak and other flavors linger for several minutes.

Conclusion – The 2005 Mario Bazán Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that shows Cabernet’s rich and powerful aromas and flavors with a sturdy and generous mouthfeel that lingers for several minutes. Enjoy this wine with gourmet grilled steak burgers, topped with truffle oil sauteed mushrooms a Gruyere cheese tonight after letting it breathe for about an hour or cellar for five to ten years.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Victoria Coleman

WINE EDUCATION: Work experience, Napa Valley College, UC Davis

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Production Asst.; Bazan Vyd Mgmt, Field Tech.; Bazan Cellars, Winemaker;Lobo Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemaker; Darius Anderson, Winemaker

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Do as much as possible in the vineyard to balance the grape clusters with the number of leaves to reach near perfect ripeness with lots of character. Do as little as possible with the fruit in the cellar to allow it to give the wine a sense of time and place.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Wine is the essence of time and effort spent in the vineyard paying attention to every detail as you work with grapevines and Mother Nature.”



AGENT RED: Greetings, Victoria. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Mario Bazan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

VICTORIA COLEMAN: Thank you, Agent Red. I’m glad to be here.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

VICTORIA: Since Viticulture was my main interest, it wasn’t until I tasted my first of Mario Bazan Cabernet Sauvignon, right after the primary fermentation, that I said to myself “WOW”. I fell in love with that wine. Another experience was the first time I tasted the 1994 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

VICTORIA: Michael Silacci, winemaker for Opus One

RED: Who do you make wine for?

VICTORIA: Myself (until Mario tells me otherwise). Someone once told me you can’t please everyone. If I’m happy with what ends up in bottle, then I cannot be disappointed when others see it differently than I.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

VICTORIA: It’s a wine I began making prior to entering UC Davis. It’s 100 percent cabernet sauvignon from a single vineyard. I was all hands on with this wine—every process I did myself from beginning to end. This wine and I have a special relationship.

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

VICTORIA: Gloria Bazan grills delicious lamb chops that go smashingly with this wine.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?

VICTORIA: The rocks, the dirt, the water, the sunshine, and the passion.

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

VICTORIA: Bottling preparation—rackings, filtrations—before harvest gets underway.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

VICTORIA: Expect to fall in love … No, really, keep an open mind and have fun with my wines. I’m making wine in China now, so I can honestly say that.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

VICTORIA: Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and to taste the wine. I hope everyone enjoys this wine as much as I do!

RED: 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 location of Silenus Vintners where you can taste the great wines of Mario Bazán Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.

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