2011 Sempre Vive Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
currant, blackberry, cherry, bell pepper, olive, asparagus, spice, ginger, oak and vanilla
currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and cigar box
Christopher Sawyer - The Sommelier Files: 95 Points
"In Napa Valley, the advantage to making an "estate" wine is that it allows the winemaker, vintner or proprietor to have control of the destiny of the grapes. This estate concept is what Frank and Gena Romeo had in mind when they purchased a historic site which eventually became the Romeo Vineyard near Calistoga.
Located between dense forest on the surrounding hillsides, this special vineyard is home to a rare collection of old Cabernet Sauvignon vines which made it through the 1990s, a tumultuous period when many of the other vineyards in Napa Valley had to be replanted due to the spread of phylloxera, a terrible disease started by the spread of the root louse. With this in mind, the Romeos named their brand Sempre Vive, which means "always alive" in Latin.
Thanks to the powers of these mature vines, the wines made with these exceptional grapes have the ability to be aged for long periods of time in fine oak barrels and inside the bottles before being released. The latest example of this natural phenomenon is the Sempre Vive 2011 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon.
From the moment the wine is poured in the glass, the charm of the vineyard immediately shines through with dazzling aromas of dark fruits, cassis, vanilla, rocky loam, and forest floor. On the palate, the flavors are highlighted with generous notes of dark cherry, wild berries, cocoa, caramel, roasted walnuts, and cedar. And in the end, it’s an elegant wine with a soft, velvety texture, balanced tannins, and a long, engaging finish.
With fine cuisine, try this stately Cabernet Sauvignon with risotto with wild mushrooms, slow-roasted pork, grilled steaks, lamb shank, chocolate truffles, or something as simple cheddar popcorn while watching movies or relaxing by the fire during the cooler months of winter."