Bottle Notes, Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard – Bottle Notes

The 2002 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning bottle in the May installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was not decanted and I served it with steaks off the grill.

Araujo Estate is a 38-acre vineyard in northeast Napa Valley, east of Calistoga. It was established in 1990 when Bart and Daphne Araujo bought the historic vineyard from Milt and Barbara Eisele, who planted the vines in the 1960s. For nearly 40 years the Eisele Vineyard has been known as one of the valley’s great vineyards, consistently producing outstanding wines. The Araujos have completed many renovation projects since they acquired the estate, and have planted many varietals including Petit Verdot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Nevertheless the estate’s signature wine is its highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon.

In 2013 Araujo was acquired by the Artemis Group which also owns Chateau Latour.

Blood red in color with some bricking at the edge of the glass. 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 14.6% ABV. Beautiful nose of red fruits, anise, graphite and leather. Plush and incredibly silky on the palate. Concentrated, sweet fruit. Flavors of currants, cassis, cherry and licorice. Supple tannins on an amazing finish. The epitome of the “iron fist in a velvet glove”. I’m inclined to drink my remaining bottle over the next 3-5 years but well cellared bottles will last for another decade.

My rating: 97 points.

I was on the Araujo mailing list for the ’94 through ’06 vintages but have since moved on.

Araujo is one of the most prestigious wineries in all of Napa Valley. It does not get much more iconic than Eisele Vineyard. It can be included on a short list with the likes of Martha’s Vineyard and To Kalon Vineyard.

The Araujo wines can be obtained via the mailing list, at retail and frequently at auction.

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