Ardente 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Select Reserve, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley
Ardente Winery was founded in 1996 on a twenty acre estate located in the quiet hills of Atlas Peak, just eight miles northeast of the city of Napa. The area was selected for its rich volcanic soil, ideal 1500 foot elevation and moderate micro climate which provide nearly perfect conditions for growing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This is the same region that the famed Stagecoach vineyard is located. The warm arid climate and rocky terrain denigrate the vines forcing them to work harder and produce more concentration of fruit, with dense tannins which intensifies the flavors of the mature grapes. The renowned winemaker Phillipe Melka joined Ardente Winery in 1996, and his creative touch, knowledge of terroir and vintnerís passion set the standards for Ardente Cabernet Sauvignon. For this 2008 Reserve, Winemaker Pierre Birebent, previous winemaker of Stag's Leap, Kuletto Family Vineyards, Costello Vineyards and Signorello Vineyards took the reins. A blend of 90% Cab, 8% Merlot and 2% Cab Franc aged in French oak barrels, this killer Cab has been aging gently in the bottle at the winery until we grabbed the very last of it. Soft and plush on the palate, it shows layers of flavor, from black currants to blueberries to dark chocolate to roasted coffee with notes of exotic spice and hints of minerals. It has mouthfilling richness with exceptional refinement that you only get from a solid Napa Cab that's reached a peak of perfection. Don't wait, as you might imaging quantities are limited!!
This is a simply stunning wine. Black cherry, cassis and blueberry fruit are layered over notes of ground espresso beans, vanilla shavings and spice. The fruit is pure on the palate as the wine comes across as rich and supple with finesse and refinement. Age has treated this just wonderfully and while it is drinking beautifully right now, this will still improve over the next few years.