Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2006 Cimarossa Cabernet Sauvignon “Riva Di Ponente” Howell Mountain, Napa Valley.
With olive trees and terraced vines, the Cimarossa estate on Howell Mountain is a magical place to see and visit, and the wine lives up to the beautiful scenery and then some. Dino Dina’s lovely home and vineyards are one of Napa’s best kept secrets and one you should search out, every vintage I’ve had has been fantastic. Sean Capiaux, the ex-Peter Michael winemaker, made the wines up until this harvest, and while he has now left to continue his own projects, Cimarossa hired Mia Klein, the famed winemaker that has Araujo, Dalle Valle, Selene and many other top estates on her resume, and she looks set to push Cimarossa to even greater heights. The 2006 Riva di Ponente is from a single cru site on the estate and it is full and deep with purple/garnet color with a lush texture and is very perfumed. The palate is mouth filling and thick with pure class and ripe tannins that hold things together, but don’t give any harsh edges. The layers include lots of blackberry, crème de cassis, currant, plum and cherry fruits, hints of cigar box, sage, pencil lead and a burst of melted licorice, before a long rich finish that has sweet smoky oak shadings that blend in nicely and hold the dark fruit in check. This Cabernet is classic and a wine that drinks great now, though has a few more good years ahead too. ($60-65 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive