2009 Abreu Madrona Ranch

99
VM
Product ID
2009-abreu-madrona-ranch

Wine Critic Reviews for 2009 Abreu Madrona Ranch

The 2009 Madrona Ranch is dark, virile and imposing, and yet it possesses exceptional balance and class to burn. New leather, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice and spice notes abound. In some vintages, Madrona Ranch is impossibly tannic, and yet the 2009 is magnificent in its sense of poise and overall class. Vivid and finely cut, with tremendous drive, the 2009 will thrill readers lucky enough to own it. What a wine!

Vinous Media | 99 VM
Initially reviewed in December, 2010, the 2009 Madrona Ranch has turned out to be spectacular. Lots of mulberry, blackberry, cassis, roasted coffee, chocolate and toast aromas are all present in the extremely perfumed bouquet. Showing more evolution and charm than other 2009s which seem to be closing down, this example is exceptionally concentrated and full-bodied with an endless finish. The tannins are ripe, and I suspect the alcohol is in the 14%-15% range, but no higher. This dense purple-colored, still youthful, approachable 2009 can be drunk now and over the next 15-20 years.

As a set of wines, it is hard to surpass the four cuvees from the estate vineyards of David Abreu. As I have written many times in the past, all of these wines are truly world-class efforts that stand alongside proprietary red wines made from Bordeaux varietals from any appellation in the world. Abreu has two vineyards in and around the town of St. Helena, the Madrona Ranch at the base of Spring Mountain and the Cappella, which is further toward the town. Ironically, his Thorevilos is not part of any AVA, but might be one of the three or four finest vineyards in all of Napa Valley. It sits on steep hillside behind the luxury Meadowood Resort. His other vineyard is on Howell Mountain. All of these sites total about 70 acres, and while Abreu sells some of the fruit to other high quality wineries, he continues to produce around 240-320 cases of each of these four selections, but that varies with each year. They are called proprietary red wines, but there is no doubting that these cuvees are dominated by 60-75% Cabernet Sauvignon and have increasingly high percentages of Cabernet Franc, especially Madrona Ranch and Thorevilos which no doubt accounts for their incredible perfumes and complex aromatics. These wines are all aged 24 or more months in 100% new French oak. Abreu, who first established his reputation as Napa Valley’s premier viticulturist, and who has a list of clients that reads like the guest list at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on New Year’s Eve, is impressive. While he clearly suffers no fools, his formula is intense work in the vineyard, radical viticulture techniques such as shoot positioning, crop-thinning, and a belief that the vine is never happier than when its in the shadow of its owner. His efforts and obsessive-compulsive work in the vineyards can’t be underestimated when it comes to seeing the results of what is produced in the bottle. These are spectacular wines year after year. Even in a challenging vintage such as 2011, Abreu’s viticultural work has paid off, even from the valley floor vineyards of Cappella and Madrona Ranch. Looking at the four vintages of Abreu’s St. Helena vineyard called Madrona Ranch, which was first planted in 1982, this is another cuvee that is usually composed of 47-50% Cabernet Sauvignon and an extremely high percentage of Cabernet Franc, now averaging between 33-45% in most vintages with smaller quantities of Petit Verdot and Merlot added in. The Howell Mountain project of David Abreu tends to be a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and 15-18% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot. Coming from a higher elevation, mountainside vineyard, it is a completely different wine than the Madrona Ranch or Cappella. It also emerges from a bigger vineyard, although I suspect Abreu still sells some of its fruit to some of Napa’s better wineries. All of these wines are amazing efforts, but for me, there is something about the Thorevilos Vineyard that boggles my mind. Co-owned with Ric Foreman, this is a steep hillside site above and behind the famous luxury resort of Meadowood. This cuvee is normally a blend of 45%-61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28%-40% or more Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot.

Robert Parker | 97 RP

More Information
Vintage 2009
Color Red
Country US: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Producer Abreu: Robert Parker famously awarded Abreu Vineyards a staggering nine 100-point scores over the recent years. They can express the beauty and power of Cabernet Sauvignon in a way almost no one else can in the whole world, which makes their reds not only popular among collectors but an impactful and meaningful gesture during social situations. Despite focusing on one grape varietal, Abreu Vineyards have been able to bring across a variety of flavor profiles for your enjoyment. From truffles to red, black or blue fruits that explode with an almost tangible crunch, all the way to a thick smokey taste and earthy herbs, the experience is unique each time. The textures unfold slowly in the glass, much like a compelling and dramatic story would, as you discover new details with each sip.
Rating 99 VM
Region California: With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented. Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Type of Wine California Red: Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
OWC No
Varietal Proprietary Blend: There's a level of mystery and intrigue when it comes to drinking a wine for which you're not fully informed about, and if that sounds like a thrilling idea to you, then you're probably already interested in proprietary blends. While the concept doesn't have a legal definition, it is used to describe blends whose components aren't disclosed by the producer. In many cases, the wine tends to be a Bordeaux-inspired blend, but this isn't always the case.
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