Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remaining Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Vineyard Sources: St. Helena, Mt Veeder-West, Chiles Valley, Pope Valley.
“Just a few minutes after 3 a.m. on August 24, the earth shook. In Napa Valley, it was the biggest trembler in memory; the entire wine industry rushed to our cellars fearing the worst. A few Cabernet barrels came tumbling down, but the bungs remained solidly in place, and nothing broke. We consider ourselves very fortunate!
Aside from this momentous beginning, the 2014 harvest was fairly even keel. The growing season was blessed with moderate, stable temperatures and plenty of sunshine. To say the year was conducive to quality is an understatement. Additionally, the 2014 vintage bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon marks a new chapter in the evolution of Peter Paul Wines. We consolidated winemaking facilities in Napa, changed vineyard sources and blending protocols for the first time in a while, and upgraded our labels.”
As has consistently been the tradition with the Napa-designate Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is sourced from both valley floor grapes—garnering a fleshy, ripe core of flavors and mountainside vineyards—providing structure and acidity. This year, a nice plot in Chiles Valley sub-appellation adds a bright red fruit vibrancy. Finally, the surprise addition of a dollop of Petite Sirah from a west-facing vineyard atop Mt. Veeder (a first for Peter Paul) provides a nice, spice-laden character on the finish.
Fermentation featured both open and closed-top fermenters and gentle pump-overs followed by 4 weeks of extended maceration for maximum flavor extraction, with each varietal lot vinified and aged separately in traditional French oak barriques for 14 months, 40% new. Further maturation for a full year in stainless steel tanks allowed the various components to fully integrate. Bottled without fining or filtration. Black cherry, blueberry, mocha aromas with a suggestion of black tea and vanilla keep things interesting, especially after a few minutes in the glass. Those blue & black fruits continue on the palate, with an earthy finish of bay laurel and leather, all the while being framed by a fun spicy character. A less tannic yet riper style than the 2013, this is a perfect mid-term-drinking Cabernet Sauvignon that gains complexity with a little air in the glass. Drink over 5-8 years. 398 cases, sixty magnum bottles, and nine Jeroboams were produced.
About the Producer
Peter Paul Wines seeks to showcase the sunny, easygoing temperament of fruit grown in California without losing the more refined elements of the grape’s DNA and European heritage. Each of their wines presents the hallmark characteristics of the terroir, while hitting that sweet spot of ripe but not overblown, elegant but not anemic, with everything in proper proportion.
When Peter was a just a teenager in the early 1960s, his father purchased a case of Château d’Yquem on sale at $10 a bottle and he became hooked on wine before being old enough to buy it. Meanwhile a job in the financial services industry brought him to Southern California in 1975. Two years later, Peter “escaped” to northern California where wine country beckoned as it always does. Today, Peter is the CEO of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008. But for Peter, becoming a vintner was clearly something that was going to happen sooner or later. In 2002, the first vintage of Peter Paul Wines was bottled. Over a decade and numerous critical scores and awards later, Peter Paul Wines is a well-respected yet small virtual California winery. With barely 2,000 cases produced annually, Peter Paul sources grapes from select vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
Martin Reyes is the GM and winemaker at Peter Paul Wines. A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a 16-year career as a respected buyer, importer, and educator, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergrad and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at his local wine shop. After working the retail side for several years, Martin became the principal buyer for an importer operating prominent wine club programs for partners like The New York Times and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers. In his free time, Martin teaches WSET courses, attempts to become fluent in a fifth language, and raises his daughter trilingually, together with his wife in Vallejo, CA.
Trevor Smith acts as vineyard and winemaking consultant. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, he attended Texas A&M University and received a BA in History. After three years in the service, he began working in wine retail in Dallas, Texas before returning to Oregon and working on the production side. After winemaking stints in the Willamette Valley, Barossa Valley and Napa Valley he has settled in Sonoma County and joined the Peter Paul team in 2020.