1999 Cabernet Sauvignon 750 ml
Deep color. Rich, ripe, fruity, spicy nose; berries, black-cherry, cedar, wet earth. Ripe, concentrated flavors, with lots of juicy cherry/flowery fruit; very easy-going for a young Renaissance cab. Long, harmonious finish.
One of most popular wines. This wine just keeps getting better and better. At 18 years of age there is still another decade of life here.
From Matt Kramer's article: Thanksgiving drinks to satisfy savvy (and unsavvy) palates.
Finding a compelling cabernet sauvignon that can arouse the admiration of both wine lovers and wine novices is not easy. Sure, plenty of drink-now cabs are available, but too many lack character. They sell on smooth, as it were, but not on content.
Renaissance Vineyard & Winery in California's Sierra Foothills near Sacramento is an unusual winery by any measure. Located in a tiny town called Oregon House, the vineyard is rooted in decomposing granite soil and occupies elevations as high as 2,400 feet. Days are hot, yet the high elevation brings cool nights.
What results is a cabernet sauvignon of uncommon character. In the singularly fine 1999 vintage Renaissance crafted one of its smoothest, richest yet most characterful cabernets yet. It has all the classic cabernet sauvignon flavor notes such as plums, leather, black and red cherries and cedar along with a you-can't-miss-it note of stones or minerals. No oak is apparent. Best of all, the ripeness of the vintage plus its seven years of age makes this cabernet plush on the palate.
The bargain price seals the deal. California cabernets nowhere near as good as this unblushingly ask $50 per bottle or more (the price is $27 a bottle – or $324 a case). There simply isn't a finer cabernet sauvignon on the market today at that low price. This is a standout red wine of rare goodness and character. It will do nothing but improve for at least another five years, maybe even ten.
(This wine increased in price to $30/btl. with the release of the 2000 vintage.)
Matt Kramer - - 11/12/2006
Gold Medal - Taster's Guild International
Gideon Bienstock brings the Sierra Foothills to New York
Keith Levenberg, a New York winewriter, said: "The Renaissance Vineyard 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Renaissance Vineyard 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Terroir were both masterpieces, though, with the standard cabernet making me ashamed I'd always ignored it in favor of the prestige bottlings here. So when I said Renaissance makes one of the two or three best cabernets in California it would have been more accurate to say they make four of the five or six best cabernets in California. Unlike the special bottlings, though, the standard '99 is totally ready to drink, suave and svelte in mouthfeel with intense stony minerality and a savory brothiness balancing the sweetness of the bluish fruit. A great intro to Renaissance because it shows the inimitable character of the vineyard in an exceptionally drinkable package. As one would expect, the 1995 Vin de Terroir is more tannic and austere, similar in its stony flavor but redder in its fruit complexion. It's still a wine to hold in the cellar."