1997 Cabernet Sauvignon 750 ml
From The Winemaker:
This wine, blended from 12 different Cabernet slopes, is a medium dark color. Now showing additional complexity from bottle aging. Palate: medium bodied, concentrated...
From The Winemaker:
This wine, blended from 12 different Cabernet slopes, is a medium dark color. Now showing additional complexity from bottle aging. Palate: medium bodied, concentrated, with very ripe fruit (blackberry) and tannins. The finish is vibrant and mineraly. This wine which is delightfully drinkable, will keep improving with further aging over the next few decades.
Alder Yarrow - July, 2015
Medium to dark ruby in color, this wine smells of sour plum and cherry fruit backed by cedar. In the mouth, juicy and bright cherry and plum flavors mix with a forest floor earthiness. Juicy acidity keeps the wine quite lively and bright on the palate, with notes of wet earth lingering through the finish. Delicious and beautifully balanced.
Score: 'Around' 9
Fredric Koeppel - July, 2014
Opaque ruby-purple with a garnet rim; reticent, almost truculent, spicy but tight, dry, austere; leafy and autumnal. Might as well wait until 2017.
[Very drinkable now! as well] Had it for dinner last night with strip steak and it was delightful. Ann - 10/19/15
Matt Kramer - Sunday, September 25, 2005
Fall seems to bring out great wines, especially reds. During warm months wineries and distributors hang out the same wine wash of whites and pinks. The reds are left for later -- which has now arrived.
Renaissance "Sierra Foothills" Cabernet Sauvignon 1997: Those who follow California cabernets likely did a double take at this vintage. A 1997? It must be a typo. It's not. So why is a 1997 cabernet sauvignon from Renaissance Vineyard and Winery only now appearing? Therein hangs a tale. Renaissance lies in the Sierra Foothills district, about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento….
Yet, these wines exist in their own right -- sometimes stunningly -- with their own style, especially in cabernet sauvignon. Today's preferred red wine style is big, fruity and oaky -- "fruit bombs," as they're derisively called, that offer instant gratification.
Renaissance cabernet is about something else. The vineyard is rooted in granitic soil at elevations between 1,700 and 2,200 feet.
What results is a firm wine of exceptional detail and evident longevity. Far from seeking to suffocate this "voice of the land," Renaissance amplifies it without distortion. What results is one of California's most profound cabernet sauvignons.
The 1997 vintage is a rare wine in every sense. Not only are there no other '97s -- a very great vintage -- on the market but also only a few ghostly California cabernets are issued today in what might be called Renaissance's "classical" style.
Renaissance Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 delivers a striking minerality, concentrated fruit, discernible but not intrusive fine-grained tannins and no apparent oak. (Small oak barrels are used to mature the wine, but they are mostly older barrels devoid of the vanilla perfume of new oak.) The fruit is present and quite deep. But subtly so.
This is flat-out great cabernet sauvignon, the sort that used to come from some of Bordeaux's greatest chateaus in the 1950s and '60s before the New World wine order took over. Composed 100 percent of cabernet sauvignon, this wine begs to be served with roast beef, lamb or game. Like its classical Bordeaux model, it needs food in which to be, if you will, understood.
You can't beat the price. To reintroduce Renaissance to the Oregon market (it was sold here years ago and then disappeared), local distributor Galaxy Wine Co. has reduced the price to $24.95 a bottle through the end of October. This is a steal in exceptional cabernet sauvignon, let alone a vintage as great as 1997. This wine is worth seeking out.
(Of course, this is an old article and the $24.95 price is not applicable. The current retail is $45.)
Matt Kramer - The Oregonian - 09/25/2005