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 Vintage1997 Label 1 of 7 
ProducerArdente Estate Winery (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationAtlas Peak
UPC Code(s)897188000010

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2006 and 2014 (based on 11 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.2 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 97 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by jdhart306 on 4/4/2015: Very similar to last time I had this around two years ago. Decanted for about an hour. Great nose of cherries and cassis. On the palate, cassis again with a little pepper leading to a long finish. However, this wine started to fall apart after an hour in the glass and became only a shell of what it once was. Nose was still great, but the profile was quite diminished on the palate. Drink up. (284 views)
 Tasted by nathanbsmith on 1/10/2015 & rated 92 points: Still amazing!! (724 views)
 Tasted by nlassow on 1/5/2015: This bottle was easily the best of 4 consumed over the last 2 years. We were smitten with it. Perfect cork, not much sediment, mild/moderate bricking, less herb on the nose and more developed dark berry fruit. If only they all could have been close to this good. Still lots of earth and paired well with mushroom mac n cheese with a thick colorado lamb loin chop. Makes me wonder if this wine was in a dumb phase and is peaking now? (761 views)
 Tasted by nathanbsmith on 5/17/2014 & rated 92 points: Fantastic cab!! (2339 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 5/14/2014 & rated 92 points: Drinking so well right now. 1 hr decant. Nose is full of every note I've ever taken. It has a nice sage component right now that I've never noticed. Palate is great with highlites of cola and chocolate cherries with a long long finish. Dee-lish. (1630 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 4/2/2014 & rated 91 points: Really enjoying this bottle. Reminiscent of previous notes, but I'll jot a few current notes down. 45 min decant. Nose is chocolate and cherries and tobacco and sweetness. Slight floral perfume also. Cherries on the palate, veggie component, mineral/chalkyness (slight), chocolate, dirt, slight spice. Smooth, light-medium bodied, long finish.

It seems every bottle of this stuff is a gamble for me, but I have one left and I hope it's as great as this one. (2014 views)
 Tasted by wmccone54 on 3/2/2014 & rated 90 points: A mature Cabernet showing some slight bricking. Spicy red currant, savory plums, wet pine needles, and lots of earthy tobacco. Structure is holding this together. Very nice, but fruit has really started to fade over the last year. Given the $25 price point this was a great opportunity to checkout an aged and mature Napa Cabernet. (1806 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 12/27/2013 & rated 91 points: Out of the nine bottles I got last time, 5 were dropping an overwhelming amount of sediment and made the experience less than pleasurable. This is the second bottle that is spot on delicious. The difference is in the accumulation on the neck and shoulder of the bottle. If it is solid, then almost nothing has broken off and will throw almost no sediment. If it is spotty and lacking in uniformity, there are tons of chunks floating around in there and it will fill each glass with grit.

Nose is outstanding. Campfire, black licorice, currant, chocolate, cherries, funk, and much more. Palate is cherries galore. Some cola, mint, touch of espresso, slight spice, old wood. Silky smooth, this bottle is disappearing. This is why I bought this stuff. 8+ second finish. (2305 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 12/12/2013 & rated 89 points: This bottle is the first of this batch that didn't throw a ton of sediment. Delicious. (1275 views)
 Tasted by Charlie Pendejo on 12/3/2013: Delightful - this is holding up just fine, at least lying down at 58F. Plenty of sediment. Presented pretty much the same as several other bottles I've enjoyed the last 12 months: aged notes like leather plus just enough red and darker fruit, in very nice balance and with the complexity you want in a cab with some age. With both tannins and fruit pretty well mellowed, this is so much more versatile with food than a typical young cab - went great with a variety of dinners over three days. Held up nicely over that span; if other bottles are seriously downhill, there must be variation either from the source or in storage. Last of my '97s but I'm happy to have some '96s on the way now. (1316 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 11/20/2013 & rated 87 points: I think my best bottles of this are behind me. This one hasn't thrown any sediment. Brilliant nose, palate falls flat with some cardboard and metallic finish. (1312 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 11/5/2013 & rated 89 points: Throwing a lot of sediment. Great nose, palate has lost a step. (1413 views)
 Tasted by Bill1100 on 10/29/2013 & rated 82 points: My last bottle of this wine. The first two were excellent - I rated both at 90. In the seven months since drinking the last bottle, this has really gone downhill. Even more sediment, it clogged my filter. Not pleasant on the nose, and leaves an aftertaste that I'm not sure how to describe. Threw away 2/3 of the bottle. (1083 views)
 Tasted by Rich S on 10/9/2013 & rated 92 points: Dark crimson color. Some currant and dark red fruit notes on the nose along with some earthy, barnyard notes, a bit of green veggies, tobacco and cedar. Really nice mature cab nose. Similar flavors on the palate with a really nice mix of cassis and tomato sort of going on with a bit of oak on the back end. Fine, sweet tannins and medium acidity. Finished smooth as well. Really impressive showing from this wine and it is unbelievable that the wine is 16 years old. It drinks like it is half that old. (1237 views)
 Tasted by nathanbsmith on 9/28/2013 & rated 91 points: Tasting 9/28/13: Color: brown/red or brackish with a lot of sediment. Orange was also used to describe the color.
Nose: sweet, deep woody, tobacco, blueberry, raspberry, leather, cedar
Palate: very smooth, strawberry, mildly fruity (1095 views)
 Tasted by joesi16 on 9/27/2013 & rated 89 points: Real smooth,leather and spice some light fruit. Last glass on day 2 held up well. Heavy side and neck sediment, filter and/or decant. (1237 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 9/19/2013 & rated 89 points: Cherries and pungent tobacco on the nose with some slight barnyard and dried leaves. Not quite as exciting of a nose as I remember. Palate is very nice with some menthol, cola, cherry, chocolate, licorice, and probably more. Nice complexity in the palate.

Wine seems to be showing a little thinner mouthfeel than usual. (1338 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 9/9/2013 & rated 90 points: Blood to brickish red in the glass bordering on orange towards the edges. Nose is excellent as always. So pungent, complex. Sends my brain running in all directions when I try to pick things out. Deep, sweet, mint, funk. Tobacco, cherry, menthol, forest floor, rosemary, licorice, bbq sauce.

Palate enters with a slight mineral/dirt/herb component, like a raw sprig of some unoffensive herb just plucked. Transitions to cherry, cola, and coffee and chocolate notes that define the tannins in this wine that are still plenty abundant. Slight licorice towards the finish as well. Medium finish is around 10 sec.

Fruit is definitely moving toward the background on the palate. Wine enters with a slight edge of acid, but the tannins come sweeping through on the mid palate to balance the wine out. Acid stays present and competes with the tannin through the finish. Not knitted together completely, but the structure is there.

Completely interesting and delicious to the end.

1hr decant.

Note: this bottle threw a TON of sediment. Almost every glass needed to be rinsed out. Never had this happen to such an extent with this wine. (1381 views)
 Tasted by klezman on 8/31/2013: This bottle is doing even better than the previous one. Delicious. (1698 views)
 Tasted by Furry Goat on 8/30/2013 & rated 88 points: Pnp about a week after shipping. Nose was excellent. Palate was disjointed a bit with bitterness. After about 30 min it was coming together with fruit and cola, but alas between 4 people it was almost gone. This needs a decant. (1174 views)
 Tasted by nathanbsmith on 8/23/2013 & rated 91 points: This 16 year old Cab is outstanding. It doesn't disappoint. I'm glad I added another 9 bottles to my cellar on wine.woot.com. (1066 views)
 Tasted by rjquillin on 7/20/2013: Another fine bottle consistent with earlier, showing it's age and holding up nicely. Great woot find, excellent qpr. (1983 views)
 Tasted by wmccone54 on 5/17/2013 & rated 91 points: Very good for an affordable 15 year old Napa Cabernet from an under the radar producer. Experience was consistent with the bottle enjoyed last month. Lots of complexity. Very good with Shepard's Beef Pie. (2427 views)
 Tasted by Rich S on 5/10/2013 & rated 88 points: Served blind. Garnet color with some bricking with a lot of sediment in the bottle. Nose of bloody steak, a bit of pyrazines and some dark fruit. Similar flavors on the palate with some green veggie notes, tobacco and savory herbs with a good amount of oak. Slightly gritty tannins and not much fruit left on the palate but still in pretty good shape for a 16 year old cabernet. Most people thought the wine was much younger. (1901 views)
 Tasted by snekse on 4/14/2013 & rated 85 points: May have decanted for too long. Popped and poured into decanter for 2 hours. Leather, cassis, cedar, and lots of acid. Tannins are there, but I question how integrated they are. Long dry finish, though the wine is far from full bodied. (2554 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

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Ardente Estate Winery

Producer website

1997 Ardente Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Espressione

1997 Ardente Espressione Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak Napa Valley 750ml

Dark, ruby red wine of extraordinary complexity. The uniqueness of this wine can be attributed to the conditions found only on Atlas Peak, including the rich volcanic soil indigenous to this part of the Napa Valley and a distinctive microclimate located at an altitude of 1500 Feet. The result is a wine with an intense yet delicate nose, rich, satisfying mouth feel, a pleasant finish with just the right amount of tannin, and the promise of a long aging.

Awarded Silver Medal by The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Wine Maker: Philippe Melka
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Harvest dates: October 8 - October 30
Age of Vines: 11
Fermentation: 12 to 30 days
Alcohol Level: 13%
pH Level: 3.69
Residual Sugar Level: Dry
Acid Level: 0.58 grams/100 mls
Aging Process: 18 months in small French oak barrels
Barrels: 100% new French oak

Cabernet Sauvignon



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California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

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