Reflecting a superb growing season, this wine is immensely aromatic, exhibiting notes of ripe cassis and blackberries layered with hints of leather, dried sage, crushed rock and rose petals. In the mouth, the wine is a seamless expression of elegance and depth, perfectly balancing rich fruit, earthiness, minerality and powerful but fine oak tannins, finishing with incredibly persistent notes of wet granite.
Wine AdvocateThere are 2,600 cases of the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard. As I indicated last year, this is a fabulous effort that manages to conceal its 100% new French oak aging. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by beautiful aromas of blueberries, black currants, acacia flowers, licorice, and spice. The tannins are softer than I remember, but this is certainly one of the vintage’s most extraordinary wines. Full-bodied with a seamless integration of tannin, acidity, alcohol, and wood, it is exceptionally pure and full as well as impeccably balanced. The impression is one of elegance allied with substantial flavor authority. It can be drunk now or cellared for 25+ years. Despite having over 40-plus acres of vineyards in the northeasterly sector of Napa just south of Calistoga, the production at Araujo remains relatively limited, with the flagship wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, producing between 1,600 and 2,200 cases of wine, and the second wine, the Altagracia, between 800 and 1,200 cases. Add to that another 1,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc and 300-400 cases of Syrah, and there is just not a lot to go around given the greatness that can be achieved from this vineyard. Much of the credit has to go to proprietors Bart and Daphne Araujo and, of course, their top-notch winemaking team, which has always been led by Francoise Peschon. Araujo’s second wines are among the finest second wines consumers will find in northern California. For example, the Altagracia cuvees, which represent 25-35% of the production, have been outstanding examples of Cabernet Sauvignon. Araujo has done an excellent job with Syrah, which they typically co-ferment with 3-4% Viognier. Sadly, only 300-400 cases are produced.