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2005 vintage guide for California Cabernet Sauvignon


Really structured, classy wines with backbone and balance

Weather Conditions

A wet winter followed by rain in the spring and early summer created vigorous growth followed by a long, cool growing season and late harvest in most of California. The vine vigour contributed to larger than usual yields—up 15-30%–on average so the better quality wines came from producers who were diligent about crop thinning early. The summer and early fall created a slow ripening season without major heat waves, contributing to excellent fruit quality with good sugar, flavours and ripe tannins. The long cool period allowed the fruit to ripen well without showing overripe characteristics. In most parts of California, early bud break and vigorous growth, long cool hang times and later than usual harvests contributed to larger yields but good quality fruit.

Best Appellations

Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Mendocino and the Lake Counties, San Francisco Bay area and Napa Valley, notably Knights Valley

Best Producers


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