I just finished a quick trip to Araujo Estate to revisit and taste their new 2011 Altagracia Red. Comprised of mainly Cabernet from their Eisele Vineyard, the 2011 is richly textured with notes of graphite, flint and smoky purple fruit. It’s a well-made Cabernet blend by winemaker Nigel Kinsman and comes from a vintage that will prove to separate the good houses from the great. For this vintage, Nigel once again proved that this Araujo is a great house.
The property, since being acquired by Bordeaux’s Chateau Latour owner, Francois Pinault, has seen relatively little change on the estate physically-speaking. Antoine Donnedieu has come on board to oversee all of Araujo Estate and happily, my longtime contact and friend Burges Smith has remained on board. With the sun shining, breeze keeping the air fresh and a few butterflies along for the walk (true, not making that up), I remembered again how this nook tucked into Calistoga's Palisades is truly a special place in the valley.
There is some talk about re-planting some vineyard rows and creating a new space for wine tasting but overall the message is clear – any changes that are being made to the Estate are entirely about making the already venerable Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon the best it can be.
Below are a few photos from my visit. Enjoy! – Kerrin Laz / Wine Director