Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Review | Elyse Winery
A few months ago I picked up Elyse Winery’s Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel from Last Bottle Wines and it was excellent – rich, pure and balanced with great Zin character. It was also a really great value at $16 shipped, so when I received another e-mail from Last Bottle offering Elyse Winery’s Napa Valley Cabernet I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try.
It’s tougher and tougher to find good Napa Cabernet without draining the checking account, and Elyse Winery is a respected, somewhat under-the-radar producer who sources their fruit from top vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley.
Appearance: A brilliant deep ruby red.
Nose: There are high toned aromas of earthy dark cherries and cocoa along with pine needle, menthol and black olive.
On the palate: The Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is medium to full-bodied and still quite firm and youthful with good depth for a 2011. There are ripe black cherries, sweet cassis, and black olives complemented by menthol and graphite with just a hint of sweet tobacco. Nicely balanced, it finishes long with fine powdery tannin.
Varietal Composition: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Napa Valley, California
Value Rating: 4.5 / 5
Where I got it: Last Bottle
Price: $29 ($50 Retail)
Should you buy? Even at retail, the Elyse Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is a classic expression of Napa Cabernet at a reasonable price. But at Last Bottle’s price, it’s a fantastic bargain. Give this a try if you like your Cabernet’s rich and complex yet not overly-ripe or alcoholic. I’m also laying a few of these down to see how they evolve over a few years.
Value Proposition – Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011 | Elyse Winery
Elyse Winery describes their philosophy on their website – “Winemaking is cooking without a flame. Our winemaking philosophy at Elyse in Napa Valley is similar to the approach of a great chef who carefully prepares artisan grown ingredients to bring each layer of flavor to the table. Long term alliances with our growers form the cornerstone to our portfolio of vineyard driven wines that possess an unfaltering affinity for pairing with food.”
The key points I glean from their philosophy are that they have secured prime vineyard contracts over time – worth it’s weight in gold in increasingly pricy Napa; and that with that prime fruit they strive to produce complex, balanced, terroir driven wines. Wines that you can sip and savor alone or with a nice meal.
Fortunately for us thirsty wine lovers, Elyse Winery is doing just that. When you consider just how challenging the 2011 vintage was in Napa, the 2011 Elyse Cabernet is that much more impressive. Kudos to Elyse Winery and it’s talented winemaker Ray Coursen for producing such fine, varietally correct Napa Valley Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon at accessible prices.