|For The Distinctive Epicurean and Wine Enthusiast
|2007, Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Philippe spent much of his early life in Bordeaux, receiving his geology
degree in 1989 from the University of Bordeaux. In his final year of study, he
took a wine course purely out of sheer curiosity, and from that moment on
realized his passion--and future--lay in the world of wine.
In 1991 he completed a masters program in Agronomy and Enology under
the direction of Professor Sequin, a reputed specialist with regard to terroir.
Philippe was fascinated by the relationship between soil and wine quality
and his appreciation of the study of soil agronomy continues to this day in his
work as a viticulturist as well as winemaker.
Philippe set out for the New World to discover its wines and expand his
knowledge in the process. In 1991-1992, he worked for Dominus in both
winemaking and vineyard management. He split 1992 between working
harvest at Chittering Estate in Western Australia, and returning to Dominus to
study grape maturation and ideal picking times.
In 1993, Philippe studied soils at Badia a Coltibuono in Italy as well as the
emerging Sangiovese varietal. In the spring of that year, he was once again
on French soil, joining the J. P. Moueix company in Libourne, where he
stayed until returning to Napa Valley in 1994 to devote himself to winemaking
and continuing soil studies.
In 1999, Philippe began making Vineyard 29 wines. After the McMinns
purchased the property, Philippe proved instrumental in thinking through the
winery design—with the aim of arriving at a design that would help him to
produce the best wine possible. In conjunction with the design and
winemaking process, he aided with vineyard selection as Chuck sought
another property to add to the Vineyard 29 portfolio. Now, years later, we often
hear Philippe referred to as one of the most important winemakers in Napa
This 2007 offering of Aida Estate
Cabernet opens with a nose of
luxurious milk chocolate and by ripe
blackberries and sweet cassis. On
the palate, this harmonious synergy
of deep red and
black fruits surrounds a structured
core of graphite, burning embers
and tar. The finish lingers and will
have you musing over this wine long
after the last sip is taken.
The 2007 Aida Estate Cabernet will
benefit from generous decanting for
the next five years and will develop in
your cellar for 20+ years.
September 8 to 28, 2007
20 months in French Oak, 75% new
Taransaud, Demptos, Ermitage
May 13, 2009
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 97 points
Stephen Tanzer, WS, 94 points
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