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by Fred McMillin
for February 25, 1998


Heaven Sent St. Clement

Prologue

"Our 1994 St. Clement Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most successful vintages we've ever produced. It's much bigger and fruitier, with less tannins."

...Dennis Johns, Winemaker

The Rest of the Story

Since my panel had given top marks to the '92 and '93 Cabs, we all wanted to know how Dennis had improved the '94 vintage. Here's how he did it.

The Tannins
New, thin-staved French oak provides the desired oak highlights in less time, reducing the extraction of harsh tannins from the wood.

Howell Mountain Grapes
Now the Cab includes St. Clement's new mountain-grown fruit, which Dennis finds to have "dense, briary-blackberry fruit with bigger flavors."

Late Picking
Last, although waiting makes everyone nervous, they picked later than in the past. This adds even further density and richness.

The Panel
My 14 tasters are not easily swayed but a couple of sniffs and sips of this one and they voted it EXCELLENT.

The Wine

1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
St. Clement Vineyards, St. Helena, CA.
Contact—Ms. Jennifer Lamb, (707) 963-7221
Price—$26 range

Postscript

Note: For much more about St. Clement, see the Sept. 12, 1997 WineDay titled, "When the Saints Come Marching In."


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.



WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend


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1997 WineDays

January WineDays

02/24/98
Not For the Birds

02/23/98
The Gentil Appeal

02/20/98
Winery of the Week
George Washington and the Vine

02/19/98
For the Chianti Devotee

02/18/98
This Granite Springs Swings

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Victor Hugo Roberts

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Galileo and Wine

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02/12/98
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02/11/98
"Foulweather Jack"


02/10/98
Botrytis the Beautiful

02/09/98
Chalk Talk

02/06/98
Winery of the Week
Menada of Bulgaria

02/05/98
Something's New Under the Sun

02/04/98
The Meritage Debate

02/03/98
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02/02/98
Toast to Februarius

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