In 1995, Jack Cakebread suggested to Peter and Frances Chiarella to produce their own barrel of wine from their family vineyards on Mt. Veeder. Four years later in 1999, the couple founded Crane Family Vineyards after 5 years as an associate of Cakebread. Since its inception, Crane Family Vineyards has been cultivating vineyards and producing estate wines in Napa Valley. Their hillside vineyard, the Don Raffaele Estate, is nestled on the instep of Mount Veeder. The microclimate of this small hidden valley is one of the best-kept secrets in the Napa Valley. Its terroir is similar to the well-respected vineyards of the famous right bank appellation in Bordeaux, Pomerol, imparting intense and unique flavors to the grapes grown here. Crane Family Vineyards is a hidden gem, finding its way in one of the most competitive wine markets. The 2014 Cavaliere is a classic Bordeaux Blend that showcases the talents and history of a passionate family committed to the production of top-flight Napa wines.
Winemaker Alison Doran boasts an impressive resume with over 45+ years of winemaking expertise and spent time under the tutelage of the highly-acclaimed Andre Tchelistcheff. The Don Raffaele Estate is named after Peter's father, who was an avid horticulturist, made wine many years ago and was knighted by Italy for his heroism in World War I. Making great wine has become a tradition within their family paying homage to those who came before them and carrying on their legacy through their first-rate Napa wines.
Tasting notes: Red Wine. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A classic, elegant Bordeaux-style nose is complemented by notes of coriander spice and sandalwood. Cassis, plum jam, and sandalwood flavors are balanced by the wine’s nice acidity and well-integrated tannins, and the finish is long and elegant.
Deep purple color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dark chocolate mousse, gherkin, cassis tart, and dusty cedar chest with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, distinctive, very long finish with notes of honeyed currants, chocolate, and bananas foster with chewy, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich, coating cabernet with penetrating berry flavors and supporting oak. ~90 Tastings.com
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