In 1979, Bill and Mary Seavey set out to revive the original vineyard of Conn Valley, planting the south-facing hillsides near Lake Hennessey. By 1990, they had remodeled an 1881 stone dairy barn into a small winery and began producing small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Small blocks of Merlot and Petit Verdot were also added along with a second winery building which includes an underground wine cave.
Their small-scale production allows them to maintain consistently high standards in both the vineyard and the winery. Stewarded by Jim Duane, our winemaker, and consulting winemaker Philippe Melka, their goal is to create masterful, soulful wines that exude a sense of place and age gracefully. Melka's has worked with many great Napa wineries including Hundred Acre, Cliff Lede, Parallel, Bulgheroni, Dana, Merryvale, Roy, and Moone-Tsai.
"Seavey is one of the great, unheralded, under-the-radar terroirs in all of Napa Valley…Bill and Mary were visionaries with regard to what could be achieved on these dry-farmed hillside vineyards tucked away in Conn Valley, east of the Meadowood Resort." - Robert Parker
Seavey’s 16th vintage of estate-produced Caravina Cabernet, the 2014, was made from grapes sourced from a unique tapestry of steep hillside blocks in the vineyard notable for their intense and youthful flavors. Following a winter with scant rain, a warm, dry spring gave way to ideal summer conditions and then a mild harvest period that allowed us to patiently pick each block at full ripeness.
Winemaking followed classic Bordeaux methods with whole-berry fermentation. In the cool of the early morning harvest, grapes were promptly de-stemmed and the uncrushed berries were gently transferred into fermentation tanks. In order to carefully manage the tannins and resulting wine texture, the grapes were neither crushed nor run through a pump.
Aging: 19 months in 40% New French Oak.
Tasting Notes:Red Wine. 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot. Beautiful layers of graphite, tea rose, sweet tobacco, and Mexican chocolate combine with a firm tannic grip to give this wine bright energy, verve, and freshness. An elegant wine with an intense minerality that speaks to Seavey’s rugged hillside Cabernet vineyards.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Caravina is going to need at least a few years to fully come together. Aromatically expressive and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2014 delivers superb quality and pedigree for the money. Smoke, cedar, tobacco, graphite, tar, licorice, and dried herbs add the closing shades of nuance. Caravina remains one of the very best values in Napa Valley Cabernet. ~93 Antonio Galloni
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