Arrowood Winery is pure Sonoma, located in the historic Sonoma Valley, a swath of land tucked between the Mayacamas Mountains and Napa to the east, and Sonoma Mountain to the west. When Richard and Alis Arrowood started the winery in 1986, Richard was already experienced and quite revered from his stints at Korbel and Chateau St. Jean. The Arrowood winery first came to prominence by way of the single-vineyard Chardonnays and Reserve Cabernets that were hoarded by most of the savvy collectors, and this was at a time where Napa Cabernets were quite popular, but this wasn’t the case in Sonoma. Richard’s methods made people take note of Sonoma Cabernets, and the region owes him quite a lot! The Arrowoods have since retired and sold the property, but the new owners and their winemaker (Kristina Werner) have every intention of keeping this property a world-class winery, and judging by this bottling, they haven’t missed a beat!
Kristina crafted this 2014 Réserve Spéciale from the finest vineyard sources in Sonoma County, and this represents their very best barrels, and the finest Cabernet Arrowood produces. The majority of the fruit came from the Sonoma Valley AVA, where low-yielding, rocky growing sites bring balance and elegance to this very complex wine. A small percentage of fruit from the Knights Valley AVA offer the wine a darker aromatic profile and fuller tannin profile. Aged for 24 months in predominantly new French oak barrels, the nose introduces you to the wine with seductive dark fruit and aromas of blackberry, fresh fig, licorice, and is rich in complexities. Fresh notes of Bing cherry and violet also surface as the wine breathes. Framed by a firm structure and silky elegance, the persisting texture defines what makes this wine the Reserve Speciale. The power behind this wine ingratiates itself to the entire palate—dark chocolate and nutmeg outline baking spices and plum. And a lingering finish will carry on long afterwards. The long barrel aging and year in bottle before release guarantee its readiness to drink. However, those that hold onto it will be rewarded, with an aging potential of 20+ years.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale has a black forest cake and creme de cassis-scented nose with touches of charcoal, black soil, mocha and salami plus a hint of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black fruit and savory layers with beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with great persistence. 1,103 cases produced."