Eisele Vineyard is the new name of the former Araujo Estate, one of Napa Valley’s most heralded producers. Araujo was owned and operated by Daphne and Bart Araujo from 1990 through 2013, when they sold it to the Artemis Group, a French company that owns Château Latour and other estates in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. The Artemis Group is owned by financier and industrialist Francois Pinault and his family. By acquiring the Napa estate, the Artemis Group now owns one of the greatest terroirs in California. The 38-acre estate has been a premier vineyard since the late 19th century, and for much off the 20th century it was a source of top-quality grapes for such producers as Ridge, Conn Creek and Joseph Phelps.
The Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon became one of the legendary cult Cabs of the 1990s and it has maintained its reputation as one of Napa’s first growth Cabernet Sauvignons. The estate is organic and is certified biodynamic. Francoise Peschon was Araujo’s winemaker for 14 years, and she is now Eisele’s consulting winemaker. Hélène Mingot is Technical Director of Winemaking and Winegrowing. Under French ownership, the estate continues to impress. Robert Parker Jr. wrote in late 2016 that a tasting of recent Eisele wines indicated that the change in ownership “is proceeding brilliantly….so the greatness from this fabulous terroir continues unabated.”
The 2015 vintage is exotic and spicy. The nose reveals aromas of cured meat with a savory character recalling middle eastern spices. It opens up with summer fruit: strawberry, peach flower, greengage plums. The attack is supple and silky with velvety tannins and layered ripe fruits sustained by a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, bringing delicious complexity.
94 Points - Wine Spectator Rich, polished and densely complex, with expressive blackberry, bay leaf and smoky pepper flavors that take on intensity toward refined tannins.
94 Points - James Suckling Spice and blackberry aromas with hints of smoked meat. Graphite and leaves. Autumnal. Full-bodied and round with a juicy mouthfeel. Round tannins and a savory finish.