CHRIS PHELPS’ AD VIVUM BRINGS LIFE TOWINE
Renowned Local Winemaker Announces theRelease of Own Label
Chris Phelps, one of Napa Valley’s mostexperienced winemakers, has introduced the first wine under his new label, the2007 AD VIVUM Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Phelps has spent his careerbridging the winemaking worlds of Napa, California and Bordeaux, France, makingit inevitable that he would one day begin his own project.
Phelpsderived the name, AD VIVUM, from Latin, combining “ad” (to, towards), “vivere” (to live) and “vinum”(wine).The intended meaning is, therefore, “where wine and life meet.”
“Thiswine is an ode to the preciousness of life,” says Phelps. “In naming this wine,I wanted to convey the magic,passion and mystery behind the wine itself, and also, wine’s inherent abilityto enhance our lives and to bring people together.”
Phelpssources all his grapes for AD VIVUM through Larry Bettinelli, afifth-generation Napa Valley grapegrower who farms Sleeping Lady Vineyard inYountville.
“We’vejust renamed the vineyard ‘Sleeping Lady,’ because of the unique formation ofthe Mayacamas Mountains, which frame the vineyard,” Bettinelli said. “Thereclining lady’s flowing hair and limbs actually mark the alluvial fans thathave deposited perfectly-balanced loam soils at the site, along with plenty ofgravel and rock, providing excellent drainage. The terroir at Sleeping Lady isexceptionally well-suited to producing ultra-high quality Cabernet, and thecountless hours we spend during the growing season farming both responsibly andsustainably are more than worth the effort. I take personal and professionalpleasure in working with Chris on the AD VIVUM project, and I am proud to begrowing his grapes.”
AdVivum is a single-vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, produced entirely fromgrapes grown at Sleeping Lady Vineyard on benchland along the MayacamasMountains on the western edge of the Yountville appellation. Only 900 bottles(750 mL) were produced (75 cases total). The wine, priced at $125 per bottle or$375 per 3-bottle wood box, is available for purchase from Chris Phelps, www.advivumcellars.com, 707/963-1535, or AcmeFine Wines, www.acmefinewines.com, 888/963-0440.
Formore on the story of AD VIVUM, Chris Phelps’ experience, including his 27vintages in Napa, or to order the wine, visit www.advivumcellars.com.
2007 ADVIVUM Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Chris Phelps
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Single-Vineyard: Sleeping Lady Vineyard,farmed by Bettinelli Family Vineyards. Alluvial gravelly-loam soils. Multipleclones.
Farming: Responsible and sustainable farmingpractices. 5.5 ft. between vines, 8 ft. between rows, 990 vines per acre.
Harvest: 5 October 2007
Barrel regime: 19 months in Frenchoak barrels (two-thirds new)
Bottling: 75 cases (900 bottles) were filled 18May 2009
Vintage: The 2007 vintage at Sleeping Lady wasone of extremes: 60% of normal rainfall over the preceding winter, a very coldJanuary, and a warm spring resulted in small berries and low yields butremarkable concentration.
Tasting Notes: Dark, purple-hued color.The nose offers crushed, ripe cassis (black currant), crème de cassisliqueur, black cherry, blackberry, and a touch of raspberry.Striking concentration and ripeness. As the wine continues to open, subtleFrench oak, and gentle sweet, creamy vanilla emerge, then justthe barest hint of clove or allspice. It may be hard to differentiatebetween the aromas, due to the multiple layers present. On the palate,a vibrant, balanced acidity enhances the dark fruitand accentuates the velvety, silky tannins. Grapeand oak tannins fuse to give a slight grip to the elegantmouthfeel. The long, lingering aftertaste, evoking cassis, super-riperaspberry and black cherry, is a trademark characteristic ofSleeping Lady Cabernet Sauvignon at optimum maturity.