The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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Page 72 of 148

72 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 THE ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET ACADEMY WAS A RICH EXPERIENCE THAT PROVED CABERNET SAUVIGNONS FROM ALEXANDER VALLEY HAVE TRULY ARRIVED by Allyson Gorsuch and Meridith May / photos by Alexander Rubin "The Alexander Valley Cab Academy event proves that we've arrived," announced Jake Hawkes, Proprietor and Winemaker for Hawkes Winery. Hawkes spoke to our group of 28 sommeliers, who traveled from all over the United States to converge during mid-May to walk the vineyards and stand in awe on mountain tops overlooking vast valleys across the approximate 25-mile span from north to south in Northern Sonoma County's breathtaking AVA. Harry Wetzel IV, Assistant Winemaker and family partner of the historic Alexander Valley Vineyards, referred to the area as a "niche spot: a unique range of microclimates with large diurnal swings, diverse soils and sections offering varying styles of fruit to ultimately make a complex palate to showcase Cabernet Sauvignon." CAMP [ ] A view of Alexander Valley at dusk, as seen at the historic property of Alexander Valley Vineyards. "I wouldn't be able to pick these out in a blind tasting as all coming from Alexander Valley," admitted Fred Dame, MS, VP of Prestige Accounts for American Wine & Spirits, address- ing a group of 28 wine buyers and sommeliers at the Alexander Valley Cabernet Academy. "The region showcases individuality from the diversity of the topography from this complex AVA. But what I do see here—and taste—are wonderful wines. Don't change a thing." INDIVIDUALITY A Valley of

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