Eisele Vineyards Araujo Estate Wines, Napa Valley, California Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Saugivnon Blanc wine producer profile with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines
Arauju, Eisele, History, Overview
The Eisele vineyard, the heart and soul of Araujo Estate wines has a long history in the Napa Valley. Located in the eastern part of the Calistoga appellation, long before it earned its current name, the vineyard was first planted all the way back in 1886. At the time, like many growers in those days, the vineyard was planted to Zinfandel and Riesling. In 1964, the 38 acre vineyard was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon.
The modern era for the Eisele vineyard began in 1969 when it was purchased by Milt Eisele and Barbara Eisele. Prior to their purchase and renaming by the Eisele family, the grapes were often sold to large producers and blended into generic Napa wines. After renaming the vineyard, the Eisele family did not have the desire to be winemakers. Their goal was to manage the vineyard and sell the grapes to wine makers. For the first few years, the fruit was sold to Robert Mondavi.
Because Robert Mondavi refused to add the Eisele name to their wines, the family offered the grapes to other growers in the 1970’s. Ridge Vineyards made the first and most difficult Eisele vineyard designated wine to find from the 1971 harvest. With the help of a young Paul Draper from Ridge Vineyards, the 1971 Ridge Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon became one of the first vineyard designated wines in California. Conn Creek also produced great wine from the Eisele vineyards as well. For several years, Joseph Phelps used the Eisele vineyard for much of their famed Phelps Insignia blend.
Within a short period of time, consumers, wine makers and critics quickly discovered the stunning quality of wines being produced from fruit grown in the Eisele vineyards. Things changed in 1990, when the Eisele family sold the vineyard to Bart and Daphne Araujo.
The Araujo familiy bought the now famous Eisele vineyards in 1990. Over the years, the Araujo family has increased their holdings in the Napa valley. In total, they own 137 acres of vineyards. The following year after their initial purchase, Araujo Estate was formed and they produced their debut vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon based wine from a blend similar to what you would find in the Left Bank of Bordeaux with the 1991 harvest. They were lucky because their first vintage turned out to be a great year for California wine. At Araujo Estate, they are firm believers in natural farming. The estate practices biodynamic farming techniques, designed to obtain the best expression from their unique terroir by using sustainable farming techniques.
Eisele Vineyards, Grapes, Soils, Wines, Winemaking
The 38 acre Eisele Vineyard, with its alluvial, rock and stone soils, gentle slopes, with access to water from 2 streams can be divided into 14 separate parcels. The south facing vines in the Eisele vineyard has a unique micro climate due to its position in between the Palisades Mountains that protects it from the northern cold air on one side and the cooler air from the Russian River Valley that blows through the Chalk Hill Gap on the other side of the vineyard.
The blend for their Eisele Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon depends on the character of the vintage and can range from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon to 92% Cabernet Sauvignon. The remainder is made from Cabernet Franc, a small amount of Petit Verdot and a bit of Merlot.
Next, Altagracia, a second, Cabernet Sauvignon based wine from estate and purchased fruit was created in 1999.
Araujo Estate, now also known as Eisele vineyards also lays claim to producing one of the top expressions of Syrah in Napa. Produced from grapes grown in the Eisele vineyard, the wine is co-fermented with up to 5% Viognier. The Araujo Syrah is vinified in open top, oak fermenters. Sauvignon Blanc is also made at the estate and can blended with a little bit of Viognier, giving the wine more sweetness, fatter textures and additional floral elements. In select vintages, the property releases a special Viognier bottling as well.
In a few vintages, Araujo has produced a few experimental Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from some of their oldest vines. The wines were made from a single barrel and are labeled Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Vieille Vignes. The majority of Araujo Estate wines are sold via their private mailing list.
July, 2013, Araujo Estate wines and the Eisele vineyard was sold to the owners of Chateau Latour, the well-known, First Growth Bordeaux wine. The first vintage for the new owners is the 2013. While the price of the sale was not disclosed, rumors have placed the price at close to 125 Million dollars for the entire holdings of the Araujo vineyards in Napa Valley.
The first vintage entirely produced under the watchful eye of Frederic Engerer and his new winemaker, Helene Mingot was the 2013, which along with the 2012, are two of the best wines ever produced at Araujo. One of the first changes to take place at the estate was to enforce a much more stringent selection. Today, at least 20% less wine is going into the Eisele vineyard. This means more of that fruit is now being placed into Altagracia. In 2016, the name of the winery was changed to reflect its place of origin. Starting with the 2013 vintage, the Araujo name was dropped and the wines are being sold as Eisele Vineyards. Winery Name Changed to Eisele Vineyard
Serving and Decanting Eisele, Araujo Wines with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
The red wine of Eisele Vineyards, Arauju is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-3 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Eisele Vineyards, Arauju is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Eisele Vineyards, Arauju is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
Sauvignon Blanc, the white wine of Eisele Vineyards is best served with all types of seafood and shellfish, sushi, sashimi, chicken, veal, pork and cheese.
Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which is now called Eisele Vineyards is a stylish, rich, elegant, deep, pure, fresh, concentrated expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that is never over the top, or out of balance. The wines are unique and allow for youthful pleasure as well as age-ability.
Araujo Estate Wine Tasting Notes
28 Vintages 188,324 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2016||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)|
The best wine in modern times for the legendary Eisele Vineyard, this hits the mark the moment you initially sense it in your glass. The nose grabs you with its leafy, floral, tobacco, spice and fruit filled character. Rich and sensuous, the wine has polish and volume coupled with freshness and purity of fruit. This is a fabulous style and expression of California Cabernet Sauvignon that will provide pleasure for at least 25 years or more. 98 Points.
5,277 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
|2016||Eisele Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley)|
Citrus peel, flowers, grapefruit, orange and honeysuckle kick the nose off. From there you enjoy the freshness, energy, creamy textures and vibrancy from the fresh, clean, yellow citrus fruits. 93 Points.
2,488 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
|2016||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia (Napa Valley)|
With more richness than the 2015, the wine offers fresh, ripe, juicy, dark red fruits, leafy tones, silky tannins and elegant textures. This vintage of Altagracia is clearly a unique wine showing its own characteristics. 92 Points.
3,202 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
|2015||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)|
Vibrant, yet fleshy, full, but refined, voluminous, the wine has depth and silky tannins. On the nose, you find smoke, earth, cigar box and ripe, dark plums, black cherry and blackberry. The finish is all about is sensuous textures and the bolt of dark chocolate covered, juicy, polished, sexy dark, red fruits. It's interesting to note that even though the wine is already expressing itself, you can easily hold this for 20 years for future development. 96 Points.
2,642 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
|2015||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia (Napa Valley)|
Fresh, live, elegant and pure, the wine offers refined, sweet, dark cherry notes, licorice, thyme and cigar leaf notes. You can enjoy this wine on release and for at least another 10-15 more years. 92 Points.
3,533 Views Tasted Feb 9, 2019
|2014||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)|
Over the past few years, the wine has started filling out, adding more flesh and fruit. Along the wine, the has also taken on additional polish to the tannins and nuances of smoke, earth, dark red fruits and forest leaf notes. You can already enjoy this beauty now, while waiting for the bigger, more powerful 2015 and 2016 to develop. 92 Points.
4,202 Views Tasted Feb 22, 2019
Cedar and dark berries, hints of licorice and vanilla bean are out in front. The wine is tannic,masculine and semi strict in character. There is good fruit in the middle here, but it takes effort and time to find it. Perhaps time in the cellar will help flesh out the wine, adding more of its typical, soft, lush personality. 92 Points.
5,030 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2016
|2014||Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Nosing this reminds me of smelling a bouquet of flowers, with a drizzle of lemon and some honeydew for good measure. Fresh, sweet, lively, with notes of green apple, citrus rind, lime and waxy, lemon grass in the medium bodied, finish. 90 Points.
2,628 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2016
|2014||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia (Napa Valley)|
Earthy dark cherries are at its core. The wine is medium bodied, forward in style will show best on the young side, allowing tasters to get the most from its upfront, early drinking style. 89 Points.
3,012 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2016
|2013||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)|
Fresh, silky, vibrant and exciting, the wine offers serious levels of concentration with a spine of dark chocolate and lush, juicy, perfectly ripe, blackberries, plums and a hint of blue fruit. Length, purity, complexity and balance in a great style that feels as good as it tastes! What more could you ask for? 98 Points.
5,379 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2016
Deep in color, with a dark chocolate, earthy, espresso, truffle driven nose. On the palate, the wine is pure silk and sensuality. It must be the feminine touch of the new winemaker, Helene Mingot. The finish is long, remaining with you for at least 50 seconds. 98 Points.
6,714 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2015
|2013||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia (Napa Valley)|
Dark red berries and floral aromas kick things off. Loads of freshness, cocoa and black raspberries on the medium bodied palate, giving you layers of polished, sweet, dark, red fruits. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. 92 Points.
3,387 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2016
Fresh picked black cherries with floral aromatics are the first thing you notice. The wine is soft, forward, medium bodied, fresh and lively, ending with an elegant, spicy, smooth ripe, sweet, black cherry note. 92 Points.
4,067 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2015
|2013||Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Pungent nose of grapefruit, lemon, lime and Mandarian orange that show with little effort. Fresh, clean and pure with a spicy citrus and lychee nut finish. 91 Points.
2,282 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2015
Floral and citrus notes with a touch of honeysuckle, the wine is fresh, polished and serves up ripe, lively citrus notes in the finish. 91 Points.
2,135 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2015
|2012||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
A stunner in every sense. The wine is almost opaque in color, with its deep purple hues. The licorice, smoke, blackberry, blue fruit, vanilla bean and liqueur scents are in full force. Powerful, yet graceful, full bodied, but fresh, the wine stains your palate, and feels great as it coats your mouth with its opulent, very ripe, sweet layers of fruit. Yes, it's young, and frankly it is already delicious! This bottle was popped and poured. No decanting necessary. 95 Points.
5,986 Views Tasted Sep 10, 2016
This is much better than the last time I tasted the wine. Campfire, stone, blackberry, boysenberry and a touch of espresso bean create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is rich, fat, supple and dense. There is purity, length and freshness followed by a long, silky, chocolate covered, spicy, boysenberry finish. 95 Points.
3,848 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2015
Medium/full bodied, soft, silky and refined, this elegantly styled Cabernet Sauvignon is filled with sweet, polished, blackberries, boysenberry, licorice and a hint of dark chocolate. 95 Points.
2,946 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2015
|2012||Araujo Estate Altagracia Napa Red Wine (Napa Valley)|
Medium bodied, fresh, licorice, black cherry nose, soft, lush, forward, fresh, spicy, sweet blackberry finish, that shows just a slight touch of heat. 91 Points.
3,273 Views Tasted Sep 22, 2015
|2009||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Oak, earth, tobacco, truffle, licorice and coffee scents create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is polished, soft and round, ending in a sweet cassis and black cherry finish. 94 Points.
6,105 Views Tasted Dec 25, 2012
Deep in color, with a smoky, licorice, cocoa, black and blue fruit personality. Soft, polished and on the elegant side of ripe Napa wines, everything is in balance and harmony. 94 Points.
3,965 Views Tasted Oct 24, 2012
Smoke, licorice, coffee, spice box, black cherry liqueur and dark plum aromas capture your attention. Lush, plush, silky and sophisticated, this refined style of California Cabernet Sauvignon offers a delicious, ripe, dark berry, cocoa and supple textured finish. I really like this style of wine. 94 Points.
4,321 Views Tasted Mar 2, 2012
|2009||Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Intense spice, kirsch, pepper and caramel aromas pair perfectly with the suave, supple textures and round, lush, multi layered, plush, plum and peppery, blackberry finish. Like all of Araujo Syrah's, this should for at least 20 years. 94 Points.
3,863 Views Tasted Mar 2, 2012
|2009||Araujo Estate Altagracia Napa Red Wine (Napa Valley)|
Oak, herbs, blackberry and plum scents couple with plush textures and ripe fruit to create a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon that is ready to drink on release. 91 Points.
3,108 Views Tasted Mar 1, 2012
|2008||Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
This exciting wine pops from the glass with a strong perfume filled with spicy berries, jammy black cherry, pepper, earth and kirsch. Full bodied with silky textures, this sweet, spicy, ripe, intense wine is a great expression of California Syrah. 95 Points.
3,657 Views Tasted Mar 1, 2011
|2008||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Cassis, blackberry, smoke, coca, truffle, tobacco and spice scents are easy to find In the mouth, this silky, refined, powerful wine feels lush. The tannic finish ends with cassis, licorice and blackberry sensations. 94 Points.
6,595 Views Tasted Mar 2, 2011
|2007||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Clearly not a wine of power, this is all about the elegant nature, soft tannins, balance, lift and vivacity. There is a purity to the fruit that shines though, along with touches of toasty oak, licorice, smoke and black fruits. This is ready for prime time drinking today. 94 Points.
2,787 Views Tasted Aug 27, 2019
One of the most elegant, styled Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from California. The wine is soft and aromatic, with licorice, espresso, blackberry jam, hints of blueberry and earth. This is not a wine for tasters desiring power, it's balanced, refined, and almost understated in character. 94 Points.
3,164 Views Tasted May 20, 2013
|2005||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Drinking quite well, the wine is lushly textured, full bodied and concentrated with ripe, juicy, fleshy, blackberries, tobacco, wet earth and cherry tones. Fresh, vibrant, balanced and complex, this is really great for drinking for today. 95 Points.
4,723 Views Tasted Nov 25, 2017
This fills your nose with smoke, truffle, cassis, chocolate and tobacco. Big, chewy, rich and concentrated, but suave and silky, the refined finish fills your mouth with layers of ripe, black fruit 95 Points.
10,319 Views Tasted Mar 28, 2010
|2004||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
As this is knocking on the door for the wines 10th birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on the wine. I love this style of Cabernet Sauvignon. It blends ripe fruits with soft textures, volume, depth and richness. There is an elegance and refinement to the layers of ripe, sweet, lush berries that make you want to return to the glass for another sip. This is in the right place today. There is no reason to age this any longer. 95 Points.
3,727 Views Tasted Nov 26, 2013
|2002||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
This tasty treat is probably close to its apogee. Rich, ripe, full bodied and concentrated, yet, balanced, restrained, harmonious and elegant, for my palate and bank, this is what I love about the best Napa Cabernet Sauvignon wines. It perfectly straddles the fence between classic and modern. The sweet fruits are perfectly ripe, yet nothing comes close to being over the top. 96 Points.
3,283 Views Tasted May 5, 2016
It's hard not to love this wine, with its core of sweet, ripe, lush, dark fruits, velvety tannins and long, ripe, sweet, fleshy, elegant, fruit filled finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. 96 Points.
3,596 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2015
2002 Araujo is such a beautiful style of wine. Sadly, it’s moved well past my budget. But it’s hard to find something not to like about this wine. It’s packed with black licorice, ripe blackberry, plum, chocolate, vanilla, spice and wet forest aromas. The silky textures and ample layers of concentrated ripe, sweet, fresh fruit coat your mouth and palate for close to 50 seconds. This is drinking perfectly today. 96 Points.
5,570 Views Tasted Sep 19, 2012
|2001||Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
This is at its absolute drinking peak. And at 19 years of age, for a California Syrah, that is already saying something. The wine is medium/full-bodied, refined, elegant and soft textured. Still displaying layers of sweet, spicy red fruits, earth, flowers and smoke, everything is in balance and harmony. It's nice to know these older Araujo Syrah wines can be picked relatively cheaply today. 95 Points.
2,641 Views Tasted Dec 17, 2019
2001 Araujo Syrah Coffee, Blackberry jam, pepper, spice and earthy aromatics open to an elegant, suave, sophisticated wine that could pass for a Cote Roite in a blind tasting. This pure wine ends with jammy berries, licorice and hints of vanilla in the long finish. 95 Points.
2,137 Views Tasted Mar 17, 2011
|1997||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Lacking the depth and concentration of the best vintages, this fully mature wine offers a tobacco, olive, blackberry and earthy nose. Medium/full bodied, soft and fresh, there is no reason to age this any longer. 93 Points.
3,610 Views Tasted Sep 23, 2015
What a great style of California Cabernet Sauvignon. Refined, elegant, supple, yet ripe, concentrated and in balance, licorice, black cherry, earth, coffee and blackberry aromas work perfectly with the plush, ripe wine. This is drinking at or close to the peak. I would not wait to pop a bottle. 93 Points.
4,223 Views Tasted Mar 15, 2012
|1996||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Hints of coffee, incense, spice, herbs and red fruits, the wine is medium bodied, short and tart in the finish. 89 Points.
3,562 Views Tasted Dec 9, 2015
Light in color, with licorice, coffee bean, black cherry, earth and spicy notes. Medium bodied, fully mature, with an elegant, soft, oaky, red and black fruit filled finish. I would not age this any longer. 89 Points.
5,466 Views Tasted Oct 8, 2012
|1995||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Olive tapenade, cherry, black truffle and coffee aromatics are easy to find on the nose. Soft, lush, sweet and round, the finish is all about the freshness in the ripe blackberry fruit, herbs and spice. This is fully mature and really singing today. 95 Points.
2,477 Views Tasted Dec 9, 2015
Blackberry, truffle, smoke, olives, pipe tobacco, earth and flowers. This full bodied, concentrated,mature Napa Cabernet wine finishes with chocolate covered, blackberries. 95 Points.
4,073 Views Tasted Jun 30, 2009
The complex perfume with notes of ripe dark fruit, spices, herbs and olives were the first thing you noticed. The full bodied, dense, silky palate presence and long plush, pure finish lasted over :40. 95 Points.
2,132 Views Tasted Apr 15, 2006
Aromas of olives, black fruit, cassis and herbs jump from the glass. The palate enjoys a melange of fresh, ripe fruit and the finish must be close to a minute. This is packed and stacked with ripe fruit. This wine is full-bodied and powerful, but it has so much ripe fruit, it never feels heavy. 95 Points.
2,116 Views Tasted Jan 29, 2004
|1994||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Fully mature, with olive, earth, spice, smoke and thyme accents that ride easily on top of the red fruits, there is a softness and elegance that easy to feel in the finish. There is no reason to hold this any longer. 95 Points.
3,633 Views Tasted Feb 3, 2019
Tasting several years younger than its true age, the wine delivers a smoky, black cherry, olive and earthy nose, with a delicious, silky, smooth finish filled with fresh black plum and ripe black cherry notes. The wine was produced from a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 95 Points.
4,757 Views Tasted Feb 5, 2015
Smoke, licorice, cocoa powder, cassis, olive and fresh black cherries are found in the aromatics. On the palate, the wine is silky, soft, polished and pure. There is a lot to like about this stylish wine. While it lacks the same level of concentration found in the top wines of the 1994 vintage, it makes up for it with its velvety essence and pure fruits. 95 Points.
3,547 Views Tasted Mar 3, 2014
While some of its baby fat has been lost, it’s picked up more complex nuances including an interesting olive note. This is a very rich and concentrated wine with a texture that has to be experienced 95 Points.
2,138 Views Tasted Nov 5, 2004
|1994||Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Vieilles Vignes Eisele Vineyard (Napa Valley)|
Here is one of those unicorn wines I never thought I would taste. When compared to the regular cuvee, this is lighter, fresher, brighter and more acidic, with a pronounced, soft, sweet, cherry charm. Fully mature, this elegant, classic Cabernet Sauvignon was a treat to taste. 94 Points.
998 Views Tasted Feb 3, 2019