Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California

Our vineyard, with its stony, volcanic terroir, sits atop Atlas Peak at an elevation between 1,270 to 1,350 feet and is located at the edge of a steep canyon which overlooks the town of Oakville. The site, which was purchased and planted in 1999 by the Michael Mondavi Family is predominantly comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Clone Four variety grafted on 110R Rootstock.

Tasting Notes

Aromatics of cocoa nibs, turmeric, suede, and broken, mixed berries perfume the wine, while notes of fresh, red currant along with blackberry nuances culminate for a bright acidity on the palate followed by a rounded texture and nicely structured yet plush tannins.

The 2015 was a warm vintage and required extra-attention in both the vineyards and the cellar to harness all the beauty of Napa Valley. We worked closely with renowned viticulturalist, Danny Schuster, who provided guidance on balanced vines and soil and uniform canopies to shield the grape clusters from the intense heat and sun.

The grapes came into the winery early in the morning and were gently transferred into our Pellenc de-stemmer, known as one of the most precise and gentle tools in the winemaking process. The berries were then transferred into small tanks and allowed to for one day prior to commencing with fermentation. Press began and we opted for a short maceration time since the small, mountain berries naturally provide ample intensity of color, tannins, and texture. The wine was then transferred to French oak barrels allowing the classic warmth of barrel aging to ensue.

Our vineyard, with its stony, volcanic terroir, sits atop Atlas Peak at an elevation between 1,270 to 1,350 feet and is located at the edge of a steep canyon which overlooks the town of Oakville. The site, which was purchased and planted in 1999 by the Michael Mondavi Family is predominantly comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Clone Four variety grafted on 110R Rootstock.

The vineyard sits atop Atlas Peak at the edge of a steep canyon overlooking the town of Oakville between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of stony, volcanic soil. The property was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi Family in 1999. The vineyard is predominately comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon planted on Clone four rootstock, which produces structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors.

The vintage marks another wonderful growing season for the Napa Valley despite many challenges. The 2014 winter was one of the driest on record in California and rainfall totals in the Napa Valley were half of normal. However, the timing could not have been better: heavy rains in late February and early March gave a much-needed drink of water to the vines as they were emerging from dormancy and about to begin bud break. The spring was warm and the vines used for high-quality wine production benefited as the berry sizes are typically smaller and have more concentrated flavors, which many winemakers believe contributed to the overall quality of this year’s harvest.

After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the must was cold soaked for four days prior to the onset of fermentation in small wood French tanks. Aeration and cap management is handled through a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the wines macerate on the skins for 18-21 days before being gently pressed off.  The wine was barrel aged in 50% new French oak for 21 months before bottling, with the balance being aged in neutral French oak barrels.

6 g/l total acidity; 3.74pH

14.5% alc. by vol.

SRP: $85.00

Production: 938 cases

Tasting Notes

Resting just above Oakville, our Atlas Peak hillside estate vineyard’s volcanic soil provides a minerality and freshness to our family Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine shows incredible length and beauty with deep and voluminous layers.  Heady aromas of blackberries, crushed pecans and cocoa nibs are met with fine and polished tannins which exemplify the beauty of this vintage.  The wine is drinking superbly now and will continue to evolve gracefully over the next 30 years.

The warm season, balanced by the night time fog of the Napa Valley, calmed the ripening process and gave this wine a unique equilibrium of tannin and dark fruit with a full, rich background. The 2013 vintage marks the second year of profound vineyard changes in which Rob Mondavi focused on the timing of specialized natural farming practices and vinicultural techniques. The vines are thinned and tipped at specific times to accentuate higher and earlier phenolic development which created yet another exceptional vintage for our family vineyard.

After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the must was cold soaked for four days prior to the onset of fermentation in small wood French tanks. Aeration and cap management is handled through a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the wines macerate on the skins for 18-21 days before being gently pressed off.  The wine is barrel aged in 82% new French oak for 20 months before bottling.

82%  Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot  

The vineyard sits atop Atlas Peak at the edge of a steep canyon overlooking the town of Oakville between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of stony, volcanic soil. The property was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi Family in 1999. The vineyard is predominately comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon of the Clone four variety planted on 110R rootstock, which produces structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors.

Tasting Notes

Black fruits of loganberry, boysenberry and plum mingle with salted heirloom olives, cigar box and fresh herbs create an exciting aromatic profile. Fine grain tannins present themselves throughout the front, middle and finish of this wine demonstrating the intrinsic mountain fruit harvested at optimal ripeness. While the aromatics suggest a fruitful mouth, the rocky soils provide a surprising counterpoint of silky minerality and flavors of fresh plums, firm blackberries and a classic semblance of cassis, suede and sandalwood.

A classic Napa Valley growing season and harvest provided an abundance of quality grapes from which winemakers had to choose in 2012. From spring bud break, through flowering, fruit set, and ripening, conditions were ideal. A consistent stretch of warm summer weather, without large heat spikes and with plenty of cool and foggy nights, ripened grapes to perfection before late rains appeared at the end of October.

After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the juice cold soaked for four days prior to fermentation in stainless steel. Aeration and cap management is handled through a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the lots macerate on the skins for 28-35 days before being pressed off. The wine is barrel aged in 87% new French oak for 20 months before bottling.

85.2% Cabernet Sauvignon & 14.8% Petit Verdot

The vineyard is located high atop Atlas Peak between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of stony, volcanic soil, sitting at the edge of a steep canyon overlooking Foss Valley. The property was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi family in 1999. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are of the Clone 4 variety planted on 110R rootstock, producing structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors.

Tasting Notes

The deep crimson 2011 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon boasts beautiful red cherry aromas, layers of dark fruit flavors framed with sculpted mountain tannins, and a long finish with nuances of coffee and vanilla.

Napa Valley’s 2011 growing season started with abundant rainfall extending through June. The rain delayed bud break and flowering and continued to disrupt fruit set. The rainy season was followed by a cool summer that led to slow ripening several weeks behind normal. Ultimately, patience in harvesting paid off with a late Indian summer that produced high quality fruit with ripe, rich flavors from the extended time on the vine.

After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the juice cold soaked for four days prior to fermentation in stainless steel. Aeration and cap management is handled though a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the lots macerate on the skins for 28-35 days before being pressed off. The wine is barrel aged in 87% new French oak for 20 months before bottling.

82.9% Cabernet Sauvignon & 17.1% Petit Verdot 5.7 g/l total acidity 3.83 pH 14.4% alc. by vol.

The Animo vineyard is located high atop Atlas Peak between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of stony, volcanic soil, sitting at the edge of a steep canyon overlooking Foss Valley. Named by Michael’s daughter, Dina, who upon seeing the land, expressed that the site had “animo,” an Italian word meaning spirit or heart, the property was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi family in 1999. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines at Animo are of the Clone 4 variety planted on 110R rootstock, producing structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors.

Napa Valley’s 2010 growing season was dramatic, but resulted in excellent quality fruit with great flavor concentration. It began cool and wet, and by early summer winemakers knew harvest would be later than normal. The early vine development was slowed down by a cool summer and then sped up by bursts of heat throughout the valley in August. Vineyard management was vital in this vintage, and harvest was accomplished not by one picking but by numerous to be sure that the grapes were properly ripened. This harvest had its share of unexpected challenges as most typically do, but the reduced crop resulted in vines yielding berries that showed great expression of their vineyards and rich, concentrated flavors.

After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the juice cold soaked for four days prior to fermentation in stainless steel. Aeration and cap management is handled though a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the lots macerate on the skins for 28-35 days before being pressed off. The wine is barrel aged in 87% new French oak for 20 months before bottling.

83% Cabernet Sauvignon & 17% Petit Verdot 5.38 g/l total acidity 3.89 pH 14.29% alc. by vol.

The Animo vineyard is located high atop Atlas Peak between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil. The property sits on the edge of a steep canyon overlooking Foss Valley and was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi family in 1999. The vineyard was named by Michael’s daughter, Dina, who upon seeing the land, expressed that the site had “animo,” an Italian word meaning spirit or soul. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines at Animo are of the Clone 4 variety planted on 110R rootstock, producing structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors.

  • 91

    Points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Wine Enthusiast , February 2019

    "This offers classic flavors of crisp, red currant and cassis, with background notes of dried herb and floral rose. The tannins are sturdy and supportive of the fruit. Toasted oak components are emphasized on the lengthy peppery finish."

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  • 93

    Points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, December 2017

    "Blueberry and floral aromas dominate here. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a fresh finish. This is tight and reserved and needs two or three years to open. Drink in 2019."

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  • 93+

    Points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Wine Advocate, October 2017

    "The Animo is a second label, a cross section from the ranch. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Animo opens with expressive blackberry pie and blueberry compote notes with hints of red currant jelly, cinnamon stick, rose hip tea, dried lavender and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic tension and a solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins supporting the vibrant black and red fruits, finishing long and perfumed."

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  • 95

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, James Suckling, January 2017

    "Aromas of blackberries, walnuts and light chocolate. Full-bodied, tight and beautiful. Fine and polished tannins. Fabulous length and beauty. Impressive fruit but there's tension and firmness. Better in 2021, but already enticing to taste"

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  • 91

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2017

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  • 93

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, May 2016

    "The brightness and definition to this wine is impressive. Full body, blueberry, and floral character. Ultra-fine tannins. Drink now."

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  • 94

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2015

    "The 2013 Animo, which is 81.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot, is even better. This wine shows a more opaque purple color, a sweet nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with licorice, lead pencil shavings and some subtle new oak in the background. It is full-bodied, pure, rich and impressive. A powerful wine, it will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15+ years."

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  • 91+

    points

    2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2015

    "The 2012 Animo, which comes from the Oso Vineyard, is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. This wine is backward for a 2012, with deep mulberry and blackberry fruit, some creosote, charcoal embers, and graphite. It is medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, and needs another 1-2 years of bottle age. It should certainly age nicely for 15 or more years."

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  • 93

    points

    2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, May 2016

    "A pretty and silky red with red currant, blackberry and hints of licorice. Full body, lovely texture. This has tannin tension and focus. A blend of abour 85% cabernet sauvignon, rest petit verdot and merlot. Drink or hold."

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  • 94

    points

    2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2017

    "Cellar Selection - This wine, from the producer's estate vineyard on Atlas Peak, relies on the addition of nearly 15% Petit Verdot, which provides additional prettiness and power. Well structured and in balance, it imparts cedar, dried herb and pencil shavings as firm tannin and subtle oak play background roles. It is defined by a cool-climate sensibility of restraint and grace. Enjoy best 2022 through 2027."

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  • 91

    points

    2011 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2016

    "From the producer's monumental Atlas Peak vineyard, this is a tightly wound, solidly constructed mountain Cab, blended with a handful of Petit Verdot.  Tobacco, black tea and a sliver of coconut intermingle around a medium-bodied whole that will benefit from cellaring, through 2021."

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  • 92

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2018

    "The 2015 BenMarco Expresivo is 87% Malbec and 13% Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, which is a little more Malbec and less Cabernet Franc than the 2016. It has the generous profile of the vintage within the freshness of the place, so it combines power and elegance. The palate is polished and sleek, with round tannins. 30,000 bottles produced."

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  • 93

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, James Suckling, June 2017

    "This is a structured and powerful wine for the vintage with lots of polished tannins and beautiful cool and intense fruit. Full to medium body, tight tannins and a flavorful finish. Need a year or two but already gorgeous."

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  • 96

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Patricio Tapia, Descorchados, September 2018

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  • 87

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, October 2018

    "Crunchy red, with zesty red fruit flavors that are backed by fresh acidity. Dried raspberry and sandalwood on the finish. Drink now. 4,300 cases imported.  WEB ONLY"

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  • 89

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, November 2018

    "Sweet berry aromas of blueberry and blackberry are a touch oaky and suggestive of graphite. A plump but pulling palate is quite dry and tannic, but not mean or raw. Savory plum and berry flavors include a hint of soy sauce, while this is flush on the finish. Folio Fine Wine Partners. —"

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  • 91

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, August 2018

    "Bright, saturated medium ruby. Violet-tinged nose displays the enticing floral character of the better wines from the 2016 vintage. Vinous and intense, offering serious penetration without hardness. This sexy, juicy wine conveys excellent focus to its dark berry and floral flavors, not to mention very good integration of oak, with the small Petit Verdot component contributing lift. More about definition and balance than size. Balbo routinely picks this fruit on the early side to avoid getting an excessively high pH (it's normally in the range of 3.5 to 3.65 and this one is 3.65, with a moderate 13.6% alcohol)."

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  • 92

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, James Suckling, March 2018

    "A very enticing nose of pure violets, dark-jet licorice, crushed stones, moss, ripe stems, earth and forest floor. The palate shows chewy yet compact tannins, lots of tangy blue fruit and a chewy finish. Drink in 2021."

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  • 92+

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2018

    "The style of the 2016 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec shows the hand of the winemaker, with a little warmer fermentation and perhaps a little more extraction. However, in the cooler and wetter 2016, this feels as fresh and floral as the BenMarco Malbec, and it has a polished and balanced palate, with some fine-grained tannins and clean, pure flavors. Precise, focused and fresh. 100,000 bottles produced."

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  • 95

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Patricio Tapia, Descorchados, October 2018

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  • 88

    points

    2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, December 2014

    "A rich cabernet with black fig ripeness and black walnut flavors of oak, this has some liveliness to balance the power of its alcohol. Smooth, black and smoky, it’s made for grilled steak."

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  • 90

    points

    2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, October 2014

    "Sourced from high atop Michael Mondavi’s Atlas Peak vineyards, this is feral and intense in black currant liqueur and leather, the mountain tannins up front and fierce. Cellaring until 2014–2019 will do further wonders for this wine."

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  • 92

    points

    2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Antonio Galloni, Vinous, November 2013

    "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Michael Mondavi's Anima label is laced with ash, plum, graphite, smoke, incense, tobacco and licorice. With time in the glass, the fruit begins to emerge in a lush, full-bodied wine with considerable richness for the year. The Atlas Peak tannins are there, but they are nearly buried by the pure extract and concentration of the fruit. Graphite, smoke, white pepper add complexity on the close. This is an especially juicy style for the year, but it works. Drinking window: 2016 - 2026"

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  • 92

    points

    2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon
    Joe D'Angelo, International Wine Report, October 2014

    "This outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon blend is sourced from the rocky, volcanic soils of Michael Mondavi’s Animo Vineyard on Atlas Peak. In 2010, the wine instantly bursts open with nuances of ripe cassis, blackberries, graphite, herbs, spices and chocolate to name just a few. The full body is backed by a gorgeous plush texture, showing excellent concentration and depth all the way through the finish. Although this is nothing short of delicious today, and will be hard to resist, I would love to see it again after it has been in bottle for another handful of years. (Best 2016-2026)"

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  • 91

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2016

    "Bright red-ruby. Classic Cabernet aromas of currant, plum, mocha and tobacco leaf. Firmly structured, savory wine with lovely restrained sweetness, serious depth and a tactile fine-grained texture. But very young and tightly wound, in need of time in bottle to expand. I initially preferred the Signature Malbec but this Cabernet has sweeter tannins and more even ripeness, not to mention impressive length."

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  • 91

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Adovcate, December 2016

    "The 2014 Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from one specific plot from the Finca Brio in Los Árboles in the district of Tunuyán in the Valle de Uco. The objective here is to avoid green aromas, so the grapes have to be picked ripe but at the same time keep acidity. As in most of these wines, there is a small percentage of other varieties, in this case 5% Merlot. It followed a similar process as the whole range, ending with 13 months in French barriques, mostly second use. The oak is imperceptible, the ripeness is almost perfect, with some black olive-like aromas and a balanced, elegant palate with the textbook Cabernet tannins. 48,000 bottles produced."

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  • 93

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    James Suckling, May 2016

    "Beautiful dark fruit and raspberry character. Full body, velvety tannins and bright fruit. Pretty and drinkable. A pure and delicious wine. Drink or hold."

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  • 95

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Patricio Tapia, Descorchados, January 2017

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  • 88

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, October 2018

    "Aromas of ripe Marasca cherry, cooking spice and a whiff of blue flower carry over to the juicy full-bodied palate along with crushed raspberry. Fresh acidity lifts the concentrated flavors."

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  • 89

    points

    Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, November 2018

    "Cherry, raspberry and violet flavors are focused by vibrant acidity in this fruity red. Firm and lightly chewy, with fine length. Drink now through 2021. 1,800 cases imported. "

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle

2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Label

2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Sales Sheet

2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2010 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2011 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle

2011 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Label

2011 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle

2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Label

2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Shelftalker

2012 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Tasting Notes

2014 Animo Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle

Animo 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Label

Animo 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Notes

Animo Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 JS95 Sales Sheet

Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Bottle Image

Animo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Label