The blend is 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, nine percent Merlot, and six percent Petit Verdot, the Cab and Merlot from purchased fruit, the Petit Verdot from Matthiasson’s home vineyard. Grapes were treated to a long, cool fermentation in tank with twice daily pumpovers, and the wine was aged in oak, about 20 percent new. Winemaking, in other words, was simple but not easy.
The result is an old-school Napa Cab, lower in alcohol than most and more demure. Its scent of ripe red plums and tart cherries mingles with red earth, almost red clay, and a faint suggestion of juniper. The grip is assertive, with fine-grained tannins and a mineral streak like graphite on slate. Purple and red fruits form the body’s anchor, but these are tinged with menthol and sweet tobacco and stone.
Calm, pristine, and very elegant.
13.4% abv | $60 (sample) | 1,080 cases made
Tasted at the winery on 14 June 2016.