Cathy Corison now has two vineyard designates, Kronos and Sunbasket. Fruit for her Napa Cabernet is hardly less noble, deriving from two plots she’s worked with for two decades and whose farming she oversees. The vine roots are in gravelly benchland between St. Helena and Rutherford, all within shouting distance of her home vineyard and winery. This wine is always 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cathy’s vintages always differ, expressive of their season, but they always share a kinship, too, like sisters. There’s the dark one with the raven hair, the lanky one with big eyes, the bouncy athlete, the ingenue. This 2013 vintage is in that last style: gamine, springy, newly minted.
Highly perfumed, it’s suffused with high-toned red cherries, black raspberries, and black currants. The texture is silky and sueded but with sparkly acidity that glisters in the mid-palate. The use of oak is restrained, with its nearly imperceptible influence of toast, wood tannin, and barrel spice. On Day Two I found more cassis in the wine, plus something akin to lavender, but it lacks the resinous herbal note of much Napa Cab.
It’s light-hearted now, and its copious shiny cherry fruit makes it feel clean and fresh-washed, a wine without artifice. I want to taste this vintage again in two years, then three more, and so on. And because I bought five bottles, I can.
13.5% abv | $90
You may also enjoy this interview with Cathy Corison from my 2015 visit: