Cathy Corison’s wines are vintage-expressive; a vertical tasting reveals more about the temperament of the season than that of the winemaker. I always find it difficult to describe Cathy’s wines, so my notes here are sketches rather than elaborate descriptions, but each wine presented to me a strong, distinct personality.
2014 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Sunbasket Vineyard Napa Valley
Inky ruby red color. Aromas of red licorice, violets, anise, black cherry, red currant. Acidity is profound, attenuated. Flavors of red cherry steeped with fennel and basil. Tannins are supple, integrated, non-drying.
Light-hearted, a dancer.
2015 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Sunbasket Vineyard Napa Valley
Inky ruby red color. Aromas of fennel, anise, washed linen, black cherry, cassis. Palate suggests black cherry; darkly fruity, less red fruit, less acidity than the 2014. The finish is earthy, more structured and moody than the other two wines. There is a flare of basil and sous-bois at the finish. It’s more drying.
Brooding, a poet.
2016 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Sunbasket Vineyard Napa Valley
Inky ruby red color. Aromas of black currant, cola, spice; more woodsy than the other two wines. Palate smooth, even, friendly. Dark spiced black cherry fruits and a suggestion of black raspberry, blackberry, cassis. More purple-fruited, less tannic, but drying at the finish.
Soulful, a (young) friend.
All wines were samples. Current vintage (2018) is $195.