2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

After the heat-spiked 2017 vintage, 2018 was like a calm stroll through the Muir Woods; effortless with consistent, moderate weather for what turned out to be the longest harvest in years. In fact, I remember how almost no vintners came to my taco truck party in late October because they were still picking fruit! The good news: both phenolic maturity and sugar-levels arrived in pristine balance. Thankfully, all our harvest picks were finished before the rains of early October. The resulting wines have a sexy density of fruit and phenolics without tasting overripe, while being blessed with a persistent freshness.

About this wine

Rutherford, with its red-fruit purity, continued to be a central part of our Napa Cab program, with St. Helena providing impressive complexity and balanced richness. Unique to this year, a generous contribution by a remarkable Cabernet Franc vineyard in Chiles Valley made it to the final blend—someday when I’m older, I will make a 100% Cabernet Franc from there. In the winery, the fruit experienced minimal racking with 26-month aging in 45% new French Oak, and was bottled, unfined and unfiltered on Dec 2019. We intentionally leave our Cabernet-based wines to rest for an extended period before release while the components fully integrate.

**2018 experienced a last new development: ** Last year, we went with lighter glass bottles; this year we forwent the fancy, Spanish-imported tin capsules and reduced our carbon footprint by adorning the top of the cork with a small wax “medallion” dollop instead.

Tasting Notes

It has become instructive–and enjoyable—to consider each new Cabernet Sauvignon release alongside recent vintages. If 2016 was deep and daring while 2017 upended expectations, then 2018 strolls in with a huge grin. Gorgeous, mocha-spiced and brambly aromas are followed by joyful flavors of raspberry, black cherry, sweet tobacco (must be the Cab Franc!), raspberry, and dark chocolate, ending with a particularly satisfying finish. With time in the glass, this Napa bottling develops a haunting and classic complexity. Drink over 5-8 years – decant if opening before 2022.

Technical Data

  • • Varieties: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% balance of Petit Verdot & Merlot
  • • Sub-appellations: Rutherford, St. Helena, Calistoga, Chiles Valley
  • • Maturation: 100% French Oak; 45% new
  • • Cases Produced: 386 cases, 5 magnum cases, 2 Jeroboams
$48 750