OG N.68 2018 Sonoma County "Mountain" Cabernet Sauvignon 12-bottle case
The last offering from this stunning, high-elevation, Spring Mountain estate, N.68 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic example of the "mountain" breed. Dense and savory with elegantly delineated fruit, it reflects the extreme growing conditions of high-altitude vineyards. Here ultraviolet exposure combines with lean soils to produce wines (and especially Cabernet's) with bold structures and intense flavors.
Of course, N.68 Cabernet is a terrific example, an achetype for the category. After purchasing the first three wines, our team was given carte blanche access and assembled the blend from components we were provided (everything is Estate fruit save for a 1% St Helena Merlot addition). I am confident everything here is "first run" - these folks simply had excess (as did most wineries before the smoke taint wiped out a huge portion of Napa Valley's 2020 Cabernet). Since the blend is our own, its hard to directly compare prices (this year we've been able to purchase pretty much exactly what the wineries are bottling) but I think its fair to say you would pay anywhere from $75-$95/bottle for the components here so lets call it $80 juice for $18. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, if you are looking for overtly rich and early expressive, this isn't your Cabernet. Deep, dark and delicious it is (and relatively approachable for a mountain Cab); nevertheless, the best of this wine is a couple years out.
Bottled late September, this wine shows similar to N.69 with ebbing and flowing aromas. Dark and brooding in the glass it starts very earthy and graphitic with lots of deep plum, chaparral, herb and licorice notes flashing with black cherry, sage and leather. Powdery purple florals, crushed volcanic rock and dark earth are constant once it opens up. Smooth and surprisingly lush and full on the palate, its focused and concentrated with chewy tannin and bright, lingering black cherry on the finish. This will be dynamite once it coalesces.
77% Sonoma County, 23% Napa County
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot
45% new French oak
Bottled September 28th
800 cases available.