92-POINTS, GOLD MEDAL 2021 SOMMELIERS CHALLENGE WINE COMPETITION
Purchased prior to the fires and kept in barrel until last December, N.76 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is from one of Calistoga's premier producer's. Their estate vineyard occupies the alluvial washes draining down from Mt. St. Helena and the Palisades. And, while I often find Calistoga Cabernet's to be a bit too "open knit" and light in color due to the northern Napa Valley heat, here the gravelly drainage's keep yields naturally low for proper ripening and color density. Also helping balance things out is hillside fruit from St. Helena which makes up about about 40% of the wineries final blend.
The final product is an archetypal Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with broad appeal, a perennial 91-92 pt Cabernet that's as comfortable on Tuesday night as it is on Saturday night. It sells out of the winery tasting room for $65/bottle - a steal at $25/bottle.
Deep ruby in the glass - almost opaque. Opens with a jubilee of cherry, dark, dusty plum and mocha adding creme de cassis and raspberry notes with air. Allspice and pretty red rock minerality lift the nose. Terrific weigh on entry ripe with creme de cassis and vanilla-flecked cherry notes dominating the lush but well-balanced palate. The finish is long and clean with pure, pretty fruit throughout. Exquisitely balanced and built to drink well now and over the next decade.
UPDATED FEBRUARY, 2022 - DRINK OR HOLD – this wine has ebbed and flowed quite a bit in the bottle but seems to have settled in nicely now. It requires a good decant but opens up nicely now with an hour or two of air.
UPDATED JUNE 27, 2021 - 60% Calistoga, 40% St. Helena. The warmer climes of Napa Valley make this a more fruit-forward and approachable style with less high-toast wood dominance. Singing cherry with vibrant backbone, succulent and seamless across the palate…silky smooth and beautifully integrated with excellent complexity - total crowd-pleaser.
97% Cabernet, 3% Merlot
60% Calistoga, 40% St. Helena 30% new French oak 14.7% alc. 300 cases available Bottled December 15th, 2020