This, my dear friends and people who read me because they hate me but want to see what I’ll do/say next, is some friggin' Napa Valley Cab.
Marita’s Vineyard Special Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (say that fivefold fast) is a pretty fantastic bottle of wine, if I do say so myself (and I do). Limited to 225 cases, this 100% hillside cabernet sauvignon is something everyone should try.
Unfortunately, by virtue of the fact that it runs a buck-and-a-half per, not everyone’s going to be able to. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas, mes amis?
First off, the wine comes in one of the heaviest glass bottles I’ve ever encountered. Seriously, when I opened the box the bottle came in, I thought for a second it was a 1 liter bottle or something. It’s not, it’s a standard 750, but a good 10% taller and maybe 20% wider than most of the other 750s I have in my cellar. And heavy. Even empty (and hooo boy did I finish this one) the bottle felt like it might be half full.
I know the point of thick, heavy glass bottles is to lend a measure of elegance, perhaps even gravitas, to the wine. I couldn’t help thinking about the environmental impact of all that extra glass. Extra energy to make the bottles, if not recycled properly, extra glass in the trash/landfills and all.
It’s the exact opposite delivery mechanism mentality from the NPA, for instance.
But whatever, I’m not actually that concerned about it. Much more concerned about the juice, so shall we?
First things first: the wine is damn near black in the glass. It lightens to a rich ruby at the very edges, and mine showed just the slightest hint of tanning near the edge as well.
The nose is incredibly nicely balanced between some fruit aromas—mostly blackberry and rhubarb—and the other side of the cabernet aroma world, namely hints of leather and cigar box and cedar. On the palate, the wine is full bodied, and announces its presence with authority.
But it’s not a fruit bomb. It doesn’t “punch” you, as it were. And at 14%, it isn’t overly alcoholic for its robustness and size. It’s well balanced, all in all. The finish is long, the entire experience is lustrous and smooth, with soft, lush tannins and an overarching elegance that just rocks. It fucking tastes good, too, with fruit aromas of blackberry and black cherries that dance around.
Altogether, this is elegant, grown-up, still delicious wine, with lots of nuance and incredible balance. This is Napa Valley cab, writ large.
Price Point: $150
(full disclosure: this wine was provided to me as a press sample from VinTank)