Great Napa vineyards? Check! Low yield? Check! Dry hot summer and fall? Check! Nearly two years in 80% new French oak? Check! More than 90 points in the big magazines? Check! Okay everybody, it’s Cult Wine Time! Let’s sell this stuff for $175 a bottle!
That was a great plan in 2008, when the fruit was on the vine. But by the time it hit the bottle the economy imploded, expense account-driven dinners with big dollar wines were a memory, and “Cult Wine” was turning into a rueful punchline.
This particular bottle was purchased for $50 at Costco. And what did that money buy? A great big ripe woody cult Cabernet. The nose has fresh ground French roast coffee, shaved baker’s chocolate, blueberries and black raspberries. The palate is blackcurrant, plum, vanilla, dark chocolate, leather, and buckets of dusty tannins. It is soft on the palate, sweet, rich, even luxurious. It’s all richness and tannins, dark fruit with a background of smoke. This is not a particularly delicate or finely balanced wine. It is far more a punch in the nose than a caress of the cheek. In other words, it’s a CaliCultCab, and if that’s your bag, at just fifty bucks this is Highly Recommended. If it’s not, then you’re buying the wrong bottle. Drink with people who don’t know you bought it at Costco. DH
WHAT: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot
WHERE: California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
HOW MUCH: $50