Swirling Dervish

Completely impenetrable ruby ink–even in the shallowest amounts–right out to the edge.  Swirling seemingly stains the glass permanently.  Big viscous nose of dark cherry, eucalyptus and dried spit.  The glycerinish feel of the bouquet is tempered slightly by mint, concentrated fruit and dull petrichor, but all around it is pretty much wide-open jet-fuel until copious amounts of air are administered.

I know this label is known predominantly for their Pinot Noir from various locations on the Sonoma Coast and Petaluma Gap–and also for a cheap red blend called Mordecai, which people with easy-to-please palates rant and rave about.  These are all decent enough wines (the former far more-so than the latter), but the show-stopper for me has always been the Napa Valley Cab.  This thing is a packed bruiser, deserving a steep decant–and an SOS-pad for your glasses.  And, at 50 bucks, it remains one of Napa Valley’s great bargains.  I have heard rumors of Howell Mountain fruit, but have not been able to confirm. The whole time you’re drinking it, you are thinking to yourself, this thing has to be 15-oh, it HAS to be, but shortly after forming that opinion you check the label and it comes in significantly greener than that.

In the mouth, a brick wall of deep, rich black cherry concentrate hits your face, flooding everything with sweet nectar and requiring a near-CHEW to dissolve towards your throat.  Spicy green briar packs approach, middle and finish, running the gamut from carborundum to conifer.  Everywhere dances huge fruit, desperately attempting to evade the structure. Wet leather, wrung out in amber puddles and baking on sidewalk, runs thick into the finish, prompting near-fade of the fruit in favor of more glycerine and sharp tannin.

2013 BANSHEE WINES Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.4


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