Get the Iz

Dark bruised ruby, glass-staining and barely transparent. Heady orange-blossom, melaleuca and gardenia pour out, all situated firmly on a bench of sticky-sweet black cherry and eucalyptus compost. Late-breathing shows more soiled metallic and gentle vegetal: layer after layer of beautiful nuance effortlessly piles out of this thing.

I’ve been wanting badly to try this *other entry* in Donald Patz’s new Secret Door Napa Cabernet project. He hinted this “IZ” is perhaps a bit more tightly wound than the “IX” stable-mate–which I experienced a couple weeks ago. I took THIS bottle to a big (mostly Napa Cab) bottle-share in Napa last month and it fit in nicely with all the bling that came out for that, but obviously in the mash of several dozen bottles, I barely had time to form an opinion, much less scribble any formal notes. It’s hard to say without them side-by-side which one might be more ‘structured’–suffice it to say BOTH are ridiculously ripe, concentrated, massive LUXO-bombs showing all the notes of Napa Cabernet at these price-points and even well above. And, I would have to go read my review of the IX–which I am not going to do.

In the mouth, everything in the nose takes a coy step back, turning the deep jammy bows of the nose into shy fruit curtsies. Graphite and stemmy briar advance easily into the middle and nearly into the entry, causing you to cherish every moment you get to spend with the sumptuous fruit which is no longer decadent or flabby-intended but is razor-sharp in clarity and restrained extravagance. Far more *pie-cherry* than decadent black cherry; far more pomegranate seed than POM liqueur; far more oolong than sweet-tea. Bitterly clamoring for attention are the raspy tannins, but impossible to ignore is the thin syrup dripping down around the sides of the tongue at the same point in the finish. And then once you swallow it, the memory of EVERYTHING comes back to haunt–all the way through: start-to-finish. You taste this wine all over again in the finish.

When was the last time a wine did that for you?

2014 SECRET DOOR WINERY “IZ” Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.5

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