Staining pink garnet. Oppressive, heat-packed nose making Paso seem practically Sonoma Coast. Bright burnt pepper and a smoldering briar consumed with smoky funk, burnt rubber and sweltering, arrow-straight asphalt escorting sagebrush into a mirage. Late-breathing brings a toe-curling grenadine into the sinuses, syrupy and alcohol-tinged.
Yes, you see Cab from Lodi every now and then. I don’t know how much quality vineyard land there is in the area planted to Cab–I’d have to ask. I mean: I’m sure there’s thousands of acres, but how much is cropped and maintained with wines like this in mind is a whole ‘nother story. Would be an interesting conversation. Who knows–there might be some righteous old shit scattered about. NOT that older is better–ESPECIALLY with Cabernet. Remember that when you at the grocery and are bombarded with an entire shelf spiced with proud “OLD VINES”. Contrary to popular opinion and marketing everywhere, it does NOT equal better wine–just the suggestion and perception of it. And Cabernet DEFINITELY has a lifespan. Typically much shorter than Zinfandel. But I have digressed WAY off the topic at hand. I didn’t even get into for how long and how much I love St. Amant and all things “Spencer”. I picked up this cab as a piece of interest to round out my selection of *usual suspects* at the winery: Zinfandel and Portuguese varieties.
In the mouth, far more focused on pure cab fruit, simple and elegant. Spicy-cool pear and apricot build to massive concentrations of black rich cherry and Luxardo over the middle. Clean and beautiful–I remember what I bought this wine for now–it glides effortlessly, sweetly singing, calm and confident on grippy, aching bark, green and potent as the structure begins to take hold in the finish. The fruit never dies. A minutes-long finish of bitter life and candied fruit remind me to look for more Cab next time I’m up there.
This thing is only 13-5, so there goes another stereotype about Lodi.
2014 ST. AMANT Cabernet Sauvignon Martel VYD Lodi California 13.5