State Lane

Impenetrable black night, and your glass will never be clear again. Robust minty goodness edged in cassis, blackberry and vanilla does a pepper and onto your nostrils, rich and obfuscating on one hand but not opulent to the point of motivational transparency. A little soapy alcohol drifts in and out of the bouquet, overwhelmed at times and obvious at others. A healthy decant turns up the heat on rich dessert and buttery cheese, a Greek yogurt briskness under a pile of syrupy fruit–all balanced on a piney out-cropping.

In the mouth, the grinding ache of smooth rocks force fruit in hi-pressure streams toward all receptors. Thick and chewy, it never allows homogeneous fat-boy checkbook Napa cab profiles–so easily apparent and accused these days–into the picture, taking its concentrated cues instead from dense wiry blueberry skin, unsweetened acai and grandma’s gnarled pie cherry tree. Nowhere does oak stupidity or flagrant maceration manipulation–so common in some of its neighbors–appear, taking a page instead from sharp tobacco, peach-pit and bristly velvet, searingly acidic and expressing every inch of it into the finish that makes you so sad you are drinking this in 2019 and not 2029.

2013 NICKEL & NICKEL Cabernet Sauvignon State Ranch Yountville Napa Valley 14.9

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