Black impenetrable purple, a heady sugary alcoholic dessert rises out of it, causing instant headache before even tasting this phenolic wonder which will certainly be a Disneyland saccharin mess–heavy on the Hello Kitty, easy on the angst. Masses of buttery banana and slathers of vanilla paint your perfect supermarket top-shelfer into a homogenic corner only WSET2 influencer can smile about. An alarming cellar floor–not quite sophisticated enough to be considered petrichor–flies alongside teensy briar and paint thinner: alarming only because of the infantile age of this bottle. But trust me, NOTHING gets in the way of all that BIGGER IS BETTER extraction and oak.
And then you taste it. I didn’t want to, but you HAVE to. This stuff will rot your teeth. I’m not joking. Thick and viscous, the sugar inundates all in a corn-syrup funeral pyre where all things resembling fruit have vanished. Disgusting layers of what I am guessing the mixologist behind the blending computers at this winery call *structure* cheapen and further obfuscate whatever fruit you try to decipher from the gaudy mouthfeel. Alcoholic burn plays hard into the mix, and I am sure the awkward drying out of all life and pulse and anything even resembling wine in the finish will be described on the back label as a “sense of place” and the ridiculous *legs* will be praised and highlighted, photographed through to the “amazing food and wine lifestyle experience” I’m sure this “small family winery” offers.
This wine is the sad face of Napa Valley Cab today. Homogeneous over-ripe oaky jam-bomb stew for the 99%. Instant gratification? More like: Instant toothache. Instant headache. Instant disappointment in all things Napa Valley.
2016 SEQUOIA GROVE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.6