Secret Stags

Ridiculous black purple, effusively staining from the blue edge. How much air do you give a wine like this? Lots. And By that I mean LOTS. Dark mineral spice exudes from all corners of the glass, banana and tahini and coffee and a high fresh cherry note headed almost watermelon in its crazy brightness. Beautiful oak weighs in on all the congested fruit, a tall acidity apparent that will be interesting to see which direction it goes in the mouth. The briar and mint on this one reeks from the nose, melded with dusty velvet theatre seats and buttered popcorn and a sandpaper abrasiveness that on certain swirls almost obscures the fruit.

This is a barrel sample. Plain and simple. Drinking a wine like this, at this age, is not a crime–it is a SIN. And therefore we must chalk this visit up to research. We have to know, right???

In the mouth, fruit obliteration exists. The amount of pure concentration is mind-numbing. “Spicy cherry” doesn’t do it justice. Layers and layers of perfect onset combined with acres and acres of of background and foundation deposit a shrill compilation on your tongue. Blackberry and sage and kiwi and an unspeakable structure, dry and raspy, overflowing with sweetness and decadent power combine forces to create an eye-crossing festival of taste-buddal orgasms. The power shocks and soothes and energizes all senses, timely in its essence and blustery in its pure punk-rock defamation of all things *Napa cab*, where people assume massive oak and fruit concentration from a wine of this pedigree but in reality is a harsh, free-spirited concoction of earth and soul and the kind of sharp edge reserved for only the new kids of Sonoma Coast offerings.

This is an irreverent cab–and one built for the long run. The blockbuster tannin melds perfectly with all the frontal fruit, a little abrasive, never awkward, never off-putting, just absolute perfection start-to-finish. Get it if you love wine.

2017 SECRET DOOR Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle SLD Napa Valley 14.5

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