You cram your nose into this thing and the first thing that hits you is it is NOT Napa or Sonoma. That’s a GOOD THING. Individual areas need to express their individual reflections. Stop comparing everything to Napa! I love Napa, but man oh man am I glad everything doesn’t taste like it. Warm and dirty, the nose pulls dusty summer roads and the tarry smoke of BBQ out, sauteed peaches in carmelized butter, disgusting black cherry: SO concentrated, so clogging and dense, everything pointing to that cool summer rain to soothe the soul and settle the dust.
I don’t run into a lot of Livermore wines. I’ve probably had several dozen in my life–technically Central Coast–and things are WAYYYYYY beyond Wente and Concannon and Mirassou these days. There are many MANY wineries crankin out the good stuff in that region. This is one of them. These are not cheap. Don’t go onto this expecting bargain-shopping from an obscure AVA. That California doesn’t exist anymore. Paso Robles, Santa Cruz Mtns, Livermore Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, The sub-$50 cabernet doesn’t exist anymore. The sooner you get used to it the happier you will be. Cab is king and this stuff is worth every penny.
And that refreshment comes with the first sip. My favorite part about this wine is how cool and restrained it is when you finally get it in your mouth. Brilliant and sparkling, acid comes in strong and hits hard, all that dense black fruit instantly becomes spritely cranberry, pie-cherry, rose-hips and firm apricot. A generous streak of mineral wipes out the mouth, poking fruit into every pore it can find, plumping it up with the generous assistance of plentiful acid. A little licorice stem twists the flower into a jasmine ball and releases it amaretto-like.
This wine is just plain delicious. I don’t throw that word around often. It is a simple word for many–and easy to use–but for me it is something to be reserved for certain wines. I used it last night, and I am using it again tonight. This wine is just plain delicious.
2016 NOTTINGHAM CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon Casa De Vinas VYD Livermore Valley Central Coast California 14.4