Remember When

From one of the reigning kings of California Cabernet comes a near-perfect 5-member BDX blend. Sultry and spiced, gobs of cassis and rich berry, a sweetness on the nose adulterated only by lavish earth, mint, and deep layers of gorgeous oak. Green and vibrant, the restraint shown by the 2011 vintage comes across beautifully for those seeking structure and stability in their wines, rather than straight opulent wantonness of concentration per bling-bro and cheery influencer appeal. Dark nectar plays a huge role, but the burn of musty pepper, volcanic layers, and petrichor mineral draw things out to teutonic proportions.

And then you taste it. Yes, it is a crowd-pleasing wine. And in other, more decadent years, it can run chubby. But here, in the stellar 1% appeal of 2011, things are decidedly different. The peppery additions from the usual suspects of this blend contradict anything you might have experienced from the *plumping up* of this brand’s cabernet offerings in recent years. Of course, long gone are the blisteringly austere cab offerings which polish for many decades from this producer. There is no money there. And we all know it. But here we have pure peppery burn, a finish wracked in tannin, dark, concentrated berry, a thick mouth-feel, and a balance of power quite awkward to resist. All in a sub-14 package.

I wish I had more of these.

2011 BEAULIEU VINEYARD ‘Tapestry’ cab/CF/ME/bec/PV Napa Valley 13.9

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