A small side-project in Monterey with rumors of no longer producing. I got really excited about this brand a couple years ago with their Loire-style CF (including listing it in my top wines of 2018) and ran into their flagship BDX blend the other day at a local shop. Monterey County produces gobs of Cabernet, but it is watered-down, lower-shelf, rather boring stuff nearly across-the-board. This comes from up in the Carmel foothills, and promises to be significantly more substantial.

Flat, bruised, almost burnt, dark and delirious nose. Bruised pear and moldy oranges along a flaccid core of black berry. Buttered popcorn and a gamy funk breathes out with considerable decanting. It is thick and rich and somewhat dreary stuff, ripe beyond belief and pure California, only managing slight briar and stemmy green-ness buried beyond all the rotund density. It is not horrible-smelling, just feeling quite warm and awkward.

Dark clear ruby, no sediment, no brick, minuscule rim. Ridiculous legs and a reaction in the sink to water during a glass-rinse indicating a well-alcoholed liquid. Knowing this label, I would be shocked at an official placement over 14, but man oh man does it feel higher than that.

Rich and decadent in the mouth, hot and concentrated, a thickness of substance giving some Napas a run for the money. Puree of cherry and piles of chunky cassis and aching briar control the voluminous entry, a certain entertainment of early tertiary rounding and polishing everything. Blistering tannins–tinged in heat–take no time introducing themselves, but the pure extraction of fruit solids defy coup and carry on sweetly far into the finish.

It’s a mouthful, and easily the most expensive Monterey Cabernet I have ever purchased. Fans of giant Napa and super-Tuscan will find this compelling and on-par with their palate. It definitely is a big bruiser of a wine, sourced and extracted to 11. It shows few signs of slowing down, although I would be cautious of forgetting about it in your cellar for a decade. Something you definitely need to check in on frequently, as I fear it might go *burnt* and *oxidized* before the tannin runs out.

Still, a blockbuster wine, and definitely a stand-out BDX blend for the area.

2014 MADELEINE ‘Left Bank’ Cabernet Sauvignon with CF/bec/ME/PV Monterey 13.9

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