Couple reasons I opened this tonight: A day or two into Hannakuh and I had to remind myself to open some kosher wine. Also–as some of you probably saw–I ran a *Napa-Sonoma vintage poll* on FB and IG this week and some surprising support for 2016 emerged. I dunno… 14, 15, 16, and 17 kinda all run together for me, so I am looking at this year with new interest.
I love the way this wine smells. It smells like Sonoma. Coming up through the *frontier* days of Sonoma in the 80’s and 90’s, with dirt roads and no tasting fees or tour buses or bridesmaid parties, I guess the *smell* of Sonoma got pinned into my brain. It’s different than Napa. There’s something green and musky about it, a bit danker, perhaps. A round edge to the fruit both jostling and soothing. The fruit on this one just never ends–rich, dense, black–ridiculously ripe–concentrated and sweet in the nose, but calm and sophisticated. The side-elements of dusty briar. There’s a richness to the acacia and pecan–a dessert framed with worn grey wood and peeling varnish. Beautiful to smell and smell–just gorgeous and fulfilling.
Alexander Valley cabs are quite known for their structure, and this one at barely 4 probably didn’t have offensively glaring backbone young (it’s still young). It is a moderately-priced bottle, and the tannins are adjusted accordingly. Rich and full in the mouth, a green weedy stirrer dwaddles in thick cherry and blackberry. I love how the pungent, Caltrans-trimming sap runs down the back of your throat while all the fullness of beauty is still fresh on the tongue. Smoky, tobacco-and leather-ridden patina just starting to peek through. Black and bitter in the finish, the Alexander Valley definitely shines through in the end, laying that tannin you WANT all over your face.
Never out of balance. Never over-the-top. Pretty much perfect.
2016 HERZOG Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma 14.0