Here’s a seriously crowd-pleasing wine. Nose crowded with a full litany of holiday bread-spices and a fat chunk of toasty oak. Ripe, lush berry positively glistening from every pore. Thick baby-fat working around the tiny mint and suggesting some stoniness to come.
In the mouth, a bit more streamlined–thank Dog. A welcome thin-ness (to this reviewer at least–but maybe not the 99) tones down the chubby nose with generous layers of acid and fast-approaching structure. Crisp and stemmy, it’s all pomegranate seeds and pie-cherry on the palate, causing you to forget–and to re-visit inquisitively–the original bouquet. Nope, all the Wagner-family gloss is still there, but tasting it brings a whole nother wine to the party. Brilliantly fruited and not shy with the tannin, the dark concentration of the fruit continues long into the finish, a grating, raspy tannic play with ruffled skirts of black cherry and swelling orchestration.
Quite an interesting juxtaposition of a wine. I was quite ready to write it off as I rolled my eyes into the nose. But tasting it erases most of the flabbiness and presents a very Bourdeaux-ish profile of hesitant fruit behind shrill columns of structure. It’s so young, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and say give it a year or two. I’m giving this one thumb down for the flaccid, over-wrought nose and two thumbs up for the actual tasting profile. The nose never lies, but in this case–considering the power and finesse of the body–I am willing to make an exception. It’s a beautiful cab. It just smells like Austin Hope.
2018 WINES THAT DELIVER ‘Vell-here I am’ Cabernet Sauvignon Pacheco Ranch VYD Marin Co. California 14.5