Small Victories

Today I bring you a bargain Cab. People always screamin about *bargain cab*–is there any left? where does it come from? what’s your favorite bargain cabs? Oh yeah, there HUNDREDS of bargain cabs out there: you just need to know where to poke around. And this is possibly BARGAIN OF THE DECADE in Cabernet. How much does it cost? A lot more than people consider a bargain. STAY WITH ME.

Inky purple: a tiny ruby glow where the light gets through. Thick and concentrated in the nose, but not the rich jam of round decadent fruit we typically refer to as “concentrated”. No, this is a different animal: the concentration of briar and brush and earth and wind and mountains and trees and fog and tar and leather and sweat. Thick–almost pitchy–and powdery in bouquet, a colloidal suspension of all things excellent, and there’s fruit–TRUST ME–but the kind of ripeness here runs a razor’s edge with sharp delirium.

And the ‘Small Lots’ moniker is not the usual *small lot wine*. The short version is: There’s a handful of backyard vineyards around SCM planted from Kathryn Kennedy cuttings. These remote locations are gathered and 1000 cases are made. A project fraught with potential disaster, but–most likely through careful vine management–here they pull it off.

Tasting it takes you back 4 decades in CA Cab production. Stupidly young, but I couldn’t wait to get into one of these before its 11 siblings disappear in my cellar for-EVER. Holy wow what a wine. It’s like being licked by a purring cat. It’s a wine so devious in its assumed focus. EVERYTHING you pray to baby jesus for every time you open a cab is crammed into this bottle. Fire and spit and the kind of chalky, abrasive texture slathered all over disgustingly rich blackberry, pomegranate and pie-cherry. The bitterness burns holes in the mouth: the sting of the needle a small price to pay for the rush. Tannin claws at everything. Buy 2 cases–drink one a year. Join a club if you have to. Call a rep. Beg them to let you put it in your set–on your list–BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

2018 KATHRYN KENNEDY ‘Small Lot’ Cab Santa Cruz Mountains California 13.9

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