First Knoll

Light and beautiful, golden-hued with bit of tartrate. I like seeing light, transparent Cabernets come out of the bottle. They don’t need to be watery-thin or anything–let’s not get carried away–but sometimes it’s a welcome change from impenetrable black concentration. Nice rosy nose full of ripe fruit and generous earthy notes.

This is a delicious Cabernet. That’s the best word I can come up with. It’s not swinging for the bleachers–or falling flat and limpid. Nice and moderate throughout, balanced in all ways. Chiseled berry explodes across the palate, acidic in granular ways and reflecting gobs of steely minerality. Tannins are delicate, nothing garish obfuscating the finish or late-middle. They gently climb into bed with the elegant cherry, exuding more subtle finesse of brambly raspberry than oak or chocolate. A black pillar of fruit anchors the core, providing much-needed density start-to-finish.

The wine is so ridiculously even-keeled, drinking pleasantly at 3 and while common theory may be it doesn’t have the *stuffing* to last, I beg to differ: citing a body not over-wrought, plentiful acid and fruit, with bitter tones evolved miraculously, but above all: a balance of all parts feigning easy approachability. For a tiny label, there’s a decent quantity of this produced and HIGHLY recommend grabbing a few. It is moderately-priced for regional Napa Valley Cab, and shows the chops for decades of enjoyment. But good luck keeping your hands off it in the cellar. This would be an amazing restaurant wine, perhaps a tad expensive for that duty, but once people got it in their system, you couldn’t keep it in stock.

2018 IDENTITY WINES ‘First Pick’ Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll District Napa Valley 14.5

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