My second expedition into Dusty’s cab since moving his source from Paso to Happy Canyon–and let me tell you: this is a region NEEDING to be on any true cab-lover’s radar. This place makes cabs on par with anything Napa or Alexander Valley can do. Don’t lump it in with the “Central Coast” offerings from Paso: this little corner of Santa Barbara County cranks out some SERIOUS cab. To wit: deep glorious ruby right out to the thin clear rim; a nose calving off ridiculous ripe fruit hinged on blackberry and deep cherry; dusty, briary nuances filling the bouquet; rich oak treatment laying gobs of sweet vanilla and tobacco all over the place; a glycerin-ey culmination of positivity difficult to reckon with. Decanted generously, as you can SMELL the youth and structure holding things back at this crazy young age.
Tasting it brings you several steps back from the rotund nose. Thin and pointed on the palate: gob-stopping fruit halted in its juiciness by shards of acid and tannin. While it slays perfectly the ripeness-game, concentration is lifted by a focus of structure as to dispel pancake-syrup and sweet-tooth inclinations so popular at the tourist wineries. This thing means ALL BUSINESS, and while it is not abrasive or un-approachable in its infancy, there are things at work below and between obvious pleasure that will make Bordeaux-geeks swoon. Bitter black walnut astringency seals the deal, capping the concentration at appropriate places as to offer a wine straddling that impossible chasm of *early enjoyment* and *seriously cellar-worthy*. You’re gonna like this wine NOW. You’re gonna want to drink it all. But set enough aside for a decade-plus of polishing. The tertiary–while invisible now–will be amazing. Buy as much as you can afford and try to forget about them in the cellar.
2019 DUSTY NABOR Cabernet Sauvignon Happy Canyon Santa Barbara Co. 14.5