La Honda SI

Stunning deep tertiary in the nose: gobs of sweaty leather and rusty metal with just the right amount of minty eucalyptus and smokey, cold conifer to brighten things up. Black cherry a dark, robust movement, spiked with sharp tobacco, stony dust and incredible polished plum and currant. Dark ruby in the glass, with basically no brick at the rim. Smelling this wine is an event in itself, begging tasting which can NOT go wrong. No decant.

The first taste a glorious intake of spice, pepper and rich fruit. SOOOOOO ridiculously sumptuous and polished, elegant beyond words, but mired in the pointed charm that is SCM cab. It smacks HARD of Kathyrn Kennedy and aged Ridge Estate, Beauregard and Byington. ALL my favorite stops on this trail–though I’ve never heard of this one. It seems they source from a variety of vineyards, so there could be some over-lap. I feel like this wine is possibly at near-prime, though wines this balanced and delicious can prove nearly timeless. Sweet and packed with briary blackberry and mountain gooseberry, dry glimpses of rasp: nutty sandpaper and grating peat influence a finish of acclimated tannin. I will grab almost ANYTHING off the shelf from this AVA–even completely unknown–and it almost ALWAYS rewards. This is no exception. An incredible bottle.

2013 LA HONDA WINERY ‘Salinian Block’ Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains 13.7

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