After a week of plugging leaks and mopping up, was ready for something big and beautiful tonight and noticed I had a couple of these babies in the queue. Quick taste, heavy decant, and let the glory of Napa Cab flow through you. Deep, nearly impenetrable ruby with distinct purple-blue at the rim. Bitter, glorious tobacco–pipe and cigar–are the first to come at you, followed by vague glimpses of oak and the sultry dust of top-notch fruit. Ripe and nutty-flush with almond paste and praline coating, the berry an indescribable meld of swollen examples.
Tasting it releases a whoosh of some of the most restrained, acid- and tannin-influenced fruit I have experienced from this label. Something similarly I noted the other day regarding his Chardonnay. Are Donald’s wines getting thinner and lighter-handed? I would not be the only person to cheer this move. Oh, it’s still buttery smooth and packed with crimson splendor, but stops well short of all-out Napa grandiosity. Clean, light plum and raspberry vie for dedication and agility through the mouth-feel, but underground, violent seams of mineral and angular structure abound. Smoky-sharp and dedicated to pin-point placement of all nuances, the finish a layered monstrosity beset with complications, complexity through-out a tome I’m not willing–or qualified–to write. This will prove to be one of Patz’s longest-lived and most-misunderstood wines I PROMISE.
2019 SECRET DOOR Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Vyd. Stags Leap Dist. Napa Valley 14.0