I really don’t go out of my way to review small production wines (300 cases) in the $150 range from Napa, but this showed up on my tasting bench and I cracked into it without knowing how much it cost -- and it just kicked down the door. A very serious wine that is brought up in 80% new French oak (2nd fill barrels for the other 20%), this is already amazingly integrated. There’s plenty of toasty, spicy oak in the aromas and flavors, but they appear as accent notes, with rich, soft, very pure fruit easily holding center stage. This will improve for years, but not drinking it earlier will prove extremely difficult if you taste it now, so beware. The tannins are abundant but entirely appropriate to the weight of the fruit, and there’s no hint of over-ripeness or over-extraction. In short, this is very, very skillfully made, and much as I would prefer not to write this -- it seems worth every penny.
Hesperian, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley (California) Cabernet Sauvignon Kitoko Vineyard, 2015
93 Michael Franz Sep 3, 2019