What’s the Deal with “Mountain” Cabernet? 

September 16th, 2019

Paste Magazine Excerpt By Amy Glynn September 16, 2019  

"The wine made from these vines is-well, I might as well commit to this astrology trope, because Hesperian’s Kitoko Vineyard Cabernet is pure Sagittarius. Urbane and worldly, sanguine and philosophical, a wine with an unhurried, understated-elegant kind of vibe and a genial, sociable nature.  ... There’s a great depth and purity to it, precise focus, lovely dynamic tension, a certain wide-ranging-ness that somehow suggests intelligence."

Meanwhile, on Atlas Peak, Philippe Langner’s new, more fireproof house is under construction, and Cabernet vines roll gently over the edge of a pretty intimidating slope-walking in the Kitoko vineyard can give you pause (and vertigo). The vista’s gorgeous even with the still very noticeable burn scars that crisscross Napa Valley. The wine made from these vines is-well, I might as well commit to this astrology trope, because Hesperian’s Kitoko Vineyard Cabernet is pure Sagittarius. Urbane and worldly, sanguine and philosophical, a wine with an unhurried, understated-elegant kind of vibe and a genial, sociable nature. The 2015 Cab is a beautiful wine from a less-than-beautiful vintage (Philippe has been brutalized by Mother Nature more than once), and more nuanced than a lot of Napa cabs, at least for my money. The sheer amount of layering in this stuff rivals a good pinot noir: an olfactory tapestry of cherries and blackberries, leather and coffee, cedarwood and incense, blackcurrant and toasted bread, spearmint and violets, cocoa powder and oak and a trace of what might be the absolute sexiest smell in the world to a writer: old books. There’s a great depth and purity to it, precise focus, lovely dynamic tension, a certain wide-ranging-ness that somehow suggests intelligence. You can pair it, as I was fortunate enough to do, with a dinner table crowded with wild mushrooms and witty, interesting, well-traveled people; it’s a cultivated beverage well-suited to cultivating relationships.

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