3pk - 1 bottle of each
2019 Capture Pine Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Captûre’s Pine Mountain vineyard straddles the peak, a jaw-dropping 3,000 feet above sea level. The unforgiving mountaintop is dry with fine volcanic gravel and rocky patches offering no traction for anything but the hardiest grapevines. The clusters that survive here are few, small, and sparsely fruited – giving every tiny, thick-skinned berry the space to reach its full potential. This desolate place is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller blocks of Merlot and the highest elevation Sauvignon Blanc in the U.S.
Our 2019 Pine Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was handpicked in the cool morning far above the fog line of the mountain, before being destemmed and sorted at the winery. The fruit goes through a quick cold soak for 3 days before fermentation begins. The juice is pumped over between 2 and 4 times per day to help soften the powerful Pine Mountain tannins during this time. After fermentation, the juice is drained and goes through a traditional basket press to allow for the ideal levels of extraction before the wine is put into a variety of barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging.
This Cabernet Sauvignon wraps the rugged spirit of the mountain in an elegant frame. Impossibly dark and inky, a bouquet of freshly picked raspberry jumps out of the glass with cola spice, violets, blueberry pie, and hints of brown sugar. Rich raspberry compote, cassis, and milk chocolate notes reveal themselves on the palate, overlaid with warm pepper and spice box aromas. The palate is prominent with mountainous tannins that will age gracefully in the cellar.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is lifted with graphite and pencil shavings, compact blackcurrant, and dried tobacco leaf. It has powerful mountain structure, with black plum skin, a bit of gamey iron richness, and dried herbs.
93 Jeff Dunnuck
2018 La Jota Merlot
The wines of La Jota have deep roots in Napa Valley. Back in 1888, winemaking pioneer W.S. Keyes planted some of the first vines on Howell Mountain, and 10 years later his contemporary, Fredrick Hess, built a stone winery and established La Jota Vineyard Co., named for its location on the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Both men won medals for their Howell Mountain wines in the Paris Exposition of 1900. Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. proudly carries on this great legacy with its small-production mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. All La Jota wines are sourced from the winery’s estate and from nearby W.S. Keyes Vineyard, and they capture the intense fruit and mineral complexity of these cool-climate origins.
The La Jota Vineyard lies high upon a volcanic plateau, looking east over Napa Valley. Surrounded by pine, fir, oak and madrone trees, the estate stands out because of its cool, windswept climate. Here we look to vineyard blocks that produce soft-textured Cabernet Sauvignon for wines of earlier approachability, and where the decomposed granite soils of our W.S. Keyes Vineyard impart a pop of bright fruit character and broader tannins.
We hand-harvested grapes into small, 30-pound boxes to prevent crushing, and then we brought them to the winery for hand-sorting. After destemming and light crushing, the must was cold-soaked for gentle colour, flavour and tannin extraction. Winemaker Chris Carpenter fermented the juice with native yeast in a combination of open and closed-top stainless-steel tanks. Following gentle basket press, the wine underwent in-barrel malolactic fermentation, rounding the acidity and integrating the vanilla character of French oak. The wine was barrel-aged for 22 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The balance between nobility and approachability are the continued hallmarks of the La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot. Sourced from vineyards with pedigrees dating back to the 1800s, this wine continues to carry the torch of Howell Mountain’s greatness. The aromatics are lifted with plum, huckleberry and minerality leading the way. Bittersweet chocolate and dried herbs add the punctuation to an incredibly long balanced finish.
Reductive on the nose, this bold mountain red is brimming in plum, cranberry and currant, with underlying earthiness that complements in savory cedar and tobacco. High-toned acidity and lifted aromatics provide a balance and brightness that surprises and lengthens the impressive palate.
95 Wine Enthusiast
Refined, rich and powerfully structured flavors of cherry, currant and dried raspberry are tensile, supported by firm acidity and tannins. Ends with a minerally flourish on the firm finish, with notes of savory herbs.
95 Wine Spectator
94 Robert Parker, 95 James Suckling
2016 Caladan Cabernet Franc
Caladan represents the endless cycle of life, learning, and exploration. Before Cabernet Sauvignon, there was Cabernet Franc. This elegant grape, long prized for its spicy aromatics and lithe energy, was in fact the genetic parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Christopher Carpenter captures the rich complexity of this distinguished variety with Caladan. Caladan shows an elegant synthesis of Cabernet Franc and Merlot that reveals the utterly unique essence of four Napa Valley mountain appellations: Spring Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Diamond Mountain District, and Mount Veeder. The smaller proportion of Merlot bolsters the supporting structure and lends breadth to the wine’s fresh, silken aromatics.
Serving as the foundation for Caladan’s flavor profile, the Yverdon Vineyard on Spring Mountain reaches 2,000 feet in elevation, making it the coolest of our sites. This, combined with a geology that is dominated by sedimentary soils, creates a consistent floral and red fruit combination of flavors with a fine tannin structure. The culmination is an elegant expression of the mountains in Napa Valley. The 2016 vintage began with a prolific spring that brought an ample amount of rain which helped replenish the soils. A steady growing period followed and showed no major heat spikes, allowing for perfect ripening throughout the season. An early finish to harvest laid the groundwork with an even, generous crop that showed a promising future during this exceptional vintage.
The 2016 Caladan opens with dark cherry, Asian spice, and floral notes of rose petal on the nose, followed by a lush palate. The Cabernet Franc and Merlot ride in perfect harmony throughout the long finish, with delicate minerality and sleek tannin structure.
This is a sneak peek at the new (only the second release) Cabernet Franc-based Cardinale wine! Blended of 81% Cabernet Franc and 19% Merlot, the 2016 Cabernet Franc is medium to deep garnet-purple colored with crushed black cherries, redcurrants and kirsch with hints of damp soil, pencil shavings, rose hip tea and lavender. Medium to full-bodied with a firm backbone of grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, it delivers bags of perfumed fruit and a long mineral-laced finish.
95 Robert Parker
The 2016 Caladan is a new Cabernet Franc-based wine from Cardinale made with the same principles as the flagship, meaning that winemaker Chris Carpenter has the freedom to draw across the Jackson family's vast range of vineyard sites in crafting the blend. Dark, dense and voluptuous in the glass, the Caladan certainly has plenty of richness.