Grapelive: Wine of the Day May 26, 2018

2014 Corison, Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley.
Cathy Corison’s historic run continues with her 2014 Cabernets, and while the 2012 and 2013 versions were absolutely amazing wines, I must admit this 2014 St. Helena Napa Valley might be my all time favorite, it is a stunning wine without a single flaw I can detect. Winegrower Cathy Corison, the first woman winemaker/winery owner in Napa Valley, produces an artisan crafted, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that is terroir driven in the same way you’d think of the top Pauillac Bordeaux(s), sourcing great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as growing her estate grapes for her Kronos and Sunbasket with organic practices, these are wines of depth and energy that have very few rivals. It’s been a top producer since 1987, with the Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon being sourced continuously from three benchland vineyards near the winery set on classic Bale gravelly loam with plenty of Rutherford dust, gravel and cobbles that allows for good drainage and aiding in ripening of grapes, Cathy works hard to achieve full ripeness without high sugars to promote lower natural alcohols and more life in these deeply flavored wines. Cathy’s winemaking is largely non-interventionist in style, she has always leaned toward the natural and her wines always show each vintage individually, she handles the grapes with extreme care and this Napa Cabernet saw a full 20 months of barrique aging, impressive for it’s purity and freshness this 2014 is just awakening in the bottle, but is remarkably balanced and joyful in it’s youth, though don’t be fooled this is a wine for the ages and is built to go 25 years at least with deep powerful fruit, solid tannins and vibrant acidity that explodes every detail on the palate. Layers of blackberry, marionberry, cassis/currant, plum and kirsch fruit core elements on the full bodied palate along with a surprising mineral note, sweet tobacco leaf, acacia/violet floral tones, a touch of smoky vanilla, sage, cedar and minty anise. Certainly less opulent and juicy than the 2013, I think this 2014 (which is like 1992 meets 2001) is even more captivating, complex and serious, it’s a thrilling Cabernet Sauvignon, this a wine that expresses the true greatness of Napa Valley, it’s honest and delivers a world class performance, it’s one of my top five Cabs of the vintage, maybe even in the top two so far with Ridge’s Monte Bello! This gorgeous black/purple and garnet stuff feels built and dense with an underlying grace, drink between 2021 to 2030, though it will be so hard to keep from opening it sooner, if you do, be sure to decant and have with robust simple cuisine.
($100 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive