2013CorisonCS2013 Corsion, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.
One of California’s top Cabernets and a winery you must visit, Corison is where it’s at with a gorgeous lineup of savvy and pure wines, I was lucky enough to taste through on a recent day trip to Napa as everyone in the valley was rushing to get things in order for the fast approaching harvest 2016. Sadly I missed Cathy Corison herself, but the wines spoke elegantly for her and told an amazing story of her passion and hard work, from California’s first woman winemaker/vineyard/winery owner, she has made historic wines under her own label since the late 80’s and at Chappellet before that! While her Kronos Vineyard is her pride and joy, a wine that needs no introduction, I also love her Helios Sun Basket Cabernet Franc and her Anderson Valley dry Gewürztraminer, done in a vital Alsace like style, but I couldn’t not pick her main wine and currant offering the 2013 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as my pick of the day, it’s a beauty and has the potential to be nearly perfect, loaded with deep fruit, complexity and graceful in balance and length. Corison like Ridge (Monte Bello) are fantastically Californian in style and purity, but they also have souls like First Growth Bordeaux, especially when you taste older vintages, certainly when tasting Cathy’s 1999 Napa along side you were transported to Pauillac, and this 2013 is like a young Latour, but much more giving and drinkable even this young, this is a classic in the making. The 2013 Napa highlights a forward vintage, but a wine with extraordinary detail and gripping focus, you can feel the underlying power and depth, this vintage starts with classic smoky violets, black fruits and creme de cassis and has a full bodied rich texture and a palate played with dusty plums, blackberry, mocha, licorice, sweet tobacco leaf, cinnamon/vanilla and mild loamy earth. Somewhat old school, like Dunn, the Corison Cabernet is not a fruit bomb or like chocolate fudge in the glass, this is wine not sexed up for scores, but made in a style that evokes the magic of place and has everything you’d ever want in a wine, and in particular a wine that will be for a special moment in the future, as great as it is now for a young wine, it will be so much better in 10 or 15 years, hopefully I’ll be around and have the chance to taste this wine again in 20 years! For a winery on the famous HWY 29, Corison is tiny and reflects personal commitment to quality, you should get on her list and be sure to visit, even for a long time wine pro, this was one of the best Napa experiences I’ve had, I have total admiration for Cathy and her wines, some of best there is, plus her staff, especially Silas who gave a gatecrasher like me such a great tasting, it was truly awe inspiring, and each wine was a marvel, this 2013 Cabernet, the 1999 Cabernet, the 2013 Helios Franc, the vibrant Gewurz, and the holy cow masterpiece that was the 2012 Kronos! A special place, a special day and wonderful people, wow, so look for the current 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and put some away, it’s a treasure, drink from 2018 to 2035.
($90 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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