2015 Corison, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.
Cathy Corison’s 2015 Cabernet lineup is a spectacular set of wines with her Kronos and Sunbasket rising to utter greatness, but do not overlook her regular Napa Valley bottling which is seriously brilliant stuff and not far off her elite top two offerings, it just might be the best Napa Cab for the money out there. Corison’s career and successes are legendary and she really is living history, making some of the best wines of the moment, all crafted with authentic charm and hand crafted precision, these are gorgeously proportioned Cabernet Sauvignon(s) with vivid detail, luxurious in texture, though with solid tannin and well judged acidity and wood use. Cathy’s Cabernet Sauvignon makes for a powerful wine, especially this 2015, but she likes to put it, she has found that brilliant, intersection of power and elegance showing a deep sense of place and while warm and ripe she has found a remarkable balance in her wine, this is a 20 or 30 year wine, but one that can be drunk young with thrilling results. Knowing most of the job is in the vineyards, Corison invests 90% of her time to the vines and works as natural as possible and is dedicated to sustainable practices, with Kronos and Sunbasket being organic, while as known for her non-interventionist approach in the cellar, allowing the grapes purity to be the focus of her attention. Corison’s main wine, has been and is a classic, made since 1987, the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has been sourced from three benchland vineyards located between Rutherford and St. Helena, all on gravelly loams made from an alluvial fan formed from the Mayacamas range to the west.
These soils make Napa Valley and are the underpinning of what makes Cabernet so great here giving the wines their depth, complexity and the velvety mouth feel and Corison’s 2015 shows wonderful concentration, a heady dark floral perfume and intense inky color in the glass. Remembering 2015 was a severe drought year and bared a tiny crop, some which was caused by a cold snap during the flowering that limited the number of clusters, then August brought heat that speeded up the harvest to a record early pick in Napa, so it took Corison’s deft touch and gentile winemaking to achieve the phenomenal results she got here, this is a Cathy wine that delivers a stunning performance. I always find a hidden sensation of the exotic in the Corison Cab, and the 2015 does not disappoint with a hint of dry port (without alcohol heat) and crushed violets before opening up on the full bodied palate to black currant, blackberry, blueberry and surprisingly bright cherry fruit along with savory tones, loamy earth, tobacco, sage, black licorice, wild mint and mineral notes, in a gripping and forceful wine that adds plum, creme de cassis, smoky vanilla and a cinnamon(y) spicy bite. Aged 20 months in small Bordeaux barrels, the 2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet gets better and better with every sip, it’s a bottle that you do not want to find empty on the table, it goes great with food, in particular with hard cheeses and lots of protein rich dishes, and while I was a huge fan of the 2014, this one is every bit as good and maybe just a bit more sexy.
($95 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive