A King of Cabs

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There are few grapes that are as well known in Napa Valley as Cabernet Sauvignon.  Most every winery makes at least one, and every sub appellation vies for the best, the most unique, the most impactful, fruit to make this king of wines out of. Faust celebrates an ongoing, and renewed, passion for Agustin Huunees, that a great wine must be a reflection of a great vineyard.  This rich, full bodied Napa Valley Cabernet is sourced  from vineyard holdings primarily in Rutherford and Coombsville, with small lots from Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak and St. Helena.  This unique combination of powerful valley floor fruit, unique Rutherford Bench fruit, and acidic, bright, and interesting mountain fruit from Atlas Peak makes this a special wine. Faust is vinified at Quintessa, which was founded by Huneeus.  With his 50 years of history in wine, he firm belief in terroir is evident in this bottle.  Dark and rich, with dark chocolate and blackberry jam, a touch of Cabernet Franc and Malbec gives it an earthiness that offsets the rich valley floor fruit. If you’re looking for a splurge bottle, check this out – at $60, it’s worth a steak dinner! This wine was provided by the PR agency, but I drank it all on my own. Google

A walk in the clouds…

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A Walk In The Clouds, the somewhat cheesy although romantic movie set in Napa Valley in the 1940s had perhaps some of the most visually stunning scenery in a wine movie.  Yes, much of it was CGI generated, and yet the scenes are evocative of the early era in winemaking in California, and conjure up images of a time gone by.  Or has it? All of this Hollywood history brings me to my new favorite winery discover,  Rubissow Vinyeards.  Rubissow was introduced to be at the Wine Bloggers Conference this year, when Leslie Bramwell-Smith, who is working with them, invited us to taste and tour the Mt. Veeder property.  With a little scheduling magic, we finally go to take the opportunity and I am so glad we did! The house that sits on the property on Mt. Veeder was build in 1860 as a hunting lodge for the city folk, and they ran the property for game.  Mt. Veeder was the first grape producing region in these parts and some of the vines go back as far as that property.  The Rubissow family bought the property in 1983, but it had been a vegetable farm up until that time.  Converting a farm into a producing vineyard took some effort but it has paid off well.  Together with his partner Tony Sargent, Rubissow-Sargent was born, sourced entirely from the 45 acre Rubissow estate.  Peter Rubissow and his sister Ariel bought the property in 2004, and Rubissow Sargent became just plain (or not so plain) Rubissow.  winemaker Tim Milos is producing some really amazing wines up here, and these wines are one of the many examples of why I have come back around to Napa Valley. Up the hill, our blogger crew started out with a little hike int he blistering heat.  I pooped out halfway up the mountain, but that was enough for me.  The expansive view of Carneros to the south west was impressive and I sat in the shade with Liza while the others melted up top. There are two distinct terroirs up here, where the first is warmer and less windy, it is best suited for Cab and Merlot.  The second area is more similar to Carneros, where the fog rolls in and a hot wind blows, where Merlot develops a bracingly high acidity.  Winemaker Tim Milos really believes that place is important when tasting a wine.  If you can’t taste the place in the glass, what is the point?  Wines should be distinctive of their vines.  This is further refined by the two soil types, the top being volcanic and the lower elevations being marine sedimentary in nature.  Tim really allows the land to speak for itself in his wines, and it shows. The first time I visited Rubissow, it was August and it was about 102 on the porch.  We were all melting, but the wine was amazing.  This past weekend, I got to visit them again, when the fall colors were coming out and the […]