Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Napa Cab Bursts With Aroma, Flavor

Longtime Napa Valley winemaker Robert Pepi has been putting out a line of wines for nearly two decades, since selling off his Robert Pepi Winery to Sonoma's Kendall-Jackson.  He uses vineyards that interest him but don't suit the needs of his consulting clients.  Pepi - for reasons of his own or contractual ones - does not use his name on the bottle, opting for the Eponymous tag.  That would indicate that there’s some mystery about the lack of his name on the label.

The 2014 Eponymous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is all Cab, with the Napa Valley pedigree.  Three quarters of the grapes were grown in the Mt. Veeder vineyard, the rest in the bench lands below the Atlas Peak appellation.  A long growing season that vintage made for lots of hang time for the fruit in moderate heat.  The wine was aged for 20 months in 70% new oak, mostly French.  Alcohol sits at 14.4% abv, only 350 cases were made and the bottles sell for $60.

This Napa Cab is everything you'd expect from that billing.  Inky in the glass, it has a nose which explodes with ripe black and blue berries, licorice and vanilla with a hint of pencil point.  The palate is equally dark, with toasty oak and tannins that are quite firm.  The lush mouthfeel lasts long on the finish and leaves me wanting another glass.

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