Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Declarative Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 1849 Wine Company puts as much into their labels as their wine.  Usually, I am turned off to eye-catching labels, my knee-jerk reaction when I am hit with heavy-handed marketing techniques.  I must admit, though, that the 1849 label art is striking.

The wine company describes their fascination with the bottle as drawing "inspiration from the contemporary art movement of the 21st century."  The graphics are provided by Los Angeles street artist Saber, whose work is as political as it is attention-getting.

"But," you might ask, "what of the wine inside?"

I'm glad you asked.  The winery boasts that they pride themselves on "creating California wines of the highest quality and expression," while championing the artistic endeavor.  I have found, after tearing my eyes away from the label and sampling the juice, that they have met their goal.

Declaration, their 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, was blended in St. Helena from "Napa Valley vineyards and surrounding hillsides," although the company does not publish much more information about the wine.  Declaration was aged in barrels made from French, Hungarian and American oak, 30% of which was new while 70% was previously used.  Alcohol checks in at a 14.5% abv and the retail price is $80.

The 2015 Declaration has a gorgeous nose featuring blackberry, cherry, lavender, graphite, vanilla and sweet oak spices.  The palate is a delightful playground of dark berries and that Napa dirt, which doesn't seem all that dirty, really.  It drinks fruity and young, but has firm tannins and plenty of aging potential for the coming years.

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