Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
Fantastic vintage, fantastic winemaking and the addition of 10% Merlot make for a magical experience of structure and graceful complexity in this always impressive, collectible wine. Saline, dried herb, cedar, pencil and crushed rock provide a landscape of savory earthiness, while a hint of rich red fruit remains subtle and youthful in grippy intensity. Enjoy best from 2028-2038.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is based on a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that spent 22 months in 81% new French oak. It's a wonderfully complete, borderline perfect wine that shows the class of this estate as well as the vintage, revealing a seamless, full-bodied style that carries lots of blackcurrant, graphite, lead pencil, and tobacco aromatics, a deep, layered mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and flawless balance. As with most of Chris's 2018s, it's a wine that builds slowly with time in the glass, offering a layered, singular character. It's a gorgeous 2018 that can be drunk today with ample pleasure, but it will ideally be given 4-6 years of bottle age, at which point it should evolve gracefully for 30-40 years.
The 2018 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and sumptuous right out of the gate. Soaring aromatics and silky tannins add finesse to the dark mountain fruit. It's hard to remember a vintage with this much sheer appeal in the early going. As always, Cardinale is a blend of choice hillside blocks. In 2018, the core is built around Stags Leap, Atlas Peak and St. Helena. Winemaker Chris Carpenter has backed off some of the overtness of the past years, and that is a huge benefit in allowing the wine to be more natural, more relaxed. The 2018 spent 21 months in 80-90% new oak, and clearly has the stuffing to handle the oak. It is one of the most refined Cardinales I can remember tasting.
Ripe and dense, but sleek and polished, with red and black licorice notes framing the core of lush plum sauce, blackberry compote and boysenberry reduction flavors. A licorice edge struts on the finish too. A showy style that should have lots of fans. Drink now through 2036. 5,000 cases made.