94 pts, Steve Heimoff - Cameron Hughes 2013 Lot 597 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley); $32, 14.9%. This wine is so inky black and tannic, you might think it was a Petite Sirah. Cameron says it’s from the famous Stagecoach Vineyard, and it does have fantastic mountain concentration. The tannins are considerable: they sting the mouth and shut it down. A fatty, char-broiled steak would work, but far better is to age this wine for eight years, maybe even longer. There’s so much going on way down deep under the astringency: black currants and black raspberries, cassis liqueur, leather, violets, dark chocolate, mushu plum sauce, smoky oak, herbs, spices, the works. The wine is absolutely dry, none of that semi-sweet cult thing going on, and while there’s some headiness from alcohol, it’s even-handed, just enough to let you know this is a wine of heft. I really admire this Cabernet.
In the glass, Lot 597 is opaque and lined with a deep ruby rim. After a decant, rich aromas of dust, bramble, and wet stone mesh with undercurrents of raspberry jam, smoke, and floral nuance. The palate is refined and elegant, with fine grained tannins enveloped by dark berry flavors that linger with intensity and focus. This wine will retain youth and age beautifully for the decades to come, and should be seriously considered as a cellar candidate.
Style: Full, Bold
Flavors: Blackberry, Cassis