2018 was such a momentous vintage all around, but it was especially magic “Up Valley.” The one acre La Place Vineyard, located at the southern end of the Calistoga AVA, truly excelled. The gravelly soils here create a wine with huge aromatic personality and ultra-fine tannins, and the steady warmth and sunshine of the vintage worked wonders. Aromas of marionberry, blueberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, anise, cured tobacco, French oak spice and a whiff of sage blast from the glass. There is a brightness combined with depth that is striking. In the mouth, one finds a suave, seamless, rich and layered classic Cabernet with inner-mouth perfume and a plush texture. The finish is detailed, long and rich, with none of the desiccated characteristics of the hot years. The impression is pure, delicious fruit. 195 cases were produced from 8 new French oak barrels.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon La Place Vineyard, located in Calistoga, is a blend of 97% Cabernet and 3% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly and black cherry compote plus touches of pencil shavings, tobacco leaf and fragrant earth. A lovely array of floral notes begin to emerge on the medium to full-bodied palate, accenting all the wonderful black fruit layers and supported by a firm backbone of grainy tannins, finishing long, energetic and refreshing.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon La Place Vineyard comes from a site in Calistoga and is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, all brought up in new oak. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, violets, white flowers, and a kiss of minerality emerge from the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, and about as seamless and elegant as they come. It’s another gorgeous wine from winemaker Mike Hirby that will evolve for 20 years or more.
Juicy and compact, with a wound-up core of plum sauce, licorice snap and blackberry jam notes that should unwind soon enough, as the structure is polished and friendly in feel. Good finishing kick of fruit on the toasted finish too. Drink now through 2032.