Cardinale Red Wine 2014
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
A magnificent wine made the by the brilliant winemaker Chris Carpenter, who also works for the Kendall-Jackson empire at Lakoya and a handful of other estates, this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot is sourced from multiple vineyards owned by the Jacksons, from Veeder Peak to Spring Mountain to Howell Mountain. In 2014, it reminded me of a great vintage of Pontet-Canet from Pauillac, but slightly bigger than life. The inky purple color, the stunning nose of cedar wood, unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, crème de cassis and subtle new oak is followed by a multi-layered, profoundly concentrated, large-scaled wine with sensational levels of blackcurrant fruit moving toward blackberries. A wine of great intensity, silky tannins and adequate acidity, this is clearly one of the great, great wines of the vintage, and another tour de force in winemaking from Carpenter. It is a 15- to 20- year wine, but the window for drinking its is probably that big as well. P.S. If you want to catch Chris Carpenter doing something other than making exhilarating wine, check out the Rutherford Grill on Friday nights, where he tends bar and makes some pretty badass cocktails.