2018 Napa Valley Red Wine

2018 Napa Valley Red Wine

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Our 2018 Cave Dog Red comes from the mature vines at Beau Terroir Vineyard, which sits on a hillside in southwestern Napa Valley, otherwise known as Upper Carneros.  These are the vines that gave us Bourriquot for so many years. 

Interestingly, as in our last vintage, the vines gave us 50% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, a remarkable consistency.  And while we have the unmistakable spice and dry brush notes of Cabernet Franc, there is a plush fruitiness from the Merlot that shows how much the vines liked the cooler year and more abundant winter rains that allowed them to ripen slowly until October 9.  Because both varieties were able to ripen at the same time, they were co-fermented, encouraging early integration. 

And though we once again bottled this wine at a modest 13.9% alcohol, the richness from the Merlot which makes this a more immediately enticing wine to drink than just about any vintage so far of Cave Dog Red.  In this it reminds me of the 2004 wines I made, the last of three increasingly warm years.  Those wines are in full stride of giving pleasure now, nowhere near slowing down the pace.  This is definitely a vintage to enjoy sooner than some others, but it has framing tannins to keep it developing for many years. 

 

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