Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2013

I’ve long been a sucker for meaty, chewy California reds. Which is probably what I miss most about no longer living in the US. (Besides my friends who would share meaty, chewy California reds with me.)

Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2012

That goes a long way in explaining why the Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was on the short list of my favorites of the 40+ I tasted a few weeks ago at the TopVino Festival in Ljubljana.

Mt. Brave sits 425-550m (1400-1800ft) above sea level, above the fog line in Napa’s Mt. Veeder, the first vineyards to be greeted and warmed by the sun each day. The altitude and soils makes it a challenge; the berries are smaller, resulting in smaller grapes with more concentrated flavors.

Lots of concentrated forward fruit, a delightful, decadent mouthful. The lingering tannins tell me that this wine is a savage beast, one unleashed –untamed– a bit too soon. I’d love to try this again in a decade. I’d also like to be able to afford a glass of it in a decade. Founded in 2007, with noted California winemaker Chris Carpenter at the helm. €85

Stonestreet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2013

Lots happening here. Ripe fruit on the nose, polished oak; blackcurrants, blackberry, plummy. But again (and again and again), it’s too young. I felt the effort to give it balance and help it evolve to something more complex than a fruit bomb. The ground work is there. It’ll rock in five years which is a shame, because I’ll likely never come across this again.  €39

 

Tasted Oct 2016, prices are local (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
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