Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley, California

“Altagracia, named after Bart Araujo’s grandmother, is a Bordeaux-style blend vinified in the same manner as the Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. It is essentially the expression of the Eastern parcels of the Eisele Vineyard, completed with fruit sourced from other Napa Valley vineyards where we hold long-term grape contracts and which are farmed to our specifications. This Napa Valley Proprietary Red, while very ageable, is readily enjoyable in its youth.” – winery. Each block was harvested at optimal ripeness between Septmeer 30th and October 19th, the latest harvest in 7 years. There was little to no sorting required in the cellar. Once in tank, excellent extractability resulted in a high level of polymeric anthocyanin and moderate tannin levels, leading to very balanced and refined young wines. Coincidentally, the ‘elevage’ in oak was slightly shorter than usual (19 months) with a fair amount of lightly toasted oak, leading to bottling in June. The 2018 Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon unfolds with a nose of intense black fruit, wild blueberriesand fresh black currants with a whiff of dried violets and tobacco. The mouthfeel is ample but firm with mineral notes of volcanic rock, forest humus and hints of dark chocolate. On the palate, the wine shows great depth thanks to extended maceration, with a refined texture of tight-knit tannins supporting the energetic black and blue fruits. As the wine opens, layers of floral notes, peppercorn and cardamom add to the complexity. 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot.