Cardinale Red Wine 2017
|California, Napa Valley
A beautiful wine from the vintage, with 5% Merlot, this opens in soy, cedar and leather. Grippy in its youth, it is integrated, cohesive and elegant in its firm grasp of power and intensity, with nuanced layers of black currant, blueberry and dried herb. This will only get better; enjoy best from 2027-2037.
A resounding success for the year, the 2017 Cardinale is truly impressive. It is also one of the most refined young wines I have tasted here. In most vintages, Cardinale is predominantly made from mountain sites, but the 2017 is roughly equal parts mountain and valley floor fruit. Inky blue/purplish fruit, white flowers, lavender and mint all build in the glass. Lifted and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is exceptionally polished.
A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from throughout the valley that was brought up in 80% new French oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by its Stags Leap fruit (which is 30% of the blend) and has the classic elegance and spicy character of that district as well as great red and blue fruits, a seamless, building mid-palate, ripe yet present tannins, and ample tobacco, earth, and spice aromas and flavors. It's plush and textured on the palate yet has the structure to evolve for two decades.
There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced. 1,440 cases produced.
Offers a ripe and focused beam of crushed raspberry and blackberry preserve flavors, laced with sweet toast notes but still dependent on fruit, picking up anise and apple wood accents through the finish. Shows freshness at the very end, adding lift. Best from 2021 through 2032. 1,440 cases made.