The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is full of charm. It offers all of the natural intensity of the year, with bright acids that keep the flavours bright. Sweet red cherry, plum, cedar, tobacco and spice all build effortlessly. This open-knit yet classically built Cabernet is likely to offer a wide window of drinkability over the next 15-20 years. As always, Cathy Corison’s Napa Valley Cabernet is a blend of three sites in St. Helena.
Cathy Corison’s 2019s are superb. It’s hard to imagine that a producer with such a long and distinguished track record could still find an extra gear, but Corison has. Two-thousand nineteen was the first year in which farming was entirely brought in house, and that seems to have made a difference. The devil is in the details, as they say. Corison describes 2019 as warmer than 2018, especially in the critical months of August and September, with lower yields overall.
Drink 2025 - 2039
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (January 2022)
Full bottle 1,476 g.
Transparent crimson with a pale rim – looks quite different from the Napa norm! Really subtle 'claret' nose with the same sort of balsam notes and appetising appeal as many of the Monte Bellos I tasted recently. Very refreshing and restrained – more restrained than the average red Bordeaux nowadays. Fine tannins and notable acidity. Approachable – just – but clearly has quite a future. Neat, long finish. A brave wine!
Drink 2022 - 2030
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (November 2022)
Delicate herbal shadings accent the cassis notes on the nose of Corison's 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. It's classic Corison, balanced and concentrated without being showy or weighty, silky in feel, with a long, lingering finish and two decades of age-ability.
Drink 2022 - 2040
Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (September 2022)
A perfumed nose of blackberries, dark cherries, cedar, cocoa and nutmeg. Violets too. Medium body with fine tannins and bright acidity. Fresh and refined with a bright core of wild fruit and a long, flavorful finish.
Drink or hold
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (November 2021)
Alluring aromas of dark cassis, graphite, cedar and wild herbs. It has a striking depth with layered flavours and texture, and while restrained now, it is incredibly well-built and in need of time in the cellar to shine fully. It reveals subtle hints of fresh black and blueberries, currants, and dried herbs tinged with red florals. Finishes with polish, energy and poise.
Drink 2022 - 2040
Jonathan Cristaldi, Decanter.com (June 2022)
Lots of dark blackcurrants, cassis, darker chocolate, and hints of violets emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced St. Helena Napa Cabernet Sauvignon offering nicely integrated acidity, terrific balance, and a great finish. This quintessential Cathy Corison Cabernet shines on all accounts. It's going to evolve for two decades. 3000 cases.
Drink 2022 - 2042
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (March 2022)
About this WINE
North Coast's Napa Valley is California's most famous viticultural area (AVA), claiming some of the most expensive agricultural land in the world and producing wines of cult status.
Its 16,000 ha of vines lie over a strip (40 miles long-5 miles wide) of diverse soils (clay, gravely, volcanic), with its northernmost end on the side of Mountain Helena and its foot in San Francisco Bay. The valley is framed by two mountains ranges Vaca (to the north) and Mayacamas (to the south), yet the main climatic influence is the cool wind and fog that is sucked in from San Pablo Bay during the afternoon, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
The area enjoys a variety of unique microclimates, as temperatures can vary dramatically as much as 15 degrees, from the north to the south end of the valley. These differences have led to the creation of several sub-AVAs (14 in total) including:
Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain District, Stags Leap District, Yountville, Wild Horse Valley and Oak Knoll District. The Calistoga AVA is still pending approval.
Both the Napa Valley designation and the sub-AVA name must appear on the wine label simultaneously, with the exception of wines from the Carneros AVA, which is shared between the Napa Valley and the Sonoma County.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of Napa grapes, occupying over 45% of the vineyard acreage, followed by (predominantly) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cab. Franc and to a lesser extent Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto.
Frog's Leap, Dominus, David Ramey, Viader, Stag's Leap Cellars, Paras Vineyards, Heitz.
The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.
It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.
The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.