95 Insider Points
Napa Cab, the king of California reds. A strong nose of oaky raspberries, strawberries & black currant. The light-medium body is well-balanced with oak tannins, rich plums & blackberries, flowing into a long, tasty finish. Excellent for your party favors and game nights. - 95 points, JZ September '17
2014 Muscatine Cabernet Sauvignon
Estate Soda Canyon, Napa Valley
'Epic!' from the Base of Atlas Peak | Micro-Lot
Napa Valley, CA
$0 SHIPPING Selection (6+/btls)
Tom Muscatine’s farm may be Napa’s tiniest estate vineyard. Together with his mom Draselle Tom produces two barrels of wine a year (about 48 cases) from their .5-acre property. Because of their vineyard’s size, and because it sits about 30 seconds walk from the Muscatine winery and cave (also, as you may guess, tiny), everything here is done by hand on a level so micro—blink, and it’s gone.
Muscatine’s famed Cabernet grapes are picked four bins at a time and carried to the winery to be immediately pressed before Tom and Draselle return to pick the next batch. We cannot think of a shorter time frame from vine to fermenter, and this accounts for the wine’s vivid blackberry fruit, concentration and depth.
The location of Muscatine Vineyard happens to be the emerging Soda Canyon region—a pristine place of awesome natural beauty that remains relatively unknown, even by locals. When biologist and wine lover Leonard Muscatine “discovered” the spot for planting his first vines in 1999 the land was then covered in scrub, rocks and a plethora of poison oak. Little did he know, this had been an ancient vineyard of repute, before being abandoned during prohibition. Muscatine devoted himself to refurbishing the site and chose a French clone of Cab grafted to special rootstock exactly right for the steep hillsides and the rocky, volcanic soil. His efforts have more than paid off, with vintage after vintage of tiny amounts of gorgeous wine. An ager, as well as an absolute delight to drink now.
Reasons why we love it:
- Draselle Muscatine, wife of the late Leonard, continues to tend to the family’s vines and assist son Tom in the winery although well into her 80s.
- This 2014 Cab, like all produced at Muscatine, is hand-crafted with minimal intervention. The wine is always bottled unfiltered and unfined, after aging for a full two years in French oak.
- Soda Canyon sits just below Atlas Peak, off the Silverado Trail and in prime Napa Valley. The area is defined by a number of sloping hills, and the terroir and climate are perfect for elegant Cabernet and other Bordeaux varietals.
- The terraced Muscatine Vineyard was first planted by Italian immigrant Antonio Rossi in the 1870s and 80s—with the help of several mules. While those vines had long since died off by the time Leonard Muscatine purchased the property, the original rootstocks were alive and flourishing.
Big and bold in style, Carnivor Cabernet offers intense, dark fruit aromas and deep, inky color. A plush, velvety mouthfeel frames rich flavors of dark berries, coffee, mocha and toasted oak, all backed by a distinctive smoothness and a lingering, silky finish.
Miniscule Estate family vineyard and winery up Soda Canyon Road, northeast of Napa. In a word: ROBUST. Ripe, heady black cherry liqueur framed by sweet toasty oak. Medium/low acid, soft tannins, potent. Food matches: braised beef short ribs, grilled hangar steak with mushrooms & onions. Drink now through 2020.
Showcase this bottling at your next dinner outing. Perfect foil to pair with filet mignon, prime rib, and duck confit.