- BlendCabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot
- WinemakerRussell Bevan
- RegionCalifornia North Coast
- AppellationNapa Valley
- VineyardTench Vineyard and Sugarloaf Vineyard
Lerner Project Cabernet Sauvignon Project 18 Napa Valley 2019
Wooden pallets. Yes, those that carry cases of wine all over the world! Stu Lerner was a highly successful pallet maker - enough so to purchase 91 acres of prime Napa Valley real estate. He hired rockstar winemaker Russell Bevan and is well on his way to becoming the “insider” cab for those in the know. 96 POINTS!
Russell Bevan fans will know the vineyards in this blend – a barrel selection of fruit sources from two of Russell’s favorite vineyard sites, including Tench Vineyards in Oakville and Sugarloaf (it is worth noting that both Tench and Sugarloaf consistently score between 96-100 points). This year's blend is 75% cabernet sauvignon from the revered Tench (yeah, that vineyard adjacent to Screaming Eagle in Oakville!), and it is a total barnburner. The 15% merlot and 10% cabernet franc are all from south Napa’s spectacular Sugarloaf vineyard, at the end of the same Vaca range that journeys up Napa Valley’s eastern edge – with stops at Atlas Peak, Pritchard Hill, Stagecoach, and Howell Mountain. Good dirt, undoubtedly, and the cooling breezes of the Petaluma Gap make Sugarloaf one of the best places to grow cabernet franc and merlot in the entire Napa Valley.
If you like subtle, softly elegant wines, then keep on looking, because this is a massive, no-holds-barred, uber-concentrated cabernet with incredible polish and fruit purity...in the classic opulent Napa style. The winery’s stated goal with this pedigreed fruit is simple – to make the best under $100 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon that money can buy. Did they do it? Maybe, just maybe, they did. The Oakville-ness of this cabernet is classic – rich, earthy core, beautifully layered dark berry fruits, and a highly-polished power waiting to be unleashed. The cooler site of Sugarloaf adds the lift – some pretty floral notes, some tobacco spice, and taut mineral, graphite-laden edges – granting a depth and expansive breadth to both the entry and the culminating finish. This is a monstrous wine that will age seamlessly for decades – and yet, it is remarkably up-front and delicious now even in its youth. The savvy collector will start with three, and seriously consider more...with less than ten cases remaining, fortune certainly favors the bold with this rare wine!
PAIRING IDEAS: Stir-fried Flank Steak with Yellow Onions – perfect. We make rice, too, and add a bit of ginger and sliced garlic in the water (or better still, make the rice with chicken stock), and a kaffir lime leaf if you have it!