Try this Enchanting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Try this Enchanting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A high-end beauty from Stags Leap

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Many wine lovers know that the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley produces remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines such as Shafer, Clos du Val and Pine Ridge make superlative cabs but, for some enthusiasts, there’s a catch. They need time in the bottle to make your investment pay off. Not necessarily so for today’s wine, the 2015 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon. I have found in previous tastings that this wine, although beautifully complex and layered to a fault, drinks well right from the starting gate. (Just decant it for an hour.) If you want an approachable “Meritage” that still delivers the bells and whistles, I heartily recommend this wine. A note: Chimney Rock suffered from the horrible fires that struck the region in 2017. I’m hoping all will be well for them but, in the meantime, here’s an earlier bottling hitting on all cylinders.

2015 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District $80 srp

Opaque purple color in the glass. A fresh nose of Bing cherry, blueberry, cassis and cigar smoke. There is a pine element typical of the region, plus graphite, chocolate and tar. Yet elegance runs through it all. … Flavors continue in a similar mode, with cherry, dark berry and cocoa elements. With aeration, the lushness of the mouth feel is enchanting, with a peppery and “stony” finish that holds it all together. I think “harmony” is the key word here. (81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot) Drink now-2024.

94/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.