What do you get when you bring together legendary Napa Cabernet vineyard, Eisele, and the ownership group of Chateau Latour? Four perfect 100 point scores in 5 vintages! Eisele delivers “freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks,” notes the Wine Advocate. Color us impressed, not to be missed for serious collectors.
First planted in 1880, Araujo’s Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga is steeped in mythology. The vineyard is a good example of the transcendent power of a great terroir, because no matter who makes the wines, they always provide an extraordinary drinking experience. Even before Bart and Daphne Araujo purchased this gravelly, cobblestone-laden vineyard in 1989, legendary wines like the 1971 Ridge Eisele, 1974 Conn Creek Eisele, and 1975 Joseph Phelps Eisele Cabernets galvanized its position as one of the greatest sites in not just the valley, but all of California. Today winemaking and blending is overseen by Frédéric Engerer, who is also CEO of Château Latour. There is something magical about the Eisele vineyard. There’s no other way to say it. Effortless power, intense, gravelly goût de terroir, and haunting cassis perfume make this one of the great wines of the United States. The Estate Cabernet wine is made from THE prime cut of Eisele Vineyard, one of the most purely alluvial vineyards in the entire Napa Valley, whose gravels and stones were washed down via Simmons Creek over millennia. It’s this alluvial character, which Cabernet Sauvignon roots crave, that lends credence to the argument that Eisele Vineyard is simply the finest site in the entire Napa Valley. Being a Cabernet Sauvignon collector without Eisele in your cellar is like being a rock and roll fan without a single Beatles, Who, or Stones album in your possession. This American Grand Cru is required drinking if you crave the best in life!
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color. Its nose begins a little reserved, slowly revealing a quiet intensity of freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks emerge. The medium to full-bodied palate is simply arresting, offering a a myriad floral and earth sparks amidst a black fruit core and with seamless, firm, very fine-grained tannins. Well-knit freshness brings forth layer after layer of delicate nuances on the very long, mineral-laced finish. The team at Eisele, led by Frédéric Engerer (of Chateau Latour) and beautifully orchestrated by winemaker Hélène Mingot, have knocked it out of the park this vintage with this singular expression that both embraces the site's heritage and reveals parts unknown.