Prime rib, that king of beef cuts, earns its place as a celebration centerpiece. Serve it with a red as dark as the char. Wine Advocate gave 96 points to this brick house, loaded with black fruit and firm tannins.
Cardinale's Cabernet Sauvignon is unique in the valley because it is blended almost entirely from fruit from each mountain appellation: Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain, and Diamond Mountain. High above 1,500 feet in elevation, the grapevines struggle to ripen and form small, intensely flavored, thick-skinned berries. Master winemaker Chris Carpenter blends this wine each year expertly, optimizing the wine’s harmony of acidity, structure, alcohol, fruit, and soil elements, in a way that simply can’t be done in a single vineyard. This is the key to this wine’s greatness and uniqueness, and the kind of selectivity practiced in the Bordeaux first-growths.
There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced.