Valley floor vineyards like Missouri-Hopper enjoyed the best of a spectacular growing season in 2018. Opulent fruit and fine-grained tannins are matched with perfect acidity in this remarkable wine that promises to stand the test of time. It’s an earthy, dense expression with dark, chocolate-dipped fruit and balance that belies the powerful concentration within. It’s a gorilla in a tutu, to be sure, and the contradiction is a complex ballet that will have you cheering for an encore.
Claus Janzen doesn't shy away from taking the road less traveled. He originally made his mark on the local wine scene with the wholly unique "Bacio Divino," arguably Napa's most successful Tuscan-inspired red. When he moved that project into the world of Cabernet, he did so with the philosophy that it would be the vineyards rather than the blend that would drive the program's success. So, like many other notable Cabernet producers, Claus turned to vine guru Andy Beckstoffer for fruit, and the rest as they say, is history. With the help of lauded winemaker Kirk Venge, he has created a range of Napa Cabernets with completely unique personalities, and the critics have taken note. He's even dialed in a sensational Pinot Noir from a serious vineyard down south. Some of our favorite wines year in and year out, you'd be wise to pay attention to this lauded producer.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard reveals a dense purple/blue color to go with more closed, backward (yet classic Missouri Hopper) notes of chocolaty dark fruits, tobacco leaf, espresso roast, and a hint of violets. Beautiful on the palate, it's a powerhouse that offers a monster mouthfeel, ripe, silky tannins, and a great finish. Despite all its concentration, it stays nicely balanced and has a wonderful sense of freshness, which is the hallmark of the 2018 vintage. This beauty will evolve for 25+ years.