Not long ago, we were the first to offer the 2014 “Consortium” Cabernet Sauvignon from a group of California wine industry friends calling themselves Band of Vintners—kind of a Traveling Wilburys-style supergroup of sommeliers and winemakers whose stated ambition was to create the best “pound-for-pound” Cabernet in the Napa Valley.
The wine, priced at just $35 but delivering at a much higher level, was a smash hit with our customers; using their insider connections and knowledge, the “Band” was able to secure fruit from one of Napa’s great vineyards, a source they kept secret in an effort to keep the price down. This is everything one could ask for in Napa Cabernet, and we’re thrilled to have just received a fresh shipment of the wine—if you loved it before, here’s a chance to re-load. If you haven’t yet tried this wine, do not miss this chance.
The Band of Vintners is comprised of Mark Porembski, Stephane Vivier, Dan Petroski, Cameron Hobel, Barrett Anderson, Brennan Anderson, and Jason Heller, who’ve crafted a wine that combines serious source material and equally serious talent. A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this succulent red was aged for 18 months in once-used French oak, allowing a sense of place and varietal expression to show through. According to “the Band,” the outcome, “is a wine we believe makes a strong case for one of the best quality to price ratios in the Napa Valley, and something we’re proud to share with our friends, family, and neighbors.” When you taste this wine, you will wish you had more. It will inevitably become a bottle you will pull out for guests again and again at an affordable price point.
The 2014 Consortium Cabernet exhibits a dark crimson core with purple and garnet reflections on the rim. Classic Napa Cabernet aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry liqueur, fresh boysenberry, and black cherry are infused with notes of wet violets, coffee, fresh leather, tobacco, and the ideal touch of high-quality vanilla bean and baking spices. The oak aromas impart just the right nuances and are perfectly integrated and balanced without being overbearing (as many Napa examples often are). On the palate, the wine is medium-plus in body, well-balanced, and exceptionally fresh and alive. Its soft, silky texture, and integrated, polished tannins are wrapped around layered flavors of soft black fruit, leather, tobacco, cedar, cocoa, and subtle exotic spices. It is already stunning in its youth, but will be hitting a sweet spot as the weather cools in the next few months. It’s peak should come in the next 5-7 years, although it could even surpass a decade in the cellar if kept well. For a recipe worthy of Napa doing what it does best, try Thomas Keller’s recipe for Lamb Shanks à la Matignon.
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc