From the Wine Shop
Young Inglewood, VENN, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, California 2018 (750mL)
VENN Wine Co. is a true family affair, formed in 2013 by the mother/son winemaking team at SAINT Helena’s Young Inglewood. Jacky and Scott Young build on their work there, crafting traditionally made wines, yet showcasing the abundant fruit California is known for, all with an eye towards early drinking. Like their flagship line, VENN offers wines sourced solely from impeccably grown organic vineyard sources, with native-yeast ferments and low-intervention work in the cellar. The idea was simple in its conception: “Purity and liveliness are the aim,” writes the duo.
The Youngs’ lineup has grown slowly over the years, until it solidified last year. Not surprisingly, the top wines are largely drawn from their organically farmed 14-acre estate vineyard in the benchlands of St. Helena, which has had vines planted continuously in the rocky gravelly loam since the 1870s, and has had just four owners in that time. Currently, it houses a blend of mature Bordelais varieties, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, bordered by 150-year-old oak and olive trees. Reds are supplemented with fruit from the neighboring “Dos a Dos” vineyard, which edges Rutherford, bringing duskier red fruit to the mix.
This 2018 Cabernet is a mix of both these vineyards and a harmonious, restrained vintage has set the perfect stage for the wine to flaunt its pedigree and a classic style meant to evoke Napa’s Golden Age. Bordeaux enthusiasts will likewise be thrilled with this bottle, which, while fruit-forward, has a savory edge—herb-tinged and underscored with earthy notes. Cabernet Sauvignon (87%) is certainly dominant, offering cassis and black cherry fruits, while smaller dollops of Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Malbec (1%), and Petit Verdot (2%) brighten the mix, adding more red fruit and spice. Grapes were picked over a four-week period and were committed to a further 3-4 weeks native fermentation on the skins in stainless tanks. Aromatics are pure and fresh, thanks to minimal sulfur use. On the palate, the dark berry fruits integrate throughout with spice, cocoa, and coffee. Smooth, fine-grained tannins from a 20-month élevage in French Oak (20% new) bring balance to the wine and frame the plush texture in addition to the juicy acidity. At 14.3% alcohol, it treads a fine line, delivering a rich yet poised rendition of a California (and French) favorite. Grab some of the scant 400-case production to drink with abandon now and for mid-term cellaring.
- CountryUnited States
- Sub-RegionNapa Valley
- SoilRocky Gravelly Loam
- BlendCabernet Sauvignon 87%, Merlot 5%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Malbec 1%, Petit Verdot 2%
- OakFrench Barrels, 20% New
- Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
- GlasswareBordeaux Stem
- Decanting30 Minutes
- PairingStrip Steaks w/ Green Peppercorn Sauce
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