Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 68

YEAR'S BEST US CABERNETS & BLENDS
and foresty. The tannins are not aggressive,
but they do lend the wine some power. It's
markedly elegant cabernet for $25 a bottle.
-J.G. (W&S 6/20; 262 cases) §
520088

91 | Goldschmidt

521679

92 | St. Francis

$50

2017 Alexander Valley Reserve Cabernet
Sauvignon ^ From vineyards in the mountains above the Alexander Valley, this wine
has the volcanic undertones of Mayacamasgrown fruit. It's a powerful, earthy red with
flavors of fresh blueberries, and cool forestfloor notes of moss and mushrooms. Michael
Kowalski of Miraval in Lenox, Mass., found
the tannins mouthwatering in their baker'schocolate grip, suggesting a match with
"tomato-based eggplant anything, or a steak
with green salsa verde." - J.G. §
520092

92 | Trig Point

91 | Alexander Valley
Vineyards

$65

91 | Embankment

$25

2015 Alexander Valley Cyrus ^ This is a lively
blend of Bordelais varieties, focused mostly
on cabernet sauvignon (46 percent), merlot (32 percent) and cabernet franc (15 percent). The bright red-plum flavors have a
glint of ironlike tannins. The finish is brisk
and savory, with an herbal line underneath
the fruit. Ready to drink with a salad of beets
and blue cheese. - J.G. §
520090
2018 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ Nick Goldschmidt makes
this wine from a vineyard planted on gravelly
loam. He keeps it light and fragrant by shortening the pumpovers during a cool-temperature fermentation. Even so, this wine's clean
cherry-red flavors carry some brash fruit tannins, but the overall feel is youthful, brisk
68

WINE & SPIRITS

$150

2015 Alexander Valley Plus Yoeman Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ^ This grows at a
mountain vineyard east of Geyserville, with
a southeast exposure. It aged for 43 months
in 100 percent new oak and though its complexity is already apparent, its ambitions
have not yet been fully realized: The silk and
satin textures carry fruit that's both austere
and a little candied, layered with plum-skin
bitterness, pencil-lead scents of fine oak and
tannic angles. A young tough, this needs several years in bottle to mature into a gentler
place. -J.G. (W&S 6/20; 185 cases) §

DECEMBER 2020

519833

90 | Rodney Strong

$28

85 | Nick Goldschmidt

$18

2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ This wine's red fruit shows
some green-herb notes when first opened, a
brisk, bright counter to its velvety richness.
A day later, that greenness retreats, leaving a
gentle, clean cabernet with touches of anchochile spice. (W&S 4/20) -J.G. §
521670

$24

2017 Alexander Valley Diamond Dust
Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^
This is Nick Goldschmidt's project, based at
a benchland vineyard facing south-southeast, and it's a pretty astonishing Sonoma
cabernet for the price. Its rush of tannins-
more like those of mountain-grown fruit
than benchland-adds depth to the wine's
sumptuous fruit. It's formidable and graceful, and if it lacks some detail, it is, after all,
$24. -J.G. (W&S 6/20; 4,979 cases) §
521686

earth and mineral tones, along with the walnut-skin bitterness of oak. That tannic edge
would be tamed by food, particularly duck
braised with prunes. - J.G. §

2018 Alexander Valley Fidelity (Best Buy) ^
Mostly merlot (75 percent), along with cabernet and petit verdot, this wine's heady fruit
captures berries inside the blunt tannins of
oak. For barbecued meats. - J.G. §

521684

91 | Jordan

$58

2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ^ The cherry gentleness of Jordan's style
comes through in this 2016, both rich and
airy in its tart red fruit. You might find notes
of cranberry and pomegranate layered over
the cherry scents, the moderate weight of the
wine leaving room for food, whether an array
of roast autumn vegetables, thick-cut lamb
chops, or both. - J.G. §

CHALK HILL
521527

93 | Chalk Hill

$70

2017 Chalk Hill Estate ^ Chalk Hill's 300
acres of vines, on a rise above the Russian
River Valley to the west and the Alexander
Valley to the north, grow on varied topsoils
over white volcanic ash. The top selection of
red wine from the estate consistently focuses
on cabernet sauvignon and malbec (this
vintage 49 and 40 percent, respectively, with
11 percent petit verdot). The combination
takes cabernet's red fruit notes of cherries
and currants toward a gentle, gamey richness.
It's meaty and savory, lasting on floral notes
of lavender and violets. Sustaining freshness
over the course of several days, this is a wine
to cellar, or to decant for roast squab. - J.G. §

DRY CREEK VALLEY
521631

90 | Lambert Estate

521683

90 | Alexander Valley
Vineyards

$50

2016 Alexander Valley Alexander School
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ^ This is a lean
cabernet with chewy tannins that bring in

$39

2017 Dry Creek Valley Thoroughbred
Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ Kirk and
Vanesa Lambert, an American and a Peruvian, met in Australia, where they make a
Thoroughbred Cabernet in Barossa. They


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Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 8
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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