Commission Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 | “bold, sultry, and impeccably polished ”
Commission Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 pours a deep ruby, with lightly stained tears. Ripe and juicy aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry are rounded out by mouthwatering notes of vanilla bean, pie spice, toast, and a touch of white pepper. Bold and fruity on entry, the palate is loaded with ultra-fine, crushed velvet tannins, supported by fresh black cherry and black currant fruit. Toasty hints of smoke, mocha, and vanilla linger through the finish on this textbook Julien Fayard Napa Cabernet. Drink now – 2027.
Between the modernist label, 100-point vineyard source, and all-star winemaking talent, the 2018 Commission is a complete work of consumable art worthy of every connoisseur’s bucket list. And given our $35 exclusive, it’s equally worthy of your everyday Cabernet rotation.
Phenomenal Mountain Estate
It’s from a marquee Pritchard Hill estate that has attracted some of the most talented winemakers in the world, including Helen Keplinger, Helen Turley, Philippe Melka, and Michel Rolland, who still consults. The blockbusters from this mountain vineyard start at around $500 per bottle and go from there.
So, when the banner 2018 crop was going to result in excess grapes, Melka protégé Julien Fayard got the call. Of course, Provence-born, Bordeaux-trained winemaker whom Robb Report dubbed “the new name to add to that shortlist of superstar consultants.”
It’s an open secret that many of Napa Valley’s most sought-after bottles are helmed by French winemaking consultants. Less reported is the underground grape trade that occasionally takes place between them, often at deeply discounted “friends and family” rates that would shock those who aren’t part of the network.
Winemaker Julien Fayard
So, once this pristine surplus crop was quietly handed over, Fayard opted to preserve as much of its vineyard character as possible. While leaving it unfiltered and doing a series of fining, oak, and blending trials to sculpt Commission into the ultimate Napa Cabernet. The final blend rested for 20 months in 30% new French oak, a modest regime that let the fruit purity shine while accenting it beautifully with oaky spice and nuance.
Cabernet Sauvignon is Fayard’s forte. And his C.V. reads like the inventory of a Cabernet lover’s dream cellar. First, he worked at Château Lafite and Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux before setting his sights on Napa. Then working with Philippe Melka on projects like Gemstone, Dalla Valle, and Lail. While these projects provided Fayard with a deep understanding of the Valley’s vineyards, and the proof is in the performance of his own wines. Which of course have made legions of fans out of our customers.