Karo-Kann Cabernet Calistoga 2016 | Britt Nichols takes historic Vineyard to New Heights
Karo-Kann Cabernet Calistoga 2016 presents a rich and vibrant black-cherry-juice color. While impeccably integrated sweet oak spice—think whole vanilla pod, clove, and cinnamon stick—vibrate through currants, cassis, cedar, and a whiff of pencil shavings. So, this is textbook Cabernet Sauvignon. Mouth-watering acidity makes you sit up a little straighter and snap to attention.
Sappy tannins and structural acidity like this usually comes at a far higher price. While flavors of tart cherry and cranberry join the slightest suggestion of pomegranate. And shooting laser-like over the tongue with tentacles of subtly salty minerality, tea leaves, a hint of tobacco. Ending with a finish that harkens back to those oak spices from the nose. Drink Karo-Kann Cabernet Calistoga 2016 now—2028+.
Alluvial Soil | Calistoga Historic Vineyard
The Karo-Kann Cabernet Calistoga 2016 range of flavors and aromatics is a result of the primarily alluvial soil. As well as the dash of fruit that grows in the sedimentary soil that dots the property. Plus 1% Petit Verdot, whose spice notes are both understated and crucial. Add to that the fact that the vineyard is planted on both flatter sections and more vertiginous hillsides. And Nichols has access to a veritable spice shelf’s worth of Cabernet expressions to work with.
We can’t tell you vineyard source is behind this expressive Karo-Kann Cabernet Calistoga 2016. Yet having access to juice like this almost always comes with a promised vow of silence. But the range of soils and varied geography there have resulted in a Cabernet Sauvignon of unusual expressiveness and potential longevity. It’s also the terroir that gave such world-shaking depth of character to one of the vintages that made the entire French wine establishment question everything it thought it knew at the famed Judgment of Paris in 1976.
Winemaker Britt Nichols
So, winemaker Britt Nichols has more pedigree than many winemakers twice her age. Starting with time spent at Jordan Winery and alongside legends Nicolas Morlet and Philippe Melka. Like those of her mentors, Britt’s Cabernets are deep in color, rich, and intensely concentrated. Yet unlike all too many Napa Valley Cabernets, these are also wines of great class, sleekness, and polish.