Leviathan Red 2019 | Gorgeous Generosity | 95JS
Winery | Leviathan Red 2019 boasts a generous masterpiece showcasing a rich and dense core with dark ruby and a hint of magenta in the glass. Aromas transport the senses to a violet flower patch wrapped in dark chocolate, mint, and cassis. The mouthfeel is complete, layered and balanced with dark fruit, spice, and concentration. Muscular tannins carry you home to a storied finish. Drink now–2030.
Notably, Leviathan Red 2019 is a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc. It highlights some of my favorite growing regions in northern California: Coombsville, Carneros, Red Hills, Moon Mountain, Fountaingrove, and the Sierra Foothills.
Drinking the 2019 is like taking a tour of Northern California’s wine regions. In Sonoma, Moon Mountain contributes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah, while Fountaingrove throws in Syrah and some of its own Cab Sauv; Napa adds some Coombsville Merlot; the Red Hills AVA in Lake County adds a third batch of Cab Sauv, along with a bit more Petite Sirah.
And the Sierra Foothills AVA tosses in some of its own Syrah to round out the blend. It all comes together after 16 months in 100% French oak (25% new), adding the sumptuousness and spice that are Leviathan trademarks.
Vineyards by Annie Favia
If you can, put Erickson’s many 100-point wines out of mind for a moment. Why? So we can focus on the other half of the Leviathan equation. That would be the accomplished viticulturist Annie Favia. So Annie has worked with Kongsgaard, Corison, Abreu, and Screaming Eagle and also happens to be Erickson’s wife.
While Annie’s clout does wonders in securing high-quality fruit from Los Carneros and Coombsville in Napa County, Dry Creek Valley. In addition, Moon Mountain in Sonoma County and Red Hills up in Lake County. Of course, fruit that, because of the way of the wine’s two principals, finds its way into Leviathan.
So, do you want to taste and own a few bottles of wine crafted by arguably the most acclaimed winemaker in Napa? That’s a rhetorical question. Andy Erickson’s Leviathan Red 2016 has captured the essence of California in yet another outstanding vintage. This bottle sets the standard for under-$50 California reds.
Winemaker Andy Erickson | Screaming Eagle fame
So, this is one of the very few under-$50 bottles with Erickson’s name on it. Because Erickson’s name is pure gold. And wines with his fingerprints on them usually fetch prices deep into triple digits.
In addition to crafting the most sought-after cult wine in California, he has made wine for Staglin, Arietta, Harlan, Spottswoode, and his own labels, Favia and Carbone. But critics and consumers have noticed that Erickson’s magic touch extends to Leviathan.
Antonio Galloni of Vinous calls Leviathan Red 2016 “one of the best values in California.”