Off The Cuff Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 | Stunning | Should be $250++
Off The Cuff Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 pours Deep purple in color. There is a charming fruitiness to the nose, with ripe boysenberry, blueberry, and mulberry aromas that show a touch of vanilla, allspice, and mocha complexity. The palate is fruit-forward and plush. Supple tannins caress the juicy black cherry, blueberry, and cassis flavors, finishing with just a touch of spice. A ripe and rich Cabernet that will delight Napa fans.
The estate that sold us the grapes, just off the Silverado Trail, sits within miles of the famous Meadowood resort in the Cabernet high-rent district of St. Helena. Their wines have won 99- and 97-point scores from Robert Parker, who has called them “full-throttle” and “fabulously rich.” Vinous’s Antonio Galloni described the small winery as “among Napa Valley’s elite.”
Second Release – Top Under-40 Winemaker
When we tasted the sample, glistening purple to the edge in our glass, it was clear this was great. This is plush and juicy in all the right places. It’s the kind of Napa Cabernet we want to pour with every course. And at this price for fruit that goes into wine that costs many times more, it’s a deal not to miss.
The guy behind this debut release is one of our top under-40 winemakers in Napa, a soil-whisperer in the vein of Stéphane Derenoncourt or Philippe Melka. He has a geologist’s knowledge and an artist’s touch with everything from mountain volcanic rock to silty, sandy loam. Through connections to top estates, he’s handled some of the most exquisite blue-chip Cabernet fruit around, including from Beckstoffer and Pritchard Hill. But one Rutherford plot had remained tantalizingly out of reach—a White Whale he could somehow never lay a finger on.
Rutherford Richness | A ‘must-buy’
So, for a soil nerd like him, this plot epitomized the famous Rutherford dust quality. Yet, in the heart of Napa, the vines’ roots were sunk deep into well-draining loam interspersed with gravel. A sun-soaked microclimate led to drawn-out hang time, and this bottle’s seductively fine, almost powdery tannins, evoking the appellation’s famous tasting note. Run by a single family since the early 60s, the owners have always been selective with who they sold to. And they were never, ever short on demand.