It was an incredible experience at the Wine Advocate Matter of Taste event in Napa, yesterday. Big highlights included a fateful journey through famed vigneron Christophe Baron’s Cayuse and Horsepower wines from vintages 2011-2016, hosted by the Wine Advocate’s Washington reviewer, advanced sommelier Anthony Meuller. I was blown away with how the 2013 vintage was showing now and the new ‘16 vintage shows amazing promise.
I also attended an epic Opus One tasting, with the Wine Advocate’s lead Napa reviewer, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, and Opus One winemaker Michael Silacci, highlighting not only the yeast trials and the blending process but vintages 2005, 2007 and 2010 — all highly distinct wines that are absolutely magical at this stage in their respective developments. Michael has been winemaker at Opus One since 2004 and it was gratifying having him speak about the attention to detail that he puts in each of his incredible wines.
Holding strong from WA was the 2015 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 98) which is showing incredible viscosity and texture with a silky mouthfeel. Other highlight wines from Napa included the 2012 HALL ‘Katheryn Hall’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 96), 2016 Bevan ‘EE Tench’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 97), 2016 Carter Cellars ‘Beckstoffer To Kalon’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 98), 2015 Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 98), 2008 Dominus Red Wine (WWB, 98), 2016 Larkmead ‘Solari Black Label’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 98) and from Australia the 2016 Torbreck ‘The Factor’ Shiraz (WWB, 97) and the 2014 Penfolds ‘Grange’ Shiraz (WWB, 98). It was a scintillating tasting that I won’t soon forget, highlighting some of the very best wines of the world.