Winemaker Keith Emerson is very well known for his work at Robert Craig and Gundlach Bundschu, and he has taken the highly lauded 2010 vintage and crafted a full-bodied red that would stand up to the ultra-premium wines in the category. Constantly searching for these quirky little projects, it’s almost shocking that this is the very first vintage of the wine we tasted. Past consultant winemakers have included Philippe Melka and Heidi Barrett, whose wine we usually jump at when someone else is paying the bill.
Owned by Chuck and Anne McMinn, the Cru Cabernet is not sourced from their estate vineyards in St. Helena. Instead Emerson blends a few top secret sites that he has connections with, however you still get the feeling that there is some mountain fruit inside the bottle.
Vineyard 29 Cru Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($40) – Deep purple in color, with big aromas of cherries, chocolate and spice with just a slight hint of cedar. It’s a sexy and alluring Cabernet right from the start, with layers that unwrap themselves one by one until there is nothing left but a whisper of tannins. The alcohol is masked by the fruit, and we’re guessing that this Cabernet is pushing over 15% but at no time does it feel hot. A standout bottle for Napa in this price range, can be cellared for another 10 years. 94 Points.