2018 Cliff Lede “Poetry” Napa Valley Cabernet
“The Poetry Vineyard, carved into a steep west-facing hillside, reaches from the highest elevations of the Stags Leap District appellation to the valley floor. This vineyard draws its uniqueness from shallow, volcanic soils atop fractured shale. Due to the stressful nature of the site, planted with high vine density and farmed to very low yields, the vines develop slowly and produce small flavorful berries. The vineyard was designed by David Abreu and planted to legendary, proprietary heritage selections of Cabernet Sauvignon.
“In the cool darkness of night, grapes were hand-picked into twenty-five pound bins to minimize crushing. By early morning, the grapes were subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, which includes our cutting edge optical sorter and a slow, individual berry hand sort. The fruit was gently gravity-delivered to small tanks by our unique crane system, which kept the berries intact. Cold soaks lasted from five to eight days, and fermentations were managed through a combination of pump overs and délestage. Extended maceration of up to six weeks ensured exceptional extraction and fine-tuning of tannin profiles. Following twenty-one months of élevage in French oak barrels, 82% of which were new, the blend was selected from our best lots of the Poetry Vineyard.
“The deep garnet purple 2018 Poetry is already fully integrated, with its well appointed components all seamlessly leaping from the glass. Dark red and black currants, black raspberries, and candied violets form this elixir’s fruitier elements, while a bouquet of pretty ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac and tuberose blossoms decorate the balmy perfume. The lush, effortless quality of this vintage show in this wine’s unified precision and heady sandalwood, cedar, loam, and rose petal notes fleck the long fresh finish.”
“Composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry prances out of the glass with impressively flamboyant scents of blackberry compote, blueberry preserves, blackcurrant pastilles and candied violets, giving way to nuances of dried roses, menthol, powdered cinnamon and aniseed with a waft of cedar chest. Full-bodied, the palate is impactful yet maintains compelling restraint, featuring layers of crunchy black fruits, exotic spices and floral hints, framed by firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. This is one of those beguiling 2018 Napa Cabernets that is simply going to blow you away!” – Wine Advocate