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Evaluate: 2020 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon

Contemplating the present dystopian climate timeline the effective state of California is experiencing in 2023, you’d be forgiven should you didn’t recall the horrible fires that ravaged Napa Valley in 2020. A lot of the area, together with an space our Editor-in-Chief then known as residence, was engulfed in smoke or hearth for weeks earlier than seeing some semblance of reduction. Add the uncertainty of the dual menaces of a world pandemic and recession, and issues bought a bit difficult for even essentially the most hardened of spirits.

Larkmead was no exception. The 2020 classic produced 80 days of temperatures above 95 levels Fahrenheit, and like everybody else on this planet, the operation needed to readjust and adapt to search out new methods of creating wine. Fortunately, Larkmead is positioned on a particular web site that historically fosters an earlier harvest interval, in order that they had been in a position to generate a big sufficient yield for the 12 months’s classic. Sufficient reminders of the unhealthy stuff. Let’s get to the great things.

This bottle is constructed with 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc which sat for 16 months in new French oak.

Proper from the beginning, there are immense notes of darkish cherry and vanilla which require an train in self-discipline, not desirous to drink this instantly with none time to settle. And with a little bit of persistence, there are rewards of spice and plum which present themselves, however by no means displaying something really out of steadiness. The palate stays the course and enhances the expertise, weaving by way of cocoa powder and mint earlier than touchdown on a contact of tobacco leaf on the end. Even with vibrant acidity and an honest quantity of tannin, it’s relentless and indulgent with out ever morphing into one thing too ahead or brutal.

This is able to be loved now or stashed out of sight and reminiscence for a number of years. Both means, I’m fairly sure each will yield pleasant outcomes: A bottle that endured in opposition to onerous odds, made with grapes that thrived beneath nature’s most difficult situations. The little bottle that would, and most actually does the job higher than most.

A / $125

2020 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon


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