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Winner!: Best Domestic Wine Classic

Hi folks, As fun as it is discovering unknown regions and obscure varietals, sometimes you’re in the mood for a classic. Like the other night, when I pulled up the streaming service Kanopy and selected Gabriel Axel’s 1987 Best Foreign Film winner, Babette’s Feast. Set in a small Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life….wait, I’m supposed to discuss the wine I had with it. 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Cabernet.

Well luckily this wine is equally impressive and also an example of a true classic, the 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Cabernet. There’s no better time than now to revisit Napa Cabernet, as the 2018 vintage was an exceptionally long harvest that created wines of beautiful depth and longevity. This production by Napa legend Rick Forman is all from his fabled Forman Vineyard, and rounded out with 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot. The elements of sweet cherry, red plum, and spice played together beautifully and then, most memorably, finished with the silkiest, smoothest tannins I’ve encountered for some time. It has a medium-to-heavy-bodied mouthfeel, with touches of tobacco, cedar, and leather that remind you why Napa Cabernet is the benchmark it is. Being the animated chef that I am, I whipped up a little ratatouille that paired quite nicely, and the wine is even aggressive enough to hold its own with my extra-strength stinky cheeses. While not quite the extravagant seven-course meal I observed while watching Babette’s Feast, it did go nicely with its themes of spiritual enrichment through sensory delights.

Anyway, back to the wine. We all know what price a Napa appellation can command, however, I say at $49.99/bottle it’s a steal for being from a remarkable vintage, drinking beautifully now, and an example of a true classic. 93 PTS VINOUS Expected in Friday, let us know if you want any set aside! Jay

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