Mission Codename When you know you know
Now that we know, are we cursed? Come again?
Probably we’re safe. Even without knowing what Curse of Knowledge exactly means. What we DO know though is that we’ll be damned if we could find a better wine to announce California Wine Month with, OR have concocted a better, deeper deal than this Melka-Koschitzky-made Cab blend, no matter where you go on this planet.
That proposal is impossible to put together out of Napa Valley, where top-quality grapes can cost $19 per cluster! When you look at the gamut of cult wines the Melka-Koschitzky alliance accomplishes there, adding a zero is where things start. Yet when you venture outside the box and head East until you hit the Sierra Foothills, mother nature is generous enough there to allow miracles to happen. It’s easy to come across Napa jewels, but to find true value in a red that epitomizes California is hard.
You’ll recall the Andis name from a couple of amazing old vine Zins we have featured from them. Well, they have been quietly brewing this blend that puts Sierra Foothills on the map in a whole new way.
In an interview with Somm Journal, our friend Lorenzo Muslia of Andis explains; “it seemed as though there was a preconceived perception of our wine, and it made me feel like I had something to prove. I wondered, ‘Why are people so skeptical and scared to try our wines from this region?’ It took me years to understand that the answer was in the history of what we used to be. We were “cursed by the knowledge” they had about our region, and the only way to break that spell was to make extraordinary wines.”
Philippe Melka stands atop the California winemaking pyramid, having left his mark on countless wines and wineries, producing innumerable high-scoring gems for places like Seavey, Lail, Vineyard 29, Dana Estates… and Melka shares Andis’ winemaking with another key player, Maayan Koschitzky who honed his skills at the likes of Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle. How can you go wrong with a duo like that? The truth is in the bottle.
A lovely shade of crimson on the rim focuses towards a near opaque core of dark ruby. The perfume exhibits lots of crème de cassis and blue fruits intermixed with hints of BBQ spice. Charcoal and forest floor add onto blue and black fruits with ample weight and complexity. Impressively long with balance, richness, purity, velvety tannins, and a layered, opulent texture. Miso braised short ribs with shiitakes served over mashed potatoes and creamed spinach would be far better off served with this hearty red.
Heck of a bargain, wow, seriously eye-opening for what we were able to get it down to, guess it’s what happens when you start with Château Haut-Brion right out of winemaking school Mr. Melka!
Again: Melka-Koschitzky, Cab blend, 93 Points, 19 bucks.
Let’s see you back that truck up!
93 Points – The Tasting Panel
“A powerhouse that effortlessly releases red and blue fruit into a stream of violets and mountain brush. Fine acidity leans into an inner meatiness that keeps it as fresh as it is bold and complex. Floral and fruit aromatics persist through the finish.”
Balance, richness, purity, velvety, layered, opulent
A lovely shade of crimson on the rim focuses towards a near opaque core of dark ruby
The perfume exhibits lots of crème de cassis and blue fruits intermixed with hints of BBQ spice
Charcoal and forest floor add onto blue and black fruits with ample weight and complexity
Impressively long with balance, richness, purity, velvety tannins, and a layered, opulent texture
Miso braised short ribs with shiitakes served over mashed potatoes and creamed spinach
What the Winery Says
2019 'Curse of Knowledge' Painted Fields Cabernet Blend
- Philippe Melka & Maayan Koschitzky
- 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 18% Malbec, 7% Merlot
- Sierra Foothills, Amador County
- Andis Estate, Di Stasio, Camino Alto, Hack Creek, Rucksack, David Gerard
- Decomposed granite, sandy loam
- Total acidity
- 5.4 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0.4 g/L
- Harvest dates
- September 24-25, October 2, 16, November 6, 2019
- Bottling date
- May 2021
- 18 months
- 20% new French oak