Mission Codename Back to the roots
“Wine is structural and aromatic. If you cannot taste multiple aromas and textures, it’s a problem. The interaction of multitudes is much more interesting.” - Jean Hoefliger for Wine Advocate
OH yea, we’re out here like Thanos collecting those infinity stones - instead of powering up with colorful little rocks we’re loading up all kinds of red and white gems. And instead of harvesting innocent souls, we’re spreading vinous karma across the land with THUNDEROUS deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Like this banger from AXR for example. The 2018 vintage boasted fat points like a 96 from James Suckling. This one? Not yet rated but our money is on another big round of reviews.
Man, where to even start? This one utterly floored us. No fighting over the sample, we drained it in minutes (thanks for the help, Operative Egan!)
Let’s start with the winemaker - Jean Hoefliger. The Swiss talent is known for turning out countless 95-100 points wines in Bordeaux at Château Lynch-Bages, Château Carbonnieux, and in California at Alpha Omega, Newton, Hartford Court, among others. He’s also the genius behind the recently launched and very popular The Debate trio of wines. He took over at AXR a few years ago, bringing the same style - turned it up to 11, flashy, flamboyant, totally irresistible. All dialed in like Tom Brady’s two-minute drill.
In the glass, it’s all deep, dark magenta red, and packed with a complex sensory appeal from all sides. Loaded upfront with supple black cherry, crème de cassis, red currant, and a nice dose of secondary nuances - mocha, pencil shavings, vanilla, and toasty Christmas spices. Totally stacked from the mid-palate on back, it’s not quite over the top but toes along the edge of that flat-out concentrated fruit bomb style while remaining classy as heck. Or “perfectly balanced, as all things should be” in the words of Thanos…
In a highlight titled “Winemaker Jean Hoefliger on the Interaction of Multitudes” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate notes that “While science can confirm the physical aspects of a blend and provide analytics, Hoefliger points out that blending is still an art… a winemaker can be an artist, or a scientist, but they must still acquiesce to the demands of consumers… apparent in the notion that wines must be approachable straight out of the gate and have the ability to age for several decades. Hoefliger believes that the legacy of Napa Valley will be established by using both science and art.”
Wine Spectator adds that “Jean Hoefliger is on a mission, and he admits it’s a doomed one. He wants to make a ‘perfect wine.’ …he quickly admits, ‘It’s unattainable. I want to keep trying to make wine that everyone will like, but I’ll never do it.’ But if imperfection is his fate, Hoefliger still makes impressive wines… he has a big personality and approaches his winemaking with plenty of energy.”
That personality and energy is LOUD & CLEAR here, obviously this will fly out of here at a record pace. We got our cases. Now, all you serious Cabernet lovers need to go ALL IN on this one before it’s gone.
Supple black cherry, crème de cassis, red currant, oak
In the glass, it’s all deep, dark magenta red, showcasing a core that’s impenetrably inky
Supple black cherry, creme de cassis, red currant, and a nice dose of secondary nuances
Packed and stacked from all sides, mocha, pencil shavings, vanilla, and toasty Christmas spices
Toes along the edge of that flat-out concentrated fruit bomb style while remaining classy as heck
A meal in itself or grill up some rolled and tied up ribeye caps, served with truffled mashed potatoes
What the Winery Says
2019 Napa Valley Cabernet Blend
- Jean Hoefliger
- 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
- Napa Valley
- Denali, Sleeping Lady, Beckstoffer to Kalon, Artalade Montagna, V Madrone
- 16 months
- 40% new French oak