Mission Codename Always redder on the other side
“The Grassi family excels with rich, sumptuous Cabernets that deliver terrific value, especially within the context of Napa Valley… pure exuberance that is impossible to resist.” – Antonio Galloni
When we sold the 2014 Grassi, it was the same experience. Our perception was so detached from its score (92pts) we were astounded. I dropped a bottle at a friend’s house last year, and he called me begging to buy some. Sadly, we had already sold out.
Then the same thing happened - even more so with this vintage. Again, it has a respectable 93 points from Galloni, yet something magical must have been happening in the bottle the past couple of years. Just… wow.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the winemaker who put Lewis Cellars on the map did such a good job with this Grassi. We’re talking about Robbie Meyer of L’Angevin, and Peirson Meyer. He also has Peter Michael, Del Dotto, Malk Family, to name a few more under his belt. True insiders know well that whatever Robbie takes on turns to gold. It’s clearly the case here.
It receives similar obsessive treatment as the previously mentioned hard-to-find Cabs - hand-sorted, whole berry fermented in 75% new French oak. Wines like this make the hunt worth it. MANY such “under the radar” producers exist in Napa, albeit FEW worth putting on a pedestal…
It’s quintessential “California Cab” with sublime balance and DEEP, mouthcoating opulence. Juicy blackberries and chocolate-coated black cherries take center stage with enticing layers of vanilla, violets, earth, just tanned leather, and spice rounding it out, adding depth. The 2015 vintage was one for the record books, and this is just coming into a perfect drinking window with lots of runway ahead.
If you like Karl Lawrence, Corison, Kapcsándy, and other similarly great Napa Cabs with a cult following that frequent the pages of Michelin-starred wine lists, or if you are among the lucky few who experienced the stunner of a 2014 that we blew through, you already know you love this. If not, you will after the first sip.
Mark Grassi has his hand on the construction site of many premier wineries in Napa - Ovid for one. He bought some land off Soda Canyon Road at the base of Atlas Peak in 1989 and started developing it with the help of Harlan Estate vineyard manager Mary Maher, and Peter Franus.
And in other news just before this vintage was bottled, Robbie handed the reigns at Grassi over to Maayan Koschitzky whom you know from his time at Screaming Eagle and partnership with Philippe Melka so who knows what the future holds here!
Back to Galloni: “Grassi is one of my favorite under-the-radar producers in Napa Valley… best of all, the wines remain very fairly priced considering the quality of what is in the glass.”
What would he say if he saw our price?! It’s really hard to think of a better Napa Cab at this level.
We wish there was more to go around. When we asked “will it sell out” our magic 8 ball said it is decidedly so.
93 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is terrific. Succulent black cherry, plum, lavender, menthol, chocolate, spice, and new leather all flesh out in this sumptuous, racy Cabernet Sauvignon. Forward and racy in style, with tremendous fruit richness, this dark, racy Cabernet has much to offer. Readers won’t have to wait too long for the 2015. It is gorgeous today. Drink 2020-2030.”
What the Winery Says
2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Robbie Meyer
- 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot
- Napa Valley
- Grassi Estate Vineyard
- Total acidity
- 6.2 g/L
- Harvest dates
- Late September 2015
- 22 months
- 75% new French oak