Mission Codename Who let the bears out?
We could just drop this and run:
“Kudos to Delectus for making wines that ultimately will prove the magnificent aging potential of what they’re doing in Knights Valley.” – Robert Parker
And that would be very sinister of us, as we kick back and watch this small-batch sell out. But we like to blabber about wine all day, so here we go.
Delectus began in 1996 in the heyday of cult Napa Cabernet, endorsed as a player in that league right off the bat by critics across the board. With a star-studded winemaking resume ranging from Pine Ridge to Far Niente, how could that not be the case? Mailing lists filled up fast and every new vintage sold out as they made small batches of top-notch Cabs and reds from the best vineyards around.
Not resting on their laurels, they then ventured into Knights Valley, a natural continuum of Napa Valley into Sonoma, via the northern tip of the famous region. Beringer, Peter Michael, and Anakota go there first, true, so the word was out on how extraordinary this rugged mountainous terroir was for making a Cabernet style that would put many Napa counterparts to shame.
Well, this is one of them.
For whatever reason, prominent press like Wine Advocate stopped reviewing these gems after the 2013 vintage, and that’s why there are no ratings on this massive fruit bomb with tannins to spare. The wines remained every bit as incredible, as Robert Parker had rightfully claimed that “these stunning reds are great examples of Knights Valley viticulture” adding in his last reviews that “Delectus Winery is going against the prevailing winds in trying to make wines for future generations. Kudos to them.”
Here’s what he wrote of the 2013 vintage: “…notes of saddle leather, rich, super-concentrated blackberry fruit, striking density, richness, and a connoisseur’s backwardness and profound richness that will require some time to come around. The tannins are excruciatingly high, and this wine reminds me of some of the late 1960s and early 1970s vintages of famous Mayacamas from Mount Veeder when it was almost like Port in its extraction and richness. This wine needs a good 10 years and seems to have a high ceiling.” rating it 94+ points. We like this one better.
At $130 it was a standout among peers worth 2-3x just over the mountain. At $86 with our startling 33% discount, it’s a no-brainer.
What the Winery Says
2014 'Bear Crossing' Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Gerhard Reisacher
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Knights Valley, Sonoma County
- Bear Crossing
- 24 months
- 100% new oak, 90% French, 10% American