Mission Codename Still dancing
“Is this reality? Is this just fantasy…”
We wonder the same thing nearly every day. How on earth did we luck into THIS?!
The property has changed hands recently – you’ll recall Dancing Hares and Mad Hatter that took this site by storm not too long ago. A who’s who of winemakers have worked with the fruit from this 20-acre property, including Andy Erickson, Philippe Melka and Shawn Johnson. Next it was Tuck Beckstoffer of the clan who basically owns the cream of Napa. He took over the project in 2016, and continued churning out amazeballs stuff. Finally in 2020 a group from Toronto took the reins, renaming it to Amulet Estate after the flagship wine from the Tuck Beckstoffer legacy years.
So here we are, with one of the newest vintages from the latest owners. But there’s a long track record of great wines from the location. Considering most of their Cabs range from $100 up to $300 we’re thrilled to have this newest release at all - let alone for this price.
The “AE” label is bottled primarily for restaurants, but with that virus disrupting things for a few years, some just couldn’t take their allocation. So, we stepped in, levied our best PSYOPS to negotiate a killer deal, and bring it to you for a steal. Especially given that this is essentially a single vineyard, from Yountville’s Miller Ranch, farmed by the Bettinellis of Sleeping Lady Vineyard fame.
Oh, just how good are these 2021s?
Vinography freshly reported “Napa has had a number of excellent vintages in recent years, my favorites being the 2019, 2013, and 2010, but from my tasting yesterday, the 2021 vintage blows them all away… I can’t remember any of them possessing the perfect balance of fresh acidity, brilliant fruit, and supple fineness of tannin that I found in the best wines…”
Here is one of them, no doubt!
With 5% each of Cab Franc, Malbec, and Merlot, it’s decidedly youthful yet overflowing with everything you look for in a top Napa Cab. Pop it, air it out, and let the ripe fig, blackcurrant, and plums wash over you. The bay leaf, petrichor, and tobacco come into orbit next, all carried on a long trajectory with fine grained tannins that should soften up with some time. So much life ahead of this one, if you can resist. Give it a year. Or five. Or ten. You’ll be rewarded. But tonight? We just can’t get enough of this stuff.
Speaking of, very little to share on a rainy Friday. Enjoy!
What the Winery Says
2021 'AE 230' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Shawn Johnson
- 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec
- Yountville, Napa Valley
- Miller Ranch
- Gravelly loam and Cortina of Franciscan assemblage
- 10 months
- 100% French oak, 20% 2nd & 3rd use