2016 Sugarloaf Mountain Napa Valley Red
Red Blend •Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
Pedal to the Metal
Would you like to be the cool one who brought the wine of the night in a blind tasting of Napa Valley’s finest reds that cost hundreds a bottle, and brag that it’s still the best value on the table? Then you should JUMP on this one Operatives, act fast, as a Napa red this good is rarely seen, and at 40% off? Seriously? We mean 100-point winemaking lineage, tutelage, and site, seriously. We also find it to be seriously underrated at 95 points, by the time we got our hands on this from when reviewed, it must have come a long way in the bottle and crept up at least a few points. Very few reds this “pedal to the metal” intense come by. Seize the day!
Glass-staining opaqueness, did someone spill some black ink into this by mistake? The essence of Napa Valley fills the nose, with blackcurrant, cocoa powder, cedar, and tobacco. Supremely massive tannins coat the palate, along with immense sweet and savory flavor with depth to spare. Fills the mouth authoritatively long, with dark fruits, toasty spices, and lead pencil. A feast on its own, this monster is powerful enough to pair with an open flame spit roasted beast.
What’s that sexy oak? Many of Napa Valley’s top cult wineries know and guard the secret of Darnajou barrels well. This tiny, boutique cooperage house is accountable for an easily discernable, and intoxicatingly sweet and exotic oak perfume that enhances great Napa Valley reds with a “money” nose. While prominent winemakers continue to clamor and crowd a growing wait list, the lucky few who get a few allocated each year don’t even blink at paying about $2,000 per barrel. We suspect working with Bevan had a lot to do with how Morgado brought the privilege of aging Sugarloaf fruit in Darnajou barrels.
The Wine Advocate broke out a monstrous 98-point rating for 2016 as; “the best, most consistent Napa Valley vintage among a string of 5 great years… what I particularly love about the character of the 2016s is a kind of effortlessness about the wines - like a child possessing natural beauty from the get-go.”
Here’s what the wine press has to say.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - “The name Morgado comes from owner and winemaker Kimberly Hatcher’s grandmother, Mary Morgado, and these wines are homage to her strength of character. Kimberly works with Russell Bevan and is a volunteer firefighter as well, but she has a super talent for winemaking, seems totally driven to produce something world-class, and appears to be succeeding in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately, production of all her wines is relatively small, ranging from only 100 cases of the absolutely sensational Sugarloaf, at this price point, this is a giveaway in Napa Valley, as this wine is not far from being off the charts point-wise and complexity-wise. There’s an extra gear and dimension to this wine. Nevertheless, I loved these wines. Kimberly has obviously picked up a few lessons from her mentor, Russell Bevan, as these are all full-throttle, complex, savory, mouth-filling, delicious wines from California.”
95 Points – Jeb Dunnuck - “These blockbuster styled beauties are made by Kimberly Hatcher, who has been a San Francisco firefighter since 1998 and a winemaker since 2009, where she’s trained under Russell Bevan. These wines are rich, concentrated, pleasure-bent efforts that deliver the goods. The 2016 Sugarloaf Mountain Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot that was brought up in new French oak. This blockbuster styled effort doesn’t pull any punches on its decadent black fruits, chocolate, spicy oak, and crushed violets. This beauty has some serious depth and density, terrific purity, and a great finish.”
Glass-staining opaqueness, did someone spill some black ink into this by mistake?
The essence of Napa Valley, with blackcurrant, cocoa powder, cedar, and tobacco.
Supremely massive tannins, immense sweet and savory flavor with depth to spare.
Fills the mouth authoritatively long, with dark fruits, toasty spices, and lead pencil.
A feast on its own, powerful enough to pair with an open flame spit roasted beast.
What the Winery Says
- Kimberly Hatcher
- 65% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot
- Napa Valley
- Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
- 22 months in 100% new French oak