2018 'Mountainside' Napa Valley Red
California: Napa Valley
If we could rent one of those flying airplane messages to get the word out about any wine - this is the one we’d hype - DRINK ACUMEN in big letters.
This could be one of the finest values we’ve ever tasted from Napa. It has all the imprints of a top-tier Napa red. Sourced from rugged mountain vineyards that are obsessively managed. Crafted by a masterful winemaking team. But the price! The price is completely detached from reality.
For $25 we’re simply astounded. Tasted blind there’s no way you’d pin this as anything less than a top-quality Bordeaux blend north of $50-60.
Acumen was started by Eric Yuan with a singular goal: make killer mountain wines from the rugged terrain on Atlas Peak. Forbes called them “a shining new star” and for the past decade, they’ve gained serious recognition for their classically styled, powerful mountain wines. Their roster of former winemakers is a Who’s Who of Napa all-stars - Denis Malbec, Philip Titus, and Henrik Poulsen, who took the helm of this vintage. He’s no stranger to big gun wines, having left his mark at Alpha Omega and Newton.
The “Mountainside” portion of their lineup represents wine made from younger vines, designed to be accessible right out the gate. And it tastes just how you like it - a big gulp dose of ripe fruit, minerality, and a plush, soft mouthfeel. The blend joins a healthy base of 60% Cab with a balance of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Zinfandel to round things out. Rich, lush, seamless, with red plum, cassis, rhubarb, ground dark coffee, cigar box, and round soft ripe tannins. Easy drinkin’, crowd-pleasing, and an all-time high on the QPR scale.
Just how we like it.
Apparently, that’s what Forbes thought too, raving “a relatively new Napa Valley winery that I believe will become, if not a household name, at least a name worth remembering… Acumen Cabernets are much more enjoyable upon release than many counterpart wines from Napa Valley. For dinner tonight, would you rather opt for a wine than is huge and brimming with ripe fruit and big tannins, or would you prefer a first-rate wine that can actually be enjoyed now? I’m sure for most of us, the choice is an easy one.”
Can’t guarantee there will be any left when you email us back saying “THIS STUFF IS AWESOME I NEED MORE!”. Make moves now.
91 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Deep purple-black colored, reveals open-knit notes of blueberry compote, plum preserves and red and black currants with nuances of tilled soil, underbrush, bouquet garni and mossy bark. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and fresh with a chewy frame and earthy finish.”
Inky deep ruby with a purple edge that glows vibrantly
Ripe fruit, minerality, red plum, cassis, rhubarb, ground dark coffee, cigar box
A plush, soft mouthfeel, rich, lush, seamless with round soft ripe tannins
Long, easy drinkin’, crowd-pleasing, and an all-time high on the QPR scale
With the colorful varieties complementing the Cab base, the choices are vast
What the Winery Says
- Henrik Poulsen
- 60.8% Cabernet Sauvignon; 27.3% Merlot, 9.3% Petit Verdot; 2.6% Zinfandel
- Napa Valley
- 18 months
- 70% new French oak