2011 Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley: Mt. Veeder
Diamond in the rough
This is not an error: The Wine Spies uncovers yet another Mt. Veeder Cab at under $30, however…
Bad news first. Let’s face it, not all vintages are created equal, and 2011 certainly had its issues. When that happens, the entire Napa Valley gets an often-undeserved bad rep. Yet the wise consumer knows that there are ALWAYS exceptions, especially when you start zooming in. And that ties us to the good news dear Operatives, we present to you, THAT exception! Robert Parker was as others not a fan of 2011, but he wrote; “It is very difficult to generalize about this vintage. I suspect many consumers will write it off because of today’s cultural obsession with all things negative. That would be an egregious error. There are some truly great wines that taste like they came from 2012 or 2010 rather than 2011 such as those that came from higher elevation mountain vineyards… the top wines are by no means wimpy wines, and can be quite exciting, depending on the winery… 2011 is the most site-specific vintage I have tasted in Napa.”
There you have it. To be very site-specific, Godspeed conquered an astonishing Cabernet for 2011, and thanks to the generalizations, we are able to bring it to you, or shall we say GIFT it to you for not at the $80 it deserves, but at $29? What? Read on…
Penetrating dark garnet up until the slim ring of bright crimson wrapping the inside of the glass. A hint of spearmint gives this a fresh lead-in on the open nose, while red and black currant fruits begin to unfold. Grippy throughout the palate, with lots of energetic bramble and savory sage accents, and a ton of cherries. Impressions of steeped plums and a lively licorice snap define the solid spine on a finale that just does not quit. This esteemed mountain Cabernet Sauvignon would kindly request a sophisticated feast around top-notch meats or game.
Godspeed is a craft grower in the much-lauded Mt. Veeder appellation. With vineyards adorning labels from the likes of Lokoya, Mayacamas Vineyards or Lewis Cellars hailing from all over this appellation, it’s truly the home of some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon grown in all of Napa Valley. Most of the Godspeed fruit is sold to Sbragia Family Vineyards for a fantastic Cab by winemaker Ed Sbragia of Beringer fame, who raves; “It’s no secret that we love mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and year after year the fruit from Mt. Veeder’s Godspeed Vineyard justifies my passion. There’s an intensity, a concentration to the grapes that practically jumps out of the crusher, and with careful handling, this intensity translates to a wine of enormous depth and richness.”* Godspeed Vineyard is the project of established architect and vintner Larry Stricker and family atop Mt. Veeder at 1,500+ feet elevation. This picturesque vineyard is an exemplary place for growing classic Napa Valley mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, planted in 1987 on steep hillsides with volcanic soils producing small clusters of deeply flavorful grapes.
Penetrating dark garnet up until the slim ring of bright crimson wrapping the inside of the glass.
A hint of spearmint gives this a fresh lead-in, while red and black currant fruits begin to unfold.
Grippy throughout, with lots of energetic bramble and savory sage accents, and a ton of cherries.
Steeped plums and a lively licorice snap define the solid spine on a finale that just does not quit.
This esteemed Cab would kindly request a sophisticated feast around top-notch meats or game.
What the Winery Says
- Larry Stricker
- 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Malbec
- Rich Kunde 8, 338 and 595
- Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
- Harvest dates
- October 17 - November 2, 2011
- Bottling date
- May 7, 2015
- 40 months
- 67% new French oak from Vosges, 33% American oak from Missouri