Mission Codename Cerrously
Yowza. Petit + Petite = Massive must be the formula here! Talk about the iron fist in a velvet glove. Gobs of fruit, anyone? - Check. Silk and cashmere? - Check. Heartwarming baking spices? - Check. The only thing missing with this red that we can think of dear Operatives is the “what to blend in Napa rulebook” that was long tossed out the window. And for good reason, as the JDB project was born out of a familial necessity to break the molds.
Proprietor and winemaker Derek Beitler is Caymus founder Charlie Wagner’s grandson and his wines are truly worthy of the legacy. While he collaborates with his cousin Joey Wagner on the Carne Humana label, with Bodega Rancho and Cerro, he steers his own ship, in the Caymus ocean. Yet in this small business of old relationships, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and “secret” vineyards that are sourced from are often shared amongst such dynasties, hint, hint…
Compound that with the 2016 vintage Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate broke out a monstrous 98-point rating for, quote; “I believe 2016 to be 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” unquote, for all the confidence you need to grab this stupifying find by the case…
Deep purple to the circumference with a near neon blue to ruby glow highlighting the appearance. Spiced plums, blackberries, and Madagascar vanilla join floral violet notes on the stunning nose, accented by sweet exotic spices. The palate is a rush of blackcurrant and black cherry aromas, offset by layers of espresso, cocoa powder, and licorice. Silky-soft sweet tannins take lead on an echoingly long close, harmonizing a caressing mouthfeel and honing out the graceful finish. As far as pairing ideas go, this extraordinary red blend is ideal for luxury picnics in the wilderness over an elaborate spread. Just pack and go.
As a spin-off from the highly structured Wagner Family of Wines, JDB truly dials into that classicism, particularly with Cerro showcasing top Napa Valley vineyards. If you enjoy blue chips such as Caymus, Silver Oak, Stag’s Leap, Mondavi or Phelps, this ought to send shockwaves of complexity down your palate, knocking you senseless off your socks for twenty-five bucks. In its early years, most of Napa’s famous reds delivered in the brawn and depth departments requiring years of cellar time to be truly enjoyable while Caymus opened the eyes of connoisseurs to an infinitely complex style of finesse, elegance, approachability and affordability at an early age. The legend lives on.
What the Winery Says
2016 'Cerro' Napa Valley Red
- Derek Beitler
- 50% Petit Verdot, 40% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel
- Rutherford and Oak Knoll, Napa Valley
- 30 months
- 30% new French oak
- 11 barrels