Mission Codename Paradigmatically Heidilicious
It was Agent Noir’s first Taste of Oakville, THE most prestigious of all Napa Valley trade-only annual events. Heidi Barrett was pouring the 2001 Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon with the sweetest couple, Ren and Marilyn Harris also smiling big beside her. As the silky liquid went in, a warm and fuzzy feeling took over. It was sublime. The finish would not quit. He had to do it! Just a couple of tables down was Screaming Eagle’s 2001, the other wine by Heidi Barrett in the room. With the Paradigm still lingering, he took his entire “allocation” in one big sip. All hype aside, the Paradigm was better he thought…
Today a bottle of 2001 Screaming Eagle can go for about $4,000. A 2001 Paradigm was last seen about a year ago, fetching $150. Today, we give you the 2014 from library for a song. RUN to the buy button, don’t walk.
Deep, dark ruby within, as crimson tones emerge on the circumference to wrap the glass tightly. Blackberries, black cherries, black plums classy cocoa, and cigar box notes come forth with force on the redolent nose profile. Substantial tannins rule the palate first and are on the refined camp while the back end pulls it together, showing youthful cassis and blueberry notes. A streak of lead pencil minerality defining the long finish hints to classicism while the full-throttle length screams Barrett. This is on the youthful side and will benefit from age or air. Try to spare some for that rare cut of fillet mignon.
Some historic perspective is due. Heidi Barrett has been with Paradigm for almost 30 years now. The next winery she launched just a year after Paradigm was Screaming Eagle. She since has been named both ’the First Lady of wine’ and ’the Queen of Cult Cabernet’ by Robert Parker. Her past roster also includes Dalla Valle, Grace Family, Amuse Bouche, and Vineyard 29. Besides her own label La Sirena, Fantesca, Niebaum-Coppola, Kenzo Estate, and Diamond Creek are some of her lucky current clients.
San Francisco Chronicle sums it all up nicely; “Now that you’ve heard of Paradigm, it’s truly worth seeking out. Ren and Marilyn Harris, who founded the winery in 1991, struck gold with their location. The property finds itself in astoundingly close proximity to such pedigreed neighbors as Harlan, Heitz’s Martha’s Vineyard and Opus One on the northern border. The Harris’ smartest move? Since their very first vintage, they’ve held onto megastar winemaker Heidi Barrett, the woman who came to prominence in the 1990s for such celebrated wines as Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle. The wines she makes at Paradigm, now one of her oldest clients, wholly deserve their own attention — each bottling is first-class. And while many collectors will pay a premium for other Heidi Barrett wines, a visit to the winery is no-frills, but it doesn’t need them. Like much of Napa, Paradigm takes tremendous pride in their Cabernet Sauvignon, and for good reason — they make a delicious one.”
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
94 Points, Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast - “Smooth, youthful and concentrated, this wine offers earthy graphite and tobacco around a midpalate of well-developed, lively acidity and fresh black fruit. Tenacious in oak and tannin, it needs time to develop further; enjoy 2024–2029.”
Deep, dark ruby within, as crimson tones emerge on the circumference to wrap the glass tightly.
Blackberries, black cherries, black plums classy cocoa, and cigar box notes come forth with force.
Substantial tannins are on the refined camp while showing youthful cassis and blueberry notes.
A streak of lead pencil minerality hints to classicism while the full-throttle length screams Barrett.
On the youthful side, that will benefit with age or air, spare this for that rare cut of fillet mignon.
What the Winery Says
2014 Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Heidi Barrett
- 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
- Oakville, Napa Valley
- 100% Paradigm Estate
- 20 months
- 33% new French oak