Off The Cuff Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 | Stunning | Should be $150
Off The Cuff Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 pours a ruby-red hue. Inviting, heady aromatics of blue and red fruit with a touch of smoke. Classic Rutherford tannins coat the mouth like silk. While the penetrating acidity uplifts a pillowy palate of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry, sprinkled with cocoa, sweet spice, and herbs. This 2016 Napa Cabernet is simple elegance and grace.
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First, crafted from some of the finest, most sumptuous fruit in Rutherford. With tannins that coat the mouth like silk. Yet giving way to a pillowy palate of raspberry, and blackberry, sprinkled with cocoa and oak. Of course, it’s why this Napa sub-appellation is coveted by every Cab collector. And why it’s devilishly hard to crack the top vineyards without the right connections.
Debut Release – Top Under-40 Winemaker
When fate gave this winemaker an inch, he took a mile. Hence, crafting Off The Cuff Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 that’s as fresh, pure, and polished expression of the 2016 vintage as we’ve tasted. It should cost $150.
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The guy behind this debut release is one of our top under-40 winemakers in Napa, a soil-whisperer in the vein of Stéphane Derenoncourt or Philippe Melka. He has a geologist’s knowledge and an artist’s touch with everything from mountain volcanic rock to silty, sandy loam. Through connections to top estates, he’s handled some of the most exquisite blue-chip Cabernet fruit around, including from Beckstoffer and Pritchard Hill. But one Rutherford plot had remained tantalizingly out of reach—a White Whale he could somehow never lay a finger on.
So, for a soil nerd like him, this plot epitomized the famous Rutherford dust quality. Yet, in the heart of Napa, the vines’ roots were sunk deep into well-draining loam interspersed with gravel. A sun-soaked microclimate led to drawn-out hang time, and this bottle’s seductively fine, almost powdery tannins, evoking the appellation’s famous tasting note. Run by a single family since the early 60s, the owners have always been selective with who they sold to. And they were never, ever short on demand.