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.
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.
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.