2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,
The newest plot in the Derenoncourt California portfolio may also be its most intriguing. The 2007 Tâche d’encre (French for “ink stain”) comes from a tiny, irregularly-shaped block of vines in an esteemed vineyard near Ink Grade Road, high up on Howell Mountain. Stéphane Derenoncourt selected this parcel for its unique character and abundant promise. The vines are perched well above the low-lying clouds, giving them sun even when the valley is socked in fog. The plot’s microclimate is dramatic – among the hottest places in Napa during the day, and among the coldest at night. And its unusual northeastern exposure facing Pope Valley blesses the vines with morning sunlight, causing them to wake up earlier from their nighttime slumber and work harder throughout the day while protecting them from over-baking in the afternoon heat. In the hands of a sensitive vintner like Stéphane, the result is a singular expression of mountain-grown Cabernet that offers profound intensity and concentration balanced with an abiding freshness and an authentic sense of place.
From its glowing deep ruby color to its freshly aromatic bouquet to its vibrantly tactile palate, the Tâche d’encre exudes an unmistakable natural energy – almost as if the wine were humming with power. There’s something wild and adventurous about the nose, like the mountainous wilderness from which the grapes come. Aromas of wild cherries, smoked meats, and freshly-picked parsley and thyme give way to a tightly-coiled palate of juicy currants, graphite, and fresh spearmint leaves. Intensely grippy tannins juxtaposed against plentiful acidity give the wine a texture at once mouth-coating and refreshing. Properly cellared, the 2007 Tâche d’encre promises to reveal new layers of complexity and intrigue for years to come.
100 cases produced.