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Corison Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley 2020

  • $138.00

Selling fast  - 1 left

  • Winemaker: Cathy Corison
  • Farming: Organic (Certified)
  • Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Terroir: Alluvial fans of gravel on the benchlands of Saint-Helena, below the Mayacamas mountain range.
  • Tasting Note: "The result of a nearly perfect, long and cool ripening season (and oblivious to the Covid chaos swirling around it), the 2020 was picked and in the barn fully two and a half weeks before the Glass Fire broke out. Industrial-grade air filters kept smoke out of the winery as the wines went down to barrels. We are so grateful, and relieved, to present the lovely 2020. This wine is wildly complex with tart cherry, blueberry, red and black currants, raspberry, plum and boysenberry fruit, fleshed out with notes of baking spices and peppermint. The tannins are characteristically polite yet grippy. Mineral notes add lift and the evolving violet perfume is so pretty." —Cathy Corison
  • Scores: 96 Points, Decanter. Medium to full-bodied, beautiful and restrained, with savoury aromatics of fennel, black liquorice, cedar, and black currants. Soft, satiny blackberry fruits are lifted by fine-grained yet supple tannins while a purity of fruit guides the palate to a long, tobacco-tinged finish marked by a mineral- freshness that beckons sip after sip... -Jonathan Cristaldi, 5 Apr 2023

From our April 2024 Serious Inquiries Only Cult Release:

Corison Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley 2020

Cathy Corison is a fucking legend, an iconic figure in the world of winemaking, particularly in Napa Valley, where she has carved out a reputation for producing some of the most elegant and expressive Cabernet Sauvignons. What sets her apart in an industry often swayed by trends toward bolder, more opulent styles is her steadfast commitment to creating wines that are balanced, complex, and true to their terroir.
After earning her Master's in Enology from UC Davis in the late 1970s, Cathy gained experience working with several notable wineries, including Freemark Abbey and Chappellet. In 1987, she took a significant leap by founding Corison Winery, located in the heart of Napa Valley's Rutherford Bench.
Cathy’s winemaking philosophy hinges on the belief that wine should evoke a sense of place, capturing the essence of its vineyard origins. By meticulously selecting grapes from her St. Helena estate vineyards, which are known for their gravelly soils that contribute to the depth and structure of the wine, she crafts a Cabernet Sauvignon that is both reflective of the challenging year (wildfires and the pandemic, remember?) and triumphantly expressive of the St. Helena AVA, where warm days and cool nights make an ideal microclimate for cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that achieve optimal ripeness and retain acidity. She employs sustainable farming practices, emphasizing the health of the vineyard ecosystem. Her approach includes avoiding pesticides, using natural compost, and managing canopy and irrigation to ensure the vines are stressed just enough to produce small, flavorful berries. Grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripeness, ensuring a balance between sugar, acid, and tannins. Cathy uses natural yeasts for fermentation, believing that they contribute to the complexity and depth of the wine. This slower, more unpredictable fermentation process is closely monitored to ensure it progresses smoothly.
Cathy is revered by sommeliers and collectors alike for eschewing the use of heavy-handed winemaking techniques and instead allowing the fruit itself to be the star. She makes Cabernets that are both structured and age-worthy while having finesse and vibrancy. The wines are aged for 18-22 months in a mix of new and used French oak barrels, which contribute subtle spice and vanilla notes without overpowering the natural fruit flavors, and bottles without fining or filtration. We taste layers of complex black and red fruit, including dark berries and cherries, intertwined with hints of spice, floral notes, and warm tones of cloves. 
The aging potential is a significant aspect of Corison wines, and the 2020 vintage is no exception. We expect this wine to evolve beautifully over time, developing increased complexity and nuance in the bottle. If you want to experience that for yourself, head up to Corison Winery, just off Route 29 in Saint Helena, and indulge in a Library Tasting. You’ll see why holding on to these wines for 10 or 20 years will pay off in the glass.  — Cara Patricia