Caterwaul Wines Cemetery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
|Region||California, Napa Valley, St Helena|
Matt Hardin, a 6th generation Napa resident and farmer, is a partner in Barbour Vineyards, one of the most renowned vineyard management companies in Northern California.
Thomas Rivers Brown, the winemaker for some of Napa and Sonoma’s most iconic labels (Schrader Cellars, Outpost, and his own Rivers-Marie), has more than 20 100-point wines to his resume. Working together for many years over many different projects, a friendship was developed. Out of that friendship the idea of working together, utilizing the strengths of the other, Caterwaul was born.
After 5 years in the works, it’s nice to finally add this vineyard to the lineup. I was convinced there was no more great ground to be planted in Napa Valley until I saw this site with Matt in 2015. Having input on clonal material for every block further cemented an interest in locking up all the fruit from this vineyard before it was even done with its first growing season. We made a little wine from here in 2017 but found it subpar for its own bottling. Waiting definitely feels wise now though as we begin cracking through our first few bottles of this inaugural release. The vintage complements this site well. The word that keeps coming to mind as I try this wine is amplitude. It’s so far above the Napa norm for Cabernet in color saturation, aromatic intensity, and depth of flavor. There’s a great streak of minerality shooting through the whole experience that adds a sense of balance and restraint. The wine is pure black-fruited, showing graphite notes, gunpowder, crushed rocks, violets, and ripe blackberries. There is plenty of tannins here, but it is perfectly ripe, which helps frame the finish without clipping it. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about rolling out the first vintage of anything but I certainly expect this bottling to achieve the same heights as several of the best client wines that have come before it.
Wine Advocate 96 points "A new wine in the Caterwaul lineup, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cemetery Vineyard comes from the Cemetery Vineyard in St. Helena. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is deep garnet-purple colored, needing just a little coaxing to unlock classic cedar chest, pencil lead, fertile loam, and black truffles scents, over a core of blackcurrants, Morello cherries, and Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the taut, muscular black fruits are lifted by a refreshing backbone in the mouth, framed by grainy tannins, finishing long and with great intensity."...Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cemetery Vineyard is a new wine from this range, emerges from a parcel in St. Helena, you guessed it, right by the cemetery. Inky, rich, and explosive, the Cemetery captures all the exuberance that makes wines from St. Helena so appealing, especially Cabernets from this central part of town. Rich red fruit, sweet floral notes, spice, and crushed rocks abound. Readers will have a very hard time keeping their hands off this gem. What a wine!
Lastly, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cemetery Vineyard, which comes from a great site just beside Las Piedras, is another beautiful wine in the making. Saturated purple, with notes of blueberry and plum fruits, notes of ground herbs, violets, and underbrush, full-bodied richness, and ripe, sweet tannins, it's another 2018 I suspect will have plenty of upfront charm and appeal yet also age gracefully.