Fat melts tannin. That’s the basic idea behind wine pairings. Braised Beef is rich in complex flavors and has enough fat to stand up to the ideal match of tannin in the wine. Personally, I like Napa Cabs around 8-12 years of age before opening. But this one is too good not to pop one now and serve with this delicious winter dish.
Sellouts, double sellouts, and an infinite stream of mail demanding more—this is the chaotic hype behind Band of Vintners, an emerging wine producer who makes just one wine: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Since their inception in 2014, we’ve been thoroughly floored with every release, bought cases upon cases for personal consumption, and watched as this incredibly low-priced gem demolished neighboring competition coming in at two and three times more.
Obviously, letting this overachieving, underpriced Cabernet slip through our grasp would be a major disservice to our customer base, which is why we had to work exponentially harder to secure a substantial allocation this time around. This 2017 is firing, and people all around the United States have rapidly found out.
So, as we said last year: Dig in and secure your small parcel because out here in wine’s Wild West, where cult bottlings run for thousands of dollars; where there are waitlists for waitlists to join swanky wine clubs; and where a single acre on Napa Valley’s floor fetches hundreds of thousands, Cabernet of this quality, at this price, is inhaled in one breath. We are generously offering 12 bottles per person and if history repeats itself then that means a high-speed sellout is imminent. Take action!
This storied band of seven has a wealth of experience throughout the wine pipeline. One reason for keeping “Consortium” at such an affordable price is the strategy to purchase fruit around Napa whilst utilizing their extensive connections. Although the vineyard sites aren’t revealed, it should be noted that several members have links that run deep with DANA, Harlan Estate, Promontory, Spottswoode, and Young Inglewood.
As if that isn’t already impressive, the list continues with Larkmead, Massican, Cardinale, Lokoya, and Hyde de Villaine. Clearly, it’s safe to say the myriad sources for these Napa Valley grapes are of the highest degree. Throw in San Francisco Chronicle’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year, a couple of wine entrepreneurs, and Master Sommelier Jason Heller, and you have yourself a supergroup that is bound to impress for years to come.
The newest 2017 Band of Vintners “Consortium” is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, rounded out by 8% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. As mentioned above, the fruit has been sustainably sourced from prestigious sites throughout Napa Valley. After a long fermentation, the resulting wine aged 15 months in a blend of new and used French oak. “Consortium” is incredibly rich in fruit, all while retaining freshness and a lingering savoriness that is impossible not love. It echoes the classics with its soft, layered, smooth personality, and leaves you pondering what golden, top-dollar vineyards they were able to cull fruit from.
Band of Vintners’ 2017 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon reveals an opaque ruby-purple core with a brilliant band of magenta on the perimeter. Give the wine a few swirls, and you’ll immediately know you’re not messing with a lightweight Cab. Those who love big, powerful Napa reds are in for a treat, but so are those who lean towards the elegant, terroir-driven blends of Bordeaux. Overall, today’s 2017 is a masterful effort, one that oozes Napa authenticity and Cabernet typicity: the nose erupts with blackberry liqueur, blue plums, crème de cassis, ripe black cherries, damp violets, crushed stone, licorice, espresso, leather, loose tobacco, and cracked pepper.
The lush, full-bodied palate highlights all the reasons to love premium Napa Valley Cabernet with a firm terroir imprint—it’s fresh, opulently layered, and savory all at once. While this ‘17 will blossom over the next 5-7 years, it’s too darn enjoyable to sit on all of your bottles. So, I suggest opening one or two now, serving in Bordeaux stems around 60 degrees, and pacing yourself because a full glass disappears in a hurry. Cheers!
“In just four vintages, Band of Vintners has become our go-to Napa Valley producer. Their newest release doubles down on pedigree, winemaking talent, and pure style—this is the epitome of impeccably crafted Cabernet Sauvignon.”
– Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier & Founder of SommSelect