2018 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvigon

2018 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvigon

by JJ Buckley Fine Wines

2018 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon

JJB: $324*

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Cardinale is one of Napa’s most singular Cabernet blends, showcasing an extraordinary assortment of top hillside vineyards in Stags Leap, Atlas Peak and St. Helena, not to mention the considerable winemaking talents of Chris Carpenter. While Carpenter is equally well known for his work with Lokoya, and has numerous 100pt scores under his belt, this flagship from Cardinale is considered "consistently one of the best proprietary blends of northern California" by Robert Parker.

Cardinale is not your typical single vineyard offering, but a flagship blend of Napa’s best hillside terroirs, shifting with each vintage. When paired with a no-expense-spared attitude and some world-class winemaking talent, you get one of Napa’s most collectible gems, and this show stopping 2018 has decades of life ahead. With exceptional critical acclaim, the 2018 is a “borderline perfect wine that shows the class of this estate as well as the vintage” (Dunnuck).

Winemaker Chris Carpenter has proven himself again and again with La Jota and Lokoya, but at Cardinale he has an unusual amount of resources at his disposal to create the absolute best wine possible. With the pick of the litter from Kendall Jackson’s sprawling estate vineyards, Carpenter ages the 90% Cabernet and 10% Merlot for just shy of two years in new French oak. Since the Jackson Family has such an impressive array of vineyards to work with, the exact source of the fruit can change with the vintage, and given the quality of the 2018 vintage, it should not be missed.

98+ points, Jeb Dunnuck: "It’s a wonderfully complete, borderline perfect wine that shows the class of this estate as well as the vintage, revealing a seamless, full-bodied style that carries lots of blackcurrant, graphite, lead pencil, and tobacco aromatics, a deep, layered mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and flawless balance…it’s a wine that builds slowly with time in the glass, offering a layered, singular character. It’s a gorgeous 2018 that can be drunk today with ample pleasure, but it will ideally be given 4-6 years of bottle age, at which point it should evolve gracefully for 30-40 years."

98 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, it prances out of the glass with gregarious notions of warm cassis, black cherries and wild blueberries, followed by emerging earth scents with a tobacco and garrigue undercurrent. Medium to full-bodied, gracefully styled and refreshing, the vibrant black and blue-fruited palate offers a wonderfully fine-grained texture and bags of energy, finishing long with a skip in its step."

*Offer publication date December 3, 2021. Pricing and availability subject to change.