Dark staining ruby with literally no edge. An initial grapey blows off to slightly hot vegetal carries waves of hazelnut and milk chocolate malt ball on a coastal-breeze sort of salt-mint baseline. Palm fronds and maple sugar candy are the strange bed-fellows in this heady, concentrated, extremely complex nose delving considerably away from the *usual suspects*.
This is what I love about Santa Cruz Mountains–especially Cabernet from there. So many different aspects of the variety and all remarkable in their ability to think outside the box while still maintaining classical definition. This little 3-barrel Cab is a perfect example.
In the mouth, an overwhelming wash of brilliant cold fruit is the first impression, cool, steely and intense. It coats the sides of your mouth with an impenetrable layer of dense dark goodness, charismatic and light on its feet despite the heavy punch. It never gets bogged down with over-ripeness or flab, although toeing a delicate line in this regard. I am going to guess 14-2 despite the richness and heat, because the whole package is incredibly balanced.
And still there’s that nose. Fortunately this wine has to go my my nose every time I sip and each time I am even more wowwed by the layers and layers of Cabernet fruit peeling off this thing in thick flakes, exposing even more eucalyptus, black tea and elegant spirals of amaretto and creme de cassis–teeny bits of oak peeking through, but a complete after-thought. Clear-bright fruit constitutes the finish–as a wine this age SHOULD–succumbing quickly to youthful tannins geared for the long haul. Despite the tiny quantities of this wine produced, last I checked there was still some available on the website–the benefit of being a completely unknown winery outside the local industry.
2013 STEFANIA Cabernet Sauvignon Chaine d’Or Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains 14.2