Medium ruby with razor-thin edges, staining and with the purple hues of youth. Buttery frosting washes out of the glass, heady and strong, dripping with mascarpone, sauteed 7-Up and burnt latex, blowing off to a rich hazel-nut maple butter in oaky bottom-land. Late-breathing reveals a gilded mint, brightly complimenting the brooding fruit.
Pretty sure this is my first 2014 Cab–at least one of this pedigree. One of the pinnacles of super-market wine, Artemis may be a bit more user-friendly than its three more-expensive stable-mates, a bit more dedicated to lavish oak and round, beautiful luscious chocolaty jammy fruit and velvet tannins than the other, FAR more expensive bottles from Cask23.
In the mouth, brick-house waves of dense blackberry fruit pound a maraschino and oak liquor against acid-tinged maple sugar. An almost amaretto nuttiness melds the alcohol and spice together with bitter tobacco and tea, but over all an elegant dried-currant sweetness masks the formidable tannins lurking in a finish not compromised with heat or flabby fruit, but crisp and clean–meager, even, considering everything else going on in this wine–a light, bright steam-train of elixir and acid, fast giving way to structure.
Every time one of these crosses my desk, I say the same thing: If I have to die with a supermarket wine, oh what a glorious death. THIS is how I want to go.
2014 STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis Napa Valley 14.5