Dark ruby right out to the edges, slightly staining. Big green briar nose, tannic and dense–just a black acrid stew of tarry anger and shredded underbrush, delightfully punctuated with curvaceous ripe fruit.
This has always been one of my favorite supermarket top-shelfers. I don’t know who owns them–probably some huge conglomerate–and I don’t care, as every single time I get one of these set down in front of me, I fall in love all over again with the eye-watering structure they manage to cram into a bottle of wine allegedly “for the masses”. While most of its shelf-mates stretched out in either direction at this price-point run almost to a fault big fat rich chocolaty jam-bombs of homogeneous Napa, somehow Mt. Veeder has gathered all the rugged volcanic madness–the manzanita, madrone, dogwood, poison oak and fir, warm, dry afternoons following cool mornings untouched by valley moisture–and preserved it in vintage after vintage of their bottles, defying the sweet-tooth of the American consumer and producing a product–if not for that California density–on par with Bordeaux-ideals.
In the mouth, a cat’s-tongue of sharp briar enters and arches over sweet tobacco, lead, steel and cedar, a fumé of black tea and blacker walnut cresting the tongue and going gunpowder-brilliant towards the base. The peek-a-boo of fleshy fruit throughout the acid and tannin continues as it did in the nose, always subdued by more structure, then popping up somewhere else rich and thick. Bright lime-water topping on the finish balances and lightens those tannins you’ve been chewing this whole time.
2010 MOUNT VEEDER WINERY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.0