Home At Last

Dense dark stain with barely any brick. Dry cork–extremely soft–broke in half. Big rich tumbled fruit with a smoky manzanita and eucalyptus side, lovely petrichor and a fat funk streak spiking rich tertiaries of wet wool and cedar.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Howell Mountain? Souverain of Rutherford? Souverain of Alexander Valley? Chateau Souverain? Then things went decidedly downhill for hardcore fans of this brand like myself when the iconic chateau that housed Souverain (the chateau–not the brand, Beringer owned it at the time, later Gallo would purchase it–just the BUILDING) was purchased by Francis Ford Coppola. For a few years they had a tasting room in downtown Healdsburg, and I purchased these babies on deep discount at the TR as they were closing its doors. Now it is supermarket and mail-order only, to the best of my knowledge Ed Killian is only making bare-bones-basic wines of three or four varieties, and all the killer special bottlings of Cabernet have ceased. There were quite a few and this HOME VINEYARD ALEX was one of them. I revisit their 14-ish dollar Sonoma Cabernet fairly regularly, and it is a flaccid mess designed for the lowest-common-denominator of wine-consumer. What an embarrassing decline of a great brand with real history.

In the mouth, thick and chewy, rich nectar begging to never be swallowed. 5-spice and grapefruit minerality, bitter rusty steel and *just enough* elegance you know this is a carefully-crafted, fairly expensive luxury product, but running alongside is that briar and home-spun goodness we all love about Alexander Valley wines. Seamless and smooth, tannins very mild.

This bottle is going to be gone in 10 minutes. You literally CAN’T stop drinking it. What a joy. I’m sad I can’t share it with you and even sadder another bottle of Chateau Souverain Cabernet perfection is now missing from my cellar.

2005 SOUVERAIN Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Home Vineyard’ Alexander Valley Sonoma County California 14.6

www.souverain.com

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