WINE REVIEW: Ehlers Estate 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA ($73)
by Andrew Chalk
A heavyweight in California Wine, Ehlers Estate produces this as their only non-estate wine (see winemaker's tasting notes below). That helps this wine remain a comparative bargain in Napa terms.
The wine is characterized by dark fruit, a complex core of black cherries, herbs, and spices. The wine is drinkable now but will age for several more years.
Tasting Notes From The Winemaker...
The 2018 Ehlers’ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is our only non-Estate wine. Approximately 18% of the grapes for this wine were sourced from vineyards in Oakville and Yountville. The wine exhibits dusty aromas of dark and red berries, dry herbs, and spices in deep dark garnet. Black pepper and cedar, with hints of cherries, round out the nose. The first sip is earthy, mineral with pencil shaving and dust. Blueberries and dark chocolate accompany the long after taste. Medium to full-bodied with spices and cedar, boysenberries, and dry herbs like thyme and rosemary. Good tannins and structure. Enjoyable now, it will open up with decanting and will age well for 15-20 more years.
2018 was a perfect vintage from a weather standpoint. Cooler nights and mild daytime temperatures in August helped to retain the beautiful natural acidity and delicate flavors and aromas of the fruit. The excellent weather conditions allowed for less irrigation and longer hang time for the grapes. This helped gain more concentration of fruit character in the
wine during fermentation. We were able to pick at the perfect time in sugar, flavor, color, and tannin ripeness without losing acidity.
Varietal: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon (18% non Estate) and 14% Cabernet Franc
Harvest: September and October 2018
Wine Analysis: 14.5 % alcohol / 3.69 pH
Oak Aging: 61% New French Oak, 39% used French oak for 22 months
Appellation: St. Helena, Napa Valley
Bottling Date: August 20, 2020
Cases Produced: 2541 cases