WINE REVIEW: Signorello Estate 2016 ‘Padrone’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA ($179)
by Andrew Chalk
I opened this wine for a Friday afternoon reviewing session and what a way to end the week! It is a powerhouse with the poise of a ballerina. From the inky intensity of its ruby color and blueberry hues, to its nose of dust, briary notes, black cherries, vanilla, smoked sirloin steak, tobacco, and herbs, to its mouth filling powerball of cherry, cedar and thyme, to the ultimate ending of a long, long finish enrobing the throat. The tannins are big enough to grab you and demand attention, but velvety enough to make this wine still seismically enjoyable for early consumption.
Before you balk at the price. You have heard of Napa superwines that exist in miniscule quantities and sell for four-figure sums to lists defended by minefields. Well, this wine is in that quality league and, interpreted correctly, is actually a bargain. Your only worry is that you might get a taste for this league and sell your possessions and your relatives to buy more.
We talked about Signorello Estate here. They were hit badly by the Napa fires in October 2017, when this wine was in barrel, and I am pleased to report that there are no smoke or fire effects. Signorello is still repairing its infrastructure (e.g. a tasting room) but the laser focus on the product presages a bright future.
‘Padrone’ is Signorello’s flagship, named in honor of founder Ray Signorello, Sr. This vintage is a fitting tribute.