Today’s Story: Mascot Wine
Mascot Wine was “founded” in 2008 with their first commercial release, however this wine was produced by Will Harlan years beforehand to be shared with family and friends. The Mascot started as Will’s personal experiment, born from the youngest vines of Harlan Estate, Promontory, and BOND when he convinced the winemaking team (and his family including father Bill Harlan) to spare a few barrels of wine. Though Will grew up in his family’s vineyards and winery, eating some of Napa’s most precious fruit off the vines in his backyard, The Mascot marked his foray into experiencing the dramatic complexity of fermenting, blending, and producing wine first-hand, a craft he continues to master.
Fun fact: “The engraving of ‘Prince’ was commissioned over one-hundred years ago, by the president of the Farmers Deposit National Bank of Pittsburgh, for the bank’s stock certificates. The dog, an english bull-terrier, lived at the bank (greeting customers and employees alike), and became a beloved symbol of their down-to-earth, loyal, and personal customer service values.” Source: The Mascot
Today’s Wine: 2014 The Mascot
100% Cabernet Sauvignon (this is the only variety listed on the Mascot website, though I have seen sources that claim these wines are 90-94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot); 14.8% ABV
The 2014 Mascot is an opaque deep purple/ruby color almost black at its core. This needs an hour decant and only gets better after that, with the nose emitting aromas of blackcurrant, wild blueberry, jammy plum, redcurrant, cedar, violet, anise, graphite, tobacco leaf, pine, and slight oak. Once in the mouth, this showcases notes of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, redcurrant, tobacco, silt, a hint of smoke, chocolate, black pepper spice, and oak. Full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, refined and tightly knit medium (+) tannins, and a long finish dominated by black fruit. This wine shows a lot of promise and drinks like a baby BOND, and since the last vintage I tasted (2011) I can tell improvements and finesse are being added.
Price: $100 direct from the winery ($140 average retail price in the US). If Harlan Estate, Promontory, and BOND are your style, this is an absolute steal on value. Though this is very big, opulent, and somewhat jammy in style (I typically steer clear of these), I cannot argue this is a great wine for those who love fruit-forward, high-quality Napa juice. It is at its core an excellent look through the developmental lens of “the Big Boys” mentioned above that start at $600 per bottle and sail past $1,000. Pair this with filet mignon.