Today’s Story: Liparita
Liparita was founded in 1880 by William Keyes, a geologist by trade who discovered remarkable soil for winegrowing on Howell Mountain. When Keyes established his winery, he named it Liparita in homage to Lipari Island off the coast of Sicily because the soils he planted his vines in reminded him of the soils on the island. Liparita became one of the first wineries to bottle their wines with a vineyard designation, their first being the Liparita Howell Mountain Claret. This same wine later became the first from California to win a gold medal at the Paris Exposition in 1900. Unfortunately, like many Californian wineries established around this time, Prohibition and phylloxera greatly damaged Liparita and sent it back to obscurity.
With the rebirth of winemaking in Napa Valley during the middle and late 1900s, the Liparita brand reappeared and subsided yet again over time. In 2006, however, Spencer Hoopes purchased the brand and sought to not only bring it back to life but return Liparita to its glory days. Today, Spencer and his daughter Lindsay lead the winery in efforts to produce quality Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s best appellations and parcels. To read more about them individually, check out the website here.
Today’s Wine: 2013 V Block Cabernet Sauvignon
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot; 15.4% ABV
The 2013 V Block is opaque deep ruby in color with purple at its core. Once this opens up in the decanter, the nose showcases aromas of black cherry, jammy blackberry, redcurrant, boysenberry, cedar, graphite, cocoa, granite, and oak. There is also unfortunately some heat from the rather high ABV. Once in the mouth, this wine offers notes of candied plum, blueberry pie, blackberry compote, black licorice, sweet tobacco, mocha, crushed rock, and vanilla. This Cab is full-bodied with high acidity, grippy medium (+) tannins, and a long finish dominated by inky black fruit.
Price: $65. This is certainly a high-end people-pleaser, so not necessarily fitting for my taste profile. However, for those of you who like Caymus, with how outrageously priced that wine is now I’d say skip it to try this Liparita next time as it is similar in profile but significantly better. Pair this with steak, prime rib, or lamb.