Premium Cabernet From Perhaps the World’s Greatest Wine Consultant

Today’s Story: Michel Rolland Napa Valley

Michel Rolland Napa Valley is the individual wine project of world-renowned wine consultant Michel Rolland, with its first vintage being 2010. Rolland grew up in Pomerol, France on his family’s estate Château Le Bon Pasteur, so one can say the path of winemaking started the day he was born. He excelled in his studies of viticulture and enology, ultimately purchasing an enology lab on the Right Bank of Bordeaux to begin his consulting career. Over time Rolland has consulted for hundreds of clients the world over, namely centered in his native Bordeaux in addition to Argentina, the United States, and other countries. With names on his resume like Château Ausone, Château L’Évangile, and Château Pontet-Canet it is also no surprise he consults for some of the greatest estates in the Napa Valley: Harlan Estate and Bryant Family to name a couple. As the Napa Valley became almost like a second home, Rolland decided to start his own venture sourcing from some of the greatest vineyards (many of them Beckstoffer) and MR Cabernet Sauvignon was born.

Today’s Wine: 2013 MR Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14.7% ABV

The 2013 MR Cabernet Sauvignon is deep ruby in color and completely opaque. I decanted this for about 2 hours and drank it over the following hour or so. The aromas are of pronounced intensity, with the nose offering up notes of blackberry, blueberry, plum, orange rind, violet, cigar box, graphite, slate, mint, savory green herbs, a touch of smoke, and cedar. The flavors are also of pronounced intensity, with the concentrated palate showcasing notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, black cherry, licorice, sweet tobacco, graphite, charred herbs, coffee grounds, clove, and cinnamon. This dry red is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) but silky and refined tannin, high alcohol, and a long finish. Very good and still quite youthful.

Price: $150. This is another high-quality Napa Cab in the ever-competitive price-point, and while for this saturated zone I cannot call this great “value” it certainly drinks at its price-point. Fruit sources here include the incredible sites of To Kalon, Missouri Hopper, Dr. Crane, and Stagecoach which, coupled with a limited production of 300 cases, contributes to the pricing. Nonetheless this is an incredibly concentrated, intense, and complex Napa Cab that was very enjoyable.

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