Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Muscardini 2014 Cassata Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley

Muscardini 2014 Cassata Vnyd CabThis big, bold red shows that all cult Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t come from Napa.

An Italian Twist

We liked Muscardini Cellars before, but after our visit to Sonoma, we now love this winery. The winery’s Italian heritage and penchant for hospitality comes shining through at its Sonoma tasting room in Kenwood.

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We had a ball tasting their range of wines in the laid back atmosphere of the former schoolhouse a couple years ago. The Italian grape Sangiovese plays a prominent role in their wines, which include single varietal bottlings plus their flagship Tesoro, a Sangiovese-driven blend.

Big bold reds rule the roost. That’s the case with their 2014 Cassata Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.

Loaded For Bear

Muscardini wines are small production, artisan wines. Their reds are undeniably lush and robust.

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The phrase “loaded for bear” comes to mind, perhaps because of our recent visit to Tennessee where we saw a black bear lumbering through the woods. When you are hunting bear, you bring your most powerful gun and ammunition you have to take down that hairy monster.

The Cassata Vineyard Cab is certainly no monster, but it is huge and maybe a bit hairy. At 15.6% ABV, it comes charging out of the bottle. We decanted for maybe 30 minutes and clearly, it would have benefitted from more time.

In the glass the wine is a deep ruby with long legs visible after a swirl or two. The aroma was closed at first, cloaked in an astringent, liquor odor.

It took a while for the wine to unwind. As it did, we enjoyed the full-bodied flavors of violet and red fruit. Intense flavors of brambles and spice crescendoed to an everlasting finish. This is a big red experience all the way.

Only 340 cases were made and just a handful of bottles are left. The price is now $85, about $30 more than I paid, but still a nice value. This is a wine that can age for another decade and as the flavors integrate, its greatness will only ascend.

If “go big or go home” is your motto, Muscardini’s Cassata Vineyard Cab is a perfect match.

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