Bacio Divino scores (literally) with another amazing Cabernet from a renown vineyard in a gorgeous appellation, made by a rock star winemaker. The fact that you can get it from The Wine Spies for 47% off is just icing on the cake. Or skin on the grape, as the case may be.
The Featured Wine of Episode 86: Pairs With Janzen Cabernet And A Pilgrimage To Napa
95 Points, Robert Parker
95 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
Bacio Divino: A Rock Star, But With Real Rocks
With the Janzen label, it all starts with the vineyard. Bacio Divino Cellars, started by Claus Janzen in 1993, makes three single-vineyard Cabernets, each from its own rightfully incredible location. Each sparing no expense. The Janzen Cabernet Sauvignon comes entirely from hillside fruit from Cloudy’s Vineyard, which sits at the edge of the Vaca mountains, in Dutch Henry Canyon, between Switchback Ridge and Hourglass Vineyard. In this rocky soil, the vines struggle (but in a good way). Though they produce tiny clusters with thick skins, each berry contains fruit with neutron star-like density.
The rocky terrain of this secluded site offers excellent drainage and lots of nutrients. The fruit from this higher elevation produces a purer and more intensely flavorful wine, which is really the Bacio Divino style. The exceptional 2016 vintage offers generous blue and black fruit, excellent viscosity, and a well-integrated tannin structure. There is great balance for those who prefer drinking Cabernet at a younger age. However, this is a wine worthy of extended time in the cellar, and patience will be rewarded.
Plus, Janzen Has A Rock Star winemaker
The 2016 Janzen was created by Kirk Venge, who has more 95-100 point wines under his belt than I can count. He’s a Cabernet wiz, the guy you call to extract that core of supergiant flavor from your prized grapes. Like that endless silk handkerchief trick, he somehow teases an Amazonian expanse of rich fruit and dense flavor building upwards into a skyscraper-like structure. Waves of warm mulberries, rich cassis, violet tinted blackberry jam, sweet herbs, torrefaction, and tobacco: it’s all there in spades. Aged in a mix of 100% new French Oak (Taransaud, Gamba, and Sylvain barrels), the fine-grained tannins suggest it has years of life ahead.
And The Critics Go Nuts For Bacio Divino…
94-96 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A barrel sample, the 2016 Janzen Cloudy’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has a very deep purple-black color and vibrant nose of crushed black currants and black plums with hints of cedar, black soil, Ceylon tea and bay leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is firm, muscular and offers wonderful tension, with buckets of expressive, freshly crushed black fruit flavors and wonderfully ripe tannins, finishing long.”
95 points – Jeb Dunnuck
“From a site not far from the Hourglass Vineyard, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Cloudy’s Vineyard is upfront and charming, with full-bodied notes of macerated black cherries, cedarwood, chocolate, and licorice. It’s a mouthfilling, sexy, opulent wine that grows with time in the glass, has solid mid-palate depth, building tannins, and a great finish. Drink it any time over the coming 15-20 years.”
|VARIETAL||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
|APPELLATION||Calistoga, Napa Valley|
|VINEYARD||Cloudy’s Estate Vineyard, planted in 2000|
|COLNE / ROOOTSTOCK||336 on 110R|
|ALTITUDE||450-500 ft above Dutch Henry Canyon|
|SOILS||Sandy loam, volcanic rock and obsidian|
|TOTAL ACIDITY||6.9 g/L|
|BARRELS||100% new French oak (Taransaud, Gamba, Sylvain from Allier & Tronçais)|
|RELEASE DATE||April 1, 2019|