Ladera Vineyards makes two single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons in addition to the Napa Valley that I looked at already. Those three wines combined make up close to 90% of their total production. So clearly they're committed to Cabernet Sauvignon, which is often referred to as the King of Napa. The first of the two single vineyards I'm looking at is Lone Canyon Vineyard. This is a site of close to 500 acres, 75 of them under vine. Lone Canyon is a mountain location, which borders Mount Veeder. The Ladera 2004 Lone Canyon Vineyard Cabernet is 100% sourced from this single vineyard. The wine was aged for 22 months in 73% new French oak. 1,900 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $65.
Dark berry and a hint of eucalyptus are the first notes that emerge from this wines nose. Even with a year more bottle age than the Napa Valley Cabernet this selection is a bit reticent at first. Decanting for at least an hour is highly recommended. Once it opens up nutmeg, mocha notes and an absolute avalanche of berry fruit flavors are the story of this wines palate through to the tremendous earthy finish. This Cabernet will surely stand up to your finest steak. However, it's also restrained and lovely enough to drink well on it's own.
For me, single vineyard wines epitomize the concept of capturing a sense of place. They can genuinely reflect what happened in that vineyard in a given year.
What I like most about this wine is the absolute purity of fruit and excellent spice component running through it from beginning to end. There is something particularly clean and natural tasting about this offering. This is an intense, persistent, multi-layered and impeccably balanced expression of Cabernet Sauvignon.
While this wine is drinking beautifully now, I'd expect it to age gracefully for the better part of a decade, at minimum. For $65 this isn't going to be a wine most people drink with Pizza on a Tuesday night. That said it's an excellent choice to tuck away for a special occasion. Furthermore it's important to note that this wine is an excellent value in its price point. There's no shortage of Napa Cabernets in this price range, too few of them are in the Lone Canyon's class.
Up Next: Ladera's Howell Mountain Cabernet.
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