For more than ten vintages Quintessa in Napa Valley has been producing a Bordeaux style blend that does an excellent job of showing off its Rutherford lineage. A few years back they also started producing Faust. Faust is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine with a Napa Valley appellation. The 2005 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon is 77% varietal. 18% is Merlot and the balance is Cabernet Franc. Fruit was sourced in Rutherford and a vineyard south of Atlas Peak that will be called Tulocay in the future. The wine was aged in French oak for 18 months. 30% of it was new and the balance was one year old. The suggested retail price for this wine is $55.
Cherry, cedar and vanilla notes are prominent in the nose. From the very first sip and throughout the palate, there is a ton of berry fruit underscored by lighter vanilla notes. Earth, bramble, spice and mineral notes emerge in the mid-palate and continue through the finish which is long, lingering and incredibly smooth in nature. Throw in good tannic structure plus solid acidity and you have a classic example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This offering is a textbook wine to pair with Prime Rib.
What I like best about this wine is that it's bigger, firmer and more structured than the average 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet. Many of the 2005's I've tasted are on the softer side. The Faust is certainly approachable now, especially after an hour in the decanter, but it's got the structure for mid-term aging too. I tasted this wine a second time after it had been open for 24 hours. It held up quite well.
This wine isn't inexpensive. However there are many Napa Cabernet's in this price range that aren't as tasty or well made as the 2005 Faust. So if you're inclined to spend the bucks on a 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet, here's a fine example.
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