Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pulling cork: Atlas Peak

                  Look... up    
   I remember doing research for my book, Napa, and seeing vineyards going in up on Atlas Peak, one of the highest points in Napa Valley forged from, among other things, volcanic drift. A cellar was being dug into an escarpment there, and the vines looked exposed and a bit lonely. Since then some wonderful wine has come off that mountain, and from other high elevations on both sides of the valley.
    The sources of this cabernet sauvignon, with its pittance of malbec and cabernet franc, are Howell Mountain to the north, and Mt. Veeder to the west. Because the grapes come from different appellations this one is simply designated Napa Valley. Consequently it's less expensive than similar wines from a single designation, and one of an increasing number of good mix-and-match cabs, so to speak (Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley cabernet one of the best examples).
   This Atlas Peak cab's from the 2010 harvest, relatively affordable at about $40, and only 14.7% alcohol. Peppery, berryish, with some power and a fine, long finish. 
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