Forbes Wines Of The Week: Seven Apart Cabernet

Published October 2020 on

Written by Brian Freedman

My red Wine of the Week is also a first bottling, but the winemaker who crafted it is no stranger to critical and consumer adulation. The Seven Apart “Expedition” Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a new project that brings together world-class winemaker Andy Erickson (his work has helped elevate some of the top names in Napa, including Harlan, Dalla Valle, Scream Eagle, Spottswoode, and more), a new winery on the base of Atlas Peak, and the high-altitude Stags Ridge Vineyard, which is located on a volcanic plateau approximately 1,400 feet above sea level.

That location, with its warm, sunny days and brisk nights, and Erickson’s work in the vineyard and in the winery, has resulted in an inaugural vintage of power, complexity, and age-worthiness. Minty aromas are joined by other balsamic notes that, as well as mineral, pencil shavings, blackberries, and black cherries. On the palate, this is dense and chewy, with plenty of tannic structure carrying a guyser of blackberries, cassis, blueberries, charred vanilla pod, black cardamom, and a hint of violets on the finish.

Only 60 barrels were made, which translates, at 25 cases each, to just 1,500 cases, and they are available on strict allocation from the winery itself. But at $135 per bottle, and given the sumptuousness of this first vintage, collectors would be advised to add their names to the list. It’s excellent.