Napa Valley’s Thrilling 2018 & 2019 – Antonio Galloni
Published January 2021 on Vinous.com
Written by Antonio Galloni
A collection of four Cabernets from vineyards in Soda Canyon and Atlas Peak. Andy Erickson is the winemaker.
2018 Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon: The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Expedition, the first wine in this range, is a heady, exotic Cabernet laced with copious blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, spice and new French oak. Unabashedly opulent, this full-throttle Cabernet delivers plenty of intensity in a bold style that will require only minimal cellaring. Soft contours add to its considerable appeal. This is certainly an impressive debut. Hopefully the oak can be a bit more measured in the future, but that’s a pretty small quibble at this level. The Expedition is built around a core of fruit from vineyards in Soda Canyon and Atlas Peak.
Score: 94 points.
2018 Shale Cabernet Sauvignon: The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Shale is gorgeous. Deep, pliant and aromatically expressive, the Shale Cabernet has a lot going on. Sage, mint, cedar, rose petal, licorice and spice add a brilliant aromatic upper register to play off the fruit. The 2018 is deep and powerful, as all these wines are, but it also possesses tremendous purity from start to finish.
Score: 92-95 points
2018 Basalt Cabernet Sauvignon: The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Basalt is laced with black fruit, chocolate, gravel and smoke, all of which come together to convey an impression of breadth and brooding power. Full-bodied and vibrant, the Basalt is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. This is impressive.
2018 Summit Cabernet Sauvignon: The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Summit is a blend of the best lots in the cellar. It is the most intensely mineral and savory of these Cabernets. Mountain structure and generous inky dark fruit come together in a huge, dramatic Cabernet that delivers the goods. Gravel, dried herbs, crushed rocks and flowers add myriad shades of nuance. This is another compelling and promising wine from Seven Apart.