Lifestyle

4 of the Best Cabernet Sauvignons from Cult American Winemakers

The world of horology is a rich landscape made up of legendary Swiss watchmakers, amazing independents and microbrands. Looking at other luxury industries, a similar structure can be observed, especially in wine. In fact, the concept of small wineries and wine estates with limited productions is, arguably, far more prominent in luxury drinks of all types than the microbrand is in watchmaking. Small production wines is a vast industry, too vast to cover here, so let’s apply the magnifying glass to a specific region of California and some prominent names in American cult wine and their Cabernet Sauvignon.

BOND – Vecina, Price On Request

BOND, Vecina Cabernet Sauvignon Cult Wine

Nestled within the Napa Valley to the north of San Francisco you’ll find BOND winery. Founded by the incredibly successful William Harlan, BOND specialises in creating unique expressions based on their terroir concept. Terroir is the character given to a wine based on the growing conditions of the grapes. They work with several vineyards with distinct terroirs in an attempt to create the American equivalent of the Grand Crus, a regional classification of French wine.

The BOND Vecina is named after the specific vineyard it hails from. It has a deep purple colour and tasting notes of blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries with complementary hints of cinnamon. Now is a good time to procure vintages from 2017-2018 as they’ll be reaching peak maturity from 2025-2050.

Due to limited production of each vintage and the brand’s cult status, demand for every bottle is exceptionally high and members only.

Find out more here.

Screaming Eagle – Cabernet Sauvignon, €5.438,95

Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon

Screaming Eagle is perhaps one of the more mysterious American cult wine makers. Through a combination of exclusive waiting lists (12 years or more), a distinctive logo and packaging. Even the name Screaming Eagle is evocative. They burst onto the wine scene with their first vintage earning near perfect scores from respected critics like Robert Parker.

The wines, which are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, are crafted from a combination of grapes from Californian vineyards. The resulting drink is composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. It’s a delightfully layered wine of red and black fruit. They produce only 400-500 casks per year.

Find out more here.

Hundred Acre – Ark, €688,49

Hundred Acre, Ark Cabernet Sauvignon Cult Wine

Hundred Acre is a Napa Valley based winery founded by Jayson Woodbridge. Woodbridge is the nearest thing to a celebrity in the American wine scene due to his charismatic and flamboyant nature. That eccentricity bleeds into Hundred Acre wines through the fact every bottle bears an inscription from Homer’s The Odyssey about the nature of man – as is clearly displayed on the 2004 Shiraz magnum bottle.

However, Hundred Acre are better known for the Ark series with dark cherry and plum scent as well as tones of wild fungi. The flavour profile matches with yet more fruit although the finish lengthens out to become savoury. Now is the perfect time for this wine and if cellared well, will be good to drink for years to come.

Find out more here.

Harlan – Harlan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Price On Request

Harlan, Harlan Estate

Proving his success at creating cult wines, William Harlan has a second winery worthy of making this list, although Harlan Estate actually pre-dates BOND by some years. Where BOND is a multi-vineyard project, Harlan Estate is more personal, derived solely from Harlan’s own vineyard. Working within the confines of a specific region, and indeed a specific estate, creates a unique flavour profile that’s virtually impossible to recreate elsewhere (the terroir that Harlan would go on to explore in more depth as concept with BOND.) Which contributes to the lengthy waiting lists these wines can have because they’re not available from any other source.

As a wine, in the glass, Harlan Estate offers a garnet-purple colour with a dominant flavour of currants and berries paired with undertones of sage and mint. It makes for an earthy richness that complements the medium to full body and fine tannins.

Find out more here.

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