One Bottle: 2018 Stalworth Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Stalworth Cabernet Sauvignon

The debut vintage for a marquee Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon project feels a bit like a performer’s first Broadway solo: The spotlight is very bright. After four years that included an earthquake, a drought, a landslide and wildfires, 2018 finally fulfilled the vision of Tim and Sabrina Persson (the second generation of Hess Persson Estates) and legendary winemaker Celia Welch: a definitive cabernet sauvignon that can match the local greatest of the greats.

The opening edition of Stalworth, which is sourced from part of an organically farmed vineyard in the prestigious Rutherford Bench, starts with aromas of redwood forest and soy-glazed mushrooms before ripe blackberry and raspberry jam notes sweep in amid the body’s plush tannins. The wine follows a dramatic arc that ends with spicy flavors hinting at espresso, mint and cumin. As the perfect pairing this month for an Easter leg of lamb or dark chocolate truffles, this is a vintage worthy of a standing ovation.

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