Nose, palate and pairing: Ripe, delicious blackberry fruit, good structure and plenty of tannins to age for years. Pair with a grilled dry-aged steak, herby new potatoes and greens in a mustard-rich vinaigrette.
The backstory: Winemaker Michael Hirby began Relic in 2001 to make wines using both old and new production methods, including the oldest method of them all, foot stomping the grapes. The Cabernet offering, Artefact, is a result of attention to detail in the vineyards during the 2008 growing season, as the vintage endured stingy rains, extended frost and heat spikes. Although yields were affected, fruit was concentrated and the result is a dense wine that will drink well for the next 15 years.
Varietals: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah
Nose: Ripe and fruity, with sweet spice, pepper and chocolate notes
Palate: Juicy black fruit, flowers, herbs, pepper, cocoa and full ripe tannins
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Origin: United States