|Red wine barrels at Corison|
Corison winery in Napa Valley, and to taste there the most wonderful California Cabernet Sauvignon. Started by Cathy Corison and made from high-quality vineyards in and around Rutherford, including a small plot of 40 year old Cab vines, Corison is renowned for the elegant, juicy, deep red wines that pour out of its many barrels.
The winery itself, which looks like a really big old schoolhouse, sits in the middle of the Kronos vineyard. Kronos is the acre of land (approximately) that is planted with 40 year old vines - some of the oldest in the region. Cathy replaces vines one at a time when necessary, and only after they've stopped producing grapes for three years in a row. You can see, in the photo to the right, how the old vines of Kronos are widely planted and can be clearly distinguished from the neighbouring vines (which are not part of Corison's property). Kronos wines are hand-crafted, made from this vineyard only, and are completely remarkable for the intensity of colour and flavours. We got to try some, and the glass was overflowing with cherries, field berries, and a hint of graphite. The wine tasted as if the vines really knew what they were doing out there, and loved the place that they were in.
Corison's wines are 'typically Cabernet,' there's nothing strange or unexpected happening here. It's straight-up, high quality, no-messing-around, real Cab Sauv. In a place where I felt like I'd been mostly drinking someone's experiment every day, it was refreshing to taste seriously well-crafted Cab with no funny business.
Corison knows her grapes, and knows her style. We tasted some of her wines from different years, and while the growing season and the age gave the wines different characters, one could tell right away that they were sisters. They came from the same place, with the same caring and knowledgeable hands helping them develop, and had the same structural backbone. Beautifully balanced, angular but juicy, and full of ripe cherries, currants, plums, and some tobacco leaf, these Cabs left nothing to be desired.
|Thanks to Elaine for bringing me here for a tasting. Fun!|