Review: 2018 Baldacci Vineyards Thomas Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: 2018 Baldacci Vineyards Thomas Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

Christened in tribute to the patriarch of Baldacci Family Vineyards and father to winemaker Michael Baldacci, this Cabernet Sauvignon is the beneficiary of grapes harvested from Baldacci’s top two vineyards, located in the Stags Leap and Diamond Mountain districts and carefully selected to showcase the diversity of regional terroir. It is matured for 22 months using carefully selected oak from the forests of France, resulting in 100% new French oak barriques that, along with a proprietary oak and barrel toasting profile, give this a merit of distinction going one step above that of Baldacci’s traditional processes.

Pouring into the glass, there’s an immediate presentation of dark cherry and vanilla. Time is necessary to let this reveal its fullest charms, and patience is rewarded with notes of black currant and slight wisps of cedar and vanilla peeking in and out, the barrel and aging process certainly playing their dutiful roles. While things are delightfully layered at first, it doesn’t provide any signals or preparation for the rich palate, ripe with blackberry and plum but complemented by layer after generous layer of espresso, dark chocolate, and baking spice. Balanced in acidity, the palate is framed by incredibly fine-grained tannins helping to deliver texture without overpowering. The balance of fruit and oak pushes on through a persistent and silky finish that is incredibly satisfying, with a mild note of tobacco leaf hanging around as it finishes.

Far too often, wineries present an expression christened as a “flagship” or “marquee” bottle with very little distinction from the remainder of its offerings. This is very much an exception to that rule, as the Thomas Collection stands atop an already impressive portfolio. Like a masterclass performance from John Coltrane at the Village Vanguard or Keith Jarrett in Köln, this is a wine restrained in refined elegance and power, firing fully on all cylinders and disciplined in delivery. It could very well be one of the best Napa Valley reds to emanate from the region in recent years. Do not hesitate or deliberate if you are ever fortunate to have in your presence a soul generous enough to offer to open a bottle. Extraordinary stuff.

A / $1000 for three bottles

2018 Baldacci Vineyards Thomas Collection Cabernet Sauvignon




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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