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They don’t make Cab like this anymore. Thick, chewy, mountain wines that seem built for drinking after a long day of trailblazing and felling timber! Like his counterpart Randy Dunn on Howell Mountain, Tom Eddy prefers the solitude and pitch-black Cabernet found on Atlas Peak. Unapologetically old-school Cab that makes new-styled wines feel a bit…thin by comparison. Always released with some bottle age, this oozes with dark, spicy fruit.
About the wine
Popping the cork on a Tom Eddy is like feeling a lunker latch onto the other end of your fishing line. Strap in! Tom’s the king of chock-a-block mountain Cabernet that floods tastebuds with dark, rich fruit tinged with tobacco and clove. It’s velvety and has a long finish, but with a grip that never lets you forget who’s in charge! The 2013 Cabernet is built from high-elevation sites that endow the wine with extraordinary color and tannin. It’s not just that – Eddy wines are built like a bomb shelter and can sometimes seem borderline absurd – Other wineries talk about full-bodied wine – Tom Eddy’s makes Port taste watery. This kind of wine can only come about with seriously intense fruit and plenty of experience. Other winemakers try to rush the process or cut corners with tricky winemaking – not gonna work, guys. Nothing can duplicate this formula, perfected back in the day when California was beating the pants off the French in the Judgment of Bordeaux. Old-school, unbridled and still crushing it after 40 years. The Gold Standard in Classic Cab.
Winemaker: Tom Eddy
Appellation: Napa Valley
- 98 pts: Walter Moore, WSET Diploma
- 98 pts: Vintage Rating (WA & WS)
- 4.6/5.0 Vivino Users (10 ratings)
- 4.4/5.0 Vivino Users All Vintages (449 ratings)
Grapes: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec
Vineyards: Stagecoach (43%), Elkington (23%), Bella Vista (17%), Greeg (14%) and Kerry’s (3%)
Cooperage: 34 months in 100% French Oak, 66% of which is new.
About the winery
As one of the Fabulous Five who graduated from UC Davis in ’74, Tom Eddy helped changed the way the world thought about Napa wine. His classmates had some names you might recognize: Mondavi, Wente, Dunn and Martini. This high-powered quintet turned Napa from a rural backwater to America’s pre-eminent wine country with Eddy heading the charge at the legendary Inglenook and Souverain estates. In 1989, it was time for Eddy to pursue his idea of 100-point perfection with his own tiny Mountain estate. As Eddy puts it, he wants his cake and to eat it too – his extravagantly dark and bold Cabernet is very tannic and massively concentrated – attributes that make it hard for reviewers to evaluate from barrel – so he ages each wine an unheard-of five years before release, ensuring his releases are liquid dynamite that leave Cab lovers awestruck.
About the vineyards
Stagecoach and Elkington are two of Napa’s most singular vineyards – these extreme-climate sites produce Napa’s absolutely darkest, chewiest and most concentrated grapes. But they are a pain to farm. High elevation, precipitous drop-offs and whipping winds make these sites a labor of love. Yet it’s clearly worth it as countless elite wineries strap on their boots and make the trek in order to get this formidable fruit. Elkington is up high on Atlas Peak, and certified as one of Napa’s three-highest vineyards. Days are hot and nights are cold, pushing harvest dates uncomfortably close to the end of the season. At slightly lower elevation one encounters the smoldering strength of Stagecoach Cabernet, a Napa First Growth. Black from the rim to the core and packed with supple tannin and smoky accents, Stagecoach Cab can be a real rollercoaster when unblended. That’s why it’s the perfect complement to the chewy hedonism of Kelly and Kate’s crop that Tom Eddy blends and ages to a rarely-seen sumptuousness..
About the winemaker, Tom Eddy
As part of the legendary UC Davis class of ’74, Tom Eddy landed in Napa when ideas like special cuvees, single vineyard bottlings, mountainside fruit and extended aging were all mere fantasies. This visionary winemaker helped set the course for the extended run of Napa’s excellence – by innovating and championing techniques and approaches we take for granted. He’s accumulated 40 years of winemaking experience, beginning with Inglenook and Souverain. His mentor was the legendary Lee Stewart, part of the Founding Fathers of Napa, a hero from the era of Andre Tchelistcheff and Louis Martini. Folks today may not know these names but they are the Washington, Jefferson and Jackson of Napa’s early days. That makes Tom Eddy the Teddy Roosevelt figure, a throwback, a naturalist and a stalwart advocate of rugged, honest and true wines.
98 points - Walter Moore, WSET Diploma , CSW
"This is the fourth straight vintage of Tom Eddy's Cab that has rocked me. The density, concentration, and fine-boned structure of these legendary mountian vineyards, as captured by Tom Eddy, is a thing of beauty each year. It's no wonder that the 2013 stands above all in my memory, this is special stuff! Cedar and graphite-etched Cabernet to the max with dark cherry, black currant, loam and licorice leading the fruit core. It has that Napa Valley garrigue of sage, fennel, and warm dusty hills in September. The tannins are remarkably friendly now, but it's clear that this will age 15-20+ years in a cellar. Pour it into a carafe now to unlock the potpourri and youthful grip. This is a memorable wine. Stash some away for lamb chops in a few years! Or dive in there now like I did..."