Turnbull is one of my favorite producers of red wines in Napa. Yet, they don’t seem to get much notice. I’m not sure if that’s because they sell all they make and don’t need to promote the winery much, or –more likely — if there’s just so much competition these days in Northern California (Sonoma, Napa, Livermore, Mendocino, etc.) that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Either way, it’s all good to me, and for us fans of signature Napa style wines. Turnbull are among my favorite California wines that I review.
Keeping these wines hush-hush likely means keeping prices in line. The top Turnbull wine, a “black label” Cabernet, sells for one hundred dollars. Hard to believe, but that’s a steal by fine wine Napa standards.
With this Audaci estate Cab ($85) they produce a pretty darn impressive Bordeaux blend too. Made with grapes from Turnbull’s Amoenus vineyard in Calistoga, this is a bold and intense wine. Represent! This one has classic Napa written all over it. Yes, it weighs in at a hefty 15.5% alcohol level. But that’s not really important as the balance is perfectamendo. Definitely let this one breathe, preferably decant the bottle.
There’s a gorgeous aromatic nose. Take a whiff, and you’re swimming in a cornucopia of toasty, earthy, dark berries. It’s a dry red. So that first sip might catch you off guard. Thereafter, there’s layer upon layer of interesting, rich flavors to enjoy.
Over the years I’ve cellared up a bunch of Turnbull reds. I look forward to seeing how they evolve over time; it’s the kind of “research” that requires lots and lots and lots of tasting!
Turnbull Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Audaci
80% Cabertnet Sauvginon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec
15.5% alc., estate grown
$85, 93 points