2018 Cabernet Sauvignon "Block 15"
Estelle Vineyard, Santa Ynez
At this point I truly believe that Block 15 at the Estelle Vineyard is the nicest little section of Cabernet Sauvignon in Santa Barbara County. I usually get an email or two every year from wine club members who sneak bottles of Block 15 into blind tastings with a bunch of Napa Cabs. The subject line usually reads something like "guess which wine was our favorite?!!!”, followed by a photo of an empty bottle of Block 15.
This year’s bottling sports heady, cassis fruit with spices that are in the realm of tobacco leaf, with a touch of cedar. Not for the faint of heart, it’s very rich on the palate, but should age really well with its ample, well placed tannins. At the rate of about 50% new, the oak employed was French, with an emphasis on robust toasting. As a result, there is a nice balance between firm structure and elegance.