Wine Review: Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016

charles krugThe oldest winery in Napa, Charles Krug opened its doors in 1861 and was purchased by the Mondavi family in 1943. It is now owned by the family of Peter Mondavi. How is this icon holding up?

Meh. This is medium bodied and light on its feet for a Napa Cabernet but a whiff of alcohol mars the nose and some sour acidity on the finish detracts from the experience.

Aromas of black cherry and black raspberry, cocoa, black olive, and toasted oak make for a typical nose—it is enjoyable if you can work around the alcohol.

The palate shows firm, energetic fruit up front, not at all weighty or dense, nimble with a quick crescendo, and with cocoa persisting even well into the finish. But the fruit dries out and fades quickly at the close of the truncated midpalate, and the persistent acid-driven top layer is too exposed when the fruit fades. The finish is unbalanced with fine grained, drying tannins that lack oomph.

Lacking sufficient fruit power, the wine is animated, but with tension that is never resolved, it promises excitement but becomes fragmented and ends in anguish never recovering its bearings.

Pair with the fractured guitar of Sonic Youth’s James Run Free.

If you own some of this, drink now.

Technical Notes: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec. The fruit is harvest from several estate vineyards in Yountville, aged 14-18 months in new French oak.

Score: 88

Price: $30

Alc: 14.5%

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