Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 vintage might be something of an outlier for Cathy Corison, who picked two weeks later than usual, taking advantage of the cool season from summer into fall. This wine is, in fact, an idealized version of her benchland cabernet sauvignon, holding on to the elegance she regularly achieves, while adding a luscious textural beauty that more often comes from bottle age. James Conley of NYC’s Keen’s Chophouse found the aroma suggested a more delicate wine than the density and extract this one carries in its “cabernet grape tannins and intriguing, lifted fruit. If someone said, ‘I love Napa, but show me what I’m missing.’ I’d say, ‘Well, try this.’” Warm and explosive in its energy, this wine carries an imprint of the benchland soils in the play of darkness and light, in the detailed tannins that make you crave another taste
A very fresh, floral-laced style, offering a bright beam of cassis and plum gelée laced with flashes of violet, hibiscus and rose petal. Nicely grounded through the finish, with alder and warm earth hints filling in. Approachable, but this has more to show in time. Best from 2023.
Lots of dark, blackcurrants, cassis, darker chocolate, and hints of violets emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced St. Helena Napa Cabernet Sauvignon offering nicely integrated acidity, terrific balance, and a great finish. This quintessential Cathy Corison Cabernet shines on all accounts. It's going to evolve for two decades. Best After 2022
Corison Winery is a small family farm producing delicious Cabernet Sauvignons that speak of place. Over three decades, Cathy Corison and William Martin have built a special home to celebrate the best of their little corner of the world, benchland in the heart of the Napa Valley. Known for power and elegance, Corison wines are balanced to grace the table and are recognized throughout the world for their longevity and consistency.
In 1987, Cathy Corison began to purchase great Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from prime benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena, intent on making powerful and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that speaks of place. These well-drained alluvial soils had a long history of producing balanced, age-worthy, world-class wines, reaching back to the late 19th century. In her early years everything was done with smoke and mirrors, using purchased fruit and space in others’ wineries.
In 1995, with the purchase of Kronos Vineyard, a property that had been a farm for over a century, there was finally an estate vineyard and a place to build a winery. In the spring of 1999, they broke ground to build their stately Victorian-style winery barn, designed by Cathy’s husband, William Martin. The second estate vineyard, Sunbasket, a stone’s throw from the winery, was purchased in 2015 after sourcing it for over 25 years.
St. Helena is in the heart of the Napa Valley, nestled between Calistoga to the north and Rutherford on its southern border. On its western side, the Mayacamas Mountains guard it from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean; to its east stand the Vaca Mountains. In conjunction, these mountain ranges serve to lock in summer daytime heat. But in the evening, cool air from the San Pablo Bay funnels up through the valley, creating very chilly nights. It isn’t uncommon for temperatures to drop 50 degrees, a shift that promotes a balance of sugar ripeness and acidity in wine grapes.
St. Helena contains a plethora of different soil types in a small area, which have been enhanced over centuries by rain runoff from both mountain ranges. Its vineyards cover a variety of terrain, spreading across the bucolic valley floor and its benchlands.
These ideal topographic and climatic growing conditions easily caught the attention of early winemaking pioneers. In fact, St. Helena is the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry. Dr. Crane founded his cellar in 1859, David Fulton in 1860 and Charles Krug in 1861.
Today there are no less than 400 separate vineyards planted within the 12,000 acres that make up the St. Helena appellation.
Revered most for its red wines based on Bordeaux varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon, the St. Helena appellation is also a source of superior Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.