Corison Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
The 2015 is delicious. It is the 20th vintage of Kronos to market! I couldn’t be prouder of all the lovely wines Kronos Vineyard has helped us create. That spring, rainy weather at flowering and set resulted in a very small crop, concentrating flavors. Moving into summer it was very warm, bringing in one of the earliest vintages ever.
At first glance, the 2015 leans more toward the bright red currant and cherry end of the Cabernet Sauvignon flavor spectrum. With time in the glass, it blossoms with the darker black raspberry, plum, cassis and boysenberry fruit that I associate with Kronos Vineyard. All that fruit plays nicely with baking spice notes. Present is the typical hint of peppermint and dusty mineral twist, along with nice aromas of forest floor and fresh mushroom. Trademark floral perfume, a full mouth feel and long finish complete the picture.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Phenomenal aromas of dried flowers, pine nuts, bark, wet earth and currants. Boysenberries, too. Changes all the time. Peppermint tea, blue fruit and crushed stones. Full body with integrated and chewy tannins. Yet, so tight and refined. Shows a linear line through the center. An old-vine cab that needs two or three years to come together.
This is among winemaker Cathy Corison's finest offerings, made from decades-old vines planted on St. George rootstock. Cassis, red currant and floral elements make for an inviting entry of aromatics that is followed by substantial structure and classic herbal undertones. A pillowy body of balanced elegance is met by an earthy, leathery finish of complex beauty.
This wine’s unpretentious beauty comes into focus over the course of several days. At first, it reflects the black-fruited ripeness of St. Helena fruit, soft, supple and clean. From there, it’s a slow build toward the complexity of fruit from Kronos’s deep-rooted vines—phylloxera survivors from 1971. The fruit moves through red notes of cranberries and cassis toward silky tannins that feel light and youthful. It’s a wine of classical proportions and simple grace.
Cathy Corison continues to coax ridiculously tiny yields of grapes from her 50-year-old Kronos Vineyard, and holds strong to her belief that overripeness wipes out varietal character. She harvests relatively early to preserve the leafy herb, cedar, tobacco leaf and blackcurrant character inherent in Cabernet grapes, and the result in this vintage is a wine with impeccable balance and longevity. 50% new French oak. Drinking Window 2021 - 2033
A juicy, bright, slightly high-pitched style, with red currant, pomegranate and damson fruit notes laced with light graphite, anise and briar accents. The resulting contrast gives this a racy, distinctive feel. Lovely length. Best from 2021 through 2035.
Those familiar with this winery will recognize Cathy Corison's slightly lighter touch with Cabernet here, but the wine sports considerable fruity depth with carefully placed accents of mildly creamy oak and loamy soil affording it a good deal of varietal complexity. It is full and slightly supple on entry with a proper push of firming tannins pointing the way to a promising future, and it sacrifices nothing in the way of richness or range while taking a measured step back from bombast. Let it sit for another four or five years and anticipate another half-decade or more of guaranteed growth from there.
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.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wines. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.