In all my years of picking out wines of the year, I don’t think that choosing something from California ever crossed my mind until now.
The 2014 Enfield Cabernet Sauvignon Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast opened my eyes to what’s possible in California: wines that have depth and complexity while remaining fresh and elegant.
Enfield focuses primarily on Chardonnay, Pinot and Syrah, but it’s their Cabernet that impresses me the most. It reminds me of the Cabs from California’s golden age in the 60s and 70s that serve as examples of what California wine can be. There’s a similar understatement, structure and subtle, savory profile.
It’s probably fitting that this is a California Cabernet from one of the most unlikely places. The very cool Fort Ross-Seaview AVA has established itself as one of California’s top Pinot Noir addresses. Enfield’s Cabernet is a wonderful surprise. Enfield’s John Lockwood sums up the vineyard as follows: “Marcassin and Hirsch are directly opposite this site and no one even knows about it.”
Lockwood fell in love with the vineyard. Situated on California’s Sonoma coast, the site is extreme, benefitting from the crazy tension between the cool coastal influence and the warmth of the California sun. What results is a Cabernet of incredible finesse and incisive minerality.
It’s difficult to write about California wine and not reflect on the devastating fires that took so many lives and destroyed homes, vineyards, and wineries. For every bottle of 2014 Enfield’s Fort Ross Cabernet purchased, a $25 donation will be made in your name to the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief.
I strongly encourage you to try at least a bottle. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Fort Ross-Seaview was one of the great revelations of this year and a very easy choice for wine of the year. It’s a wine that I look forward to watching evolve over the next couple of decades.
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Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits