Elaine was treated to the unique luxury of tasting every vintage of Cathy Corison’s very special single-vineyard Cabernet. Cathy herself was due to taste them the next day but Elaine was the first commentator ever to do so.
One of Napa Valley’s most celebrated and respected winemakers, Cathy Corison, launched her eponymous winery in 1987 with a single wine – Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine reflected Corison’s commitment to elegance and restraint, a style that would soon become uncommon in her region as the power wines of the 1990s and early 2000s took over. However, even as trends changed, Corison maintained course, focusing solely on wine made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards planted in the well-drained, gravelly bale loam soils of the Mayacamas bench in what has since been named the St Helena AVA.
The St Helena AVA constitutes a particularly distinctive portion of the Napa Valley in that temperatures throughout the area are high enough during the day to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon adequately to make single-varietal wines of distinction. At the same time, in most vintages night-time temperatures drop below vine respiration levels, thus preserving the potential for freshness and acidity in the wine.
Famed winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff called the gravelly bale loam soils of the Mayacamas bench on Napa Valley’s western side ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon. All Corison Cabernet vineyards, as well as the winery pictured below, are planted ….
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