2023 - 2040
The 2019 Cardinale is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, with the Merlot from a particular block on Howell Mountain. Overall, it's about 80% mountain fruit and 20% valley-floor fruit, according to winemaker Chris Carpenter. Cherries and cassis dominate the nose, while the full-bodied palate is rich and velvety, with a long, mouthwatering finish that adds barrel-derived notes of vanilla, powdered sugar and cedar.
As winemaker Chris Carpenter describes it, when crafting Cardinale, he is "trying to make a wine at the highest level that is multi-appellation, emphasizing the most successful AVAs in each vintage." While some vintages have included as much as 27% Merlot (always from a single block on Howell Mountain), it's more commonly only around 10% Merlot, with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. Does Cardinale lack a bit of the individuality of the Lokoya bottlings? Inevitably, the answer is yes, but that's both its weakness (in great years) and its strength (in lesser vintages).