2014 Scarecrow "M. Étain" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Celia Welch has hit a home run again with the legendary J.J. Cohn Vineyard in Rutherford, a site that includes a block of old vines planted in 1945, which certainly must make them some of the oldest Cabernet vines in all of Napa Valley. There are 2,000 cases of the 2014 Monsieur Etain, which is a great enough Cabernet by itself. Wonderfully pure crème de cassis notes with some white flowers, lead pencil shavings and incense are followed by a deep, full-bodied wine with silky tannins, a layered, multi-dimensional mouthfeel and a beautiful finish of 40+ seconds. This is an exquisite, dense, rich but sexy Cabernet Sauvignon. And now for the good news -- there are 2,000 cases of it. Drink it over the next 20 or more years. (RP)
The 2014 rains came late in the season, providing enough soil moisture for the vines to grow well. It was a warm vintage, overall, but without damaging heat spikes, which allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and completely. There was a bit of time to catch the collective breath after the August 24th earthquake, as the fruit continued to ripen evenly, in spite of the chaos. Harvest was accomplished over an extended period of time, beginning on 9/19 and wrapping up on 10/13. Thanks to the temperate, there was no sense of urgency about harvest timing or logistics. 2014 yields were near historical norms, with the younger blocks of the J.J. Cohn vineyard coming into their own, and performing very well. Throughout the property, maturity was very uniform, and overall fruit quality was exceptional.