A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2014 Artefact Cabernet Sauvignon

The string of fantastic vintages that began in 2012 in Napa Valley was not about to abate in 2014, and we are the fortunate recipients of this magical growing season. Although it was the height of the drought, our Cabernet sites, planted in extremely rocky soils, are just plain used to it. These sites are a very special block at Kenefick Ranch near the top of Pickett Road, and the moon-like Corona Vineyard above western Oakville, planted in pure shale. The combination has been the same since 2011, and the harmony with which they combine produces this extravagant beauty. Dark purple in color with modern Napa aromatics of mocha, deepest black fruits, crushed mulberry, loam, bourbon vanilla and graphite. The palate echoes the nose with huge flavors, mouth-coating texture and surprisingly fine tannins. The finish lasts longer than you care to count, and although drinkable now, this wine has a huge future.

  • 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc
  • A mix of clones 191, 341, 7 and 337 increase complexity
  • 70% Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga
  • 30% Corona Vineyard in Oakville
  • Aged in 100% new French Oak for 21 months
  • Unfined & unfiltered
  • 15 barrels produced 375 cases

The 2014 Artefact Cabernet Sauvignon is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc, with most of it coming from the Kenefick Ranch adjacent to the Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga. This is a beauty. Dense ruby/purple, with notes of blueberry, black raspberry, licorice and incense, the wine is full-bodied, with sweet tannin, adequate acidity, good vibrancy and an open, lush mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 15 or so years.
Robert Parker
The Wine Advocate #228
December 2016