In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.
Theme: Cult Wines of Crushpad
Wine: 2007 Ricardus Corculum Cabernet Sauvignon, $70 Buy this wine
Vineyard: Stagecoach Vineyard
Region: Napa Valley
Alcohol %: 14.8%
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon
Read the IntoWine interview with Richard Hart of Ricardus Corculum
Wine Name: Ricardus Corculum is a Latin cryptonym for Richard Hart, and the entire Latin theme is based on several years of contemplation of either becoming a priest or Classics professor; I did neither and became a member of the Clandestine Service (better known as the DO or Directorate of Operations) of the CIA.
The Four A’s name: The "Four A's" is an obscure reference to Roman coins. An “A’s” was a copper coin minted by Caesar Augustus (Octavian). These Roman coins were called "A's" or "asses" (no relation to the current day term!) and if a Roman spent four on wine, it was really good wine. Roman soldiers traditionally ordered "one a's" wine and if a soldier ordered "two a's" wine, he was splurging. In general terms, a Roman soldier first century AD would have to pay about a week’s pay for a cup of wine. It is alleged that a menu on the wall of a pub in Pompeii (from 79AD when Vesuvius erupted and buried the city) reads, “get a drink here for an “As”, a better drink for two As', and Falernian for four as'.” Falernian is considered the best wine ever made and the Falernian from 121BC is alleged to be the best wine ever produced. The Latin on the 2005 Four A’s bottle: “Vitam impendere vero” is to “risk your life for the truth” and “sedit qui timuit ne non succederet” is “he who feared success sat still.” I make a slight change to each wine each year, so the 2007 Four A’s Cabernet is slightly different – on the front of the bottle the “Legio decima tertia Gemina” is “To the Thirteenth!” a reference to the Roman Legion that Julius Caesar founded, conquered Gaul with, and then later marched on Rome with and eventually became the first Roman Emperor with – note also the Roman numeral “XIII” or “13” on the front label and on the reverse, beneath the wording is a lion reclining – the symbol of the 13th Legion was the lion.
Winemaker's Notes: Our 2007 Four A's Cabernet is 100% single vineyard Cabernet from Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak. Stagecoach climbs between 900 and 1700 feet up the southern face of Pritchard Hill. The site is planted to a wide range of varietals and rootstocks and features several distinct micro-climates and the fruit is from a small block near the top - steeper and lower-yielding than most of the vineyard - and the taste emphasizes serious Asian spice and dried herbs on top of its core of black currant.
Tasting Notes: This wine pours a deep, dark red with hints of a black inky color and is Atlas Peak terroir driven showing its steep hillside upbringing with cacao, mocha java, and dark fruit. The initial bouquet is of cocoa, dark, black fruit, herbaceous spice with vanilla and leather showing through. On the aeration/decanting, you get more dark fruit, bacon and coffee, typical of the Stagecoach vineyard. The initial palate is a blast of deep rich dark chocolate supplemented by black cherries and fine oak tannin. This is a syrupy, structured, legs so viscous it can stand on its own Cabernet with mid palate of black currant, violets, and plush ripe blackberries. The finish is a balanced rich coffee mocha with overtones of anise and cassis. Its backbone is pure Napa Cabernet with incredibly approachable tannins, smoked firewood and dark, deep crushed violet incense - it's an iron fist disguised as a velvet glove... Very approachable now, but shows much potential for age worthiness.
Bartholomew Broadbent, CEO of Broadbent Selections. Bartholomew was named as one of the "fifty most influential people in the wine world" by Decanter Magazine. He is also widely considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on Port and Madeira. Learn more about Bartholomew Broadbent.
What is Crushpad?
Crushpad is a facility that enables anyone with a serious interest in wine to participate in the magic of winemaking. With their team of wine industry veterans, modern winemaking technology, and access to some of the best grapes and vineyards around, Crushpad empowers their clients to make the type and style of wine they desire. Crushpad clients are as involved or uninvolved as they wish. Some take a "hands on" approach to every step of the process while others let the Crushpad professionals take care of the time consuming parts. In short, Crushpad is a pathway into the art, science, and business of winemaking for passionate wine lovers who don't own a vineyard or winery. Interested in learning more? Stop by the Crushpad tasting room in Napa Valley or visit Crushpad.com.