Grape(s): 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
Localization: Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA
Tasting Notes: A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is redolent of ripe black currants, plum preserves, and black cherry compote with touches of menthol, pencil lead, bay leaves, and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with crunchy black fruit flavors, supported by well-judged, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long with a minty kick.
93 points JamesSuckling.com: This is a very transparent, pretty Napa cabernet with blackberry and blackcurrant aromas that show undertones of bark and dried herbs. It’s full-bodied with firm, creamy tannins and a flavorful finish Linear and racy at the end. Better after 2022.
The Domain: Brother and sister team, Trent and Kimberly Jackson collaborated with their vintner “green thumb” father to found their first label in 1996. Over time the two identified their unique niche among next-generation wine enthusiasts. Outliers from the dominating shortlist of old-school Napa wineries, the two saw an opportunity to buck the “en vogue” winemaking style of their day to focus on the unique terroir of their family vineyard. After all, “change comes first at a small scale driven by the smaller more nimble producers.”
Soon after, cult Winemaker Kirk Venge was recruited to create balanced wines reflecting the varietal character and a sense of place. Passionate about our vineyard site, integral to our clone and rootstalk selections, and now 15 years in, Kirk has reinforced their instinct that focus should always be on “sense of place” to understand the nuances that allow us to make great wine.
To differentiate from their small lot single vineyard Jax line, they launched “Y3” to scale and offer more “true to varietal” wines from various AVAs (spanning Napa and Sonoma). The “Y3” symbol was the cattle symbol used on their grandparents’ cattle ranch, Yarrayne. The “3” represents three generations of land-tilling entrepreneurs.
In 2013, the siblings recruited a third partner, Dan Parrott, a no-nonsense individual with a laser focus on balanced wines (historically working in Italian import houses) and a true Burgundian aficionado. Dan keeps the sibling rivalry in check and runs Jax like a well-oiled machine.