Au Sommet Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak 2016

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Au Sommet (o-so-may)...To the top, the very highest point at which we excel at what we do! The 2016 is the last vintage before the fires in Napa.

The winemaking genius of Heidi Peterson-Barrett—the lady who put Screaming Eagle on the map—is on full display in this simply seamless bottle of Cabernet. Galloni raved about it, calling it “superb. Nuanced, polished and super-delicious, the 2016 possesses exceptional finesse and texture in the mid-weight, gracious style that is Heidi Barrett's signature. The flavors are dark and incisive in this dark, sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Even so, the 2016 retains terrific freshness for the year. Black cherry, lavender, graphite, plum and menthol add striking layers of nuance.” Get at least a few bottles and forget about them for 10 years!

We are certainly facing a new challenge to winemaking in California. A historic fire season continues to consume unfathomable acreage in California, sending smoke as far as the east coast and Europe. Napa Valley was (again) an epicenter when lightning strikes ignited the Hennessy Fire that advanced out of control toward Atlas Peak throughout the night of August 17 and eventually encircled Au Sommet two days later.

The vineyard opted not to produce a 2017 vintage due to the fires that ravaged wine country during the harvest in October. Then in 2018, the Camp Fire up north in Paradise dropped enough smoke on Napa Valley during veraison in late July that the potential smoke damage gave the vineyard pause. Now, more than likely, most of the 2020 vintage in Napa Valley for red grapes will be jeopardized as well. It is hard to believe that three of the last four years were blighted by smoke — an unprecedented hazard in our wine industry. Although some wineries will release wines from the various vintages, Au Sommet decided that their integrity and brand identity (and your palates!) are far too important to produce a wine that falls even slightly below our high threshold for the best possible juice from their estate.