2015 Sabotage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Sean Roney grew up like most kids, trying everything possible to be as different as he could from his parents. He was raised in a winemaking family in Napa after all, and basically learned how to walk by waddling around his family’s vineyards. But as adulthood approached, Roney simply did not feeling the wine bug calling so he moved east to take up a career in law. Although Roney made a great career out of litigation, he wound up spending his spare time back home at the family ranch in Napa walking the vineyards at dawn when he should have been reviewing case files. With time, he began to feel the pull of those vines and his family’s history there. Sean jumped in with both feet, sourcing enough fruit from friends of family who owned top vineyards in St. Helena, Atlas Peak and Diamond Mountain to produce a mere 1000 cases of this really delicious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
While Roney is a fairly young guy, Sabotage harkens back to the Napa Valley of his parents’ generation by incorporating all five of the Bordeaux varietals into his blend. He eschewed lavish oak in order to better emphasize the wine’s fruit, herb and earthy notes. What little new French oak there is provides just a welcome nuance to the entire piece. Hints of violet, bramble, wild blackberry, currant, cherry and tomato leaf define the aromatics, while hints of cola, aniseseed, cedar, cocoa powder and clove show in a nicely-weighted mid-palate and finish. For such a young wine, the oak is beautifully integrated and the wine balanced tremendously well. Vibrant acidity and some youthful tannins add further complexity. We were very impressed with this debut effort and think it’s well-worth exploring for those seeking a supple, balanced and nuanced Napa blend that not only drinks well but has the potential to cellar well too.