2006 Tom Eddy Cabernet Sauvignon Elodian Napa Valley
When you first meet Tom Eddy, the iconoclastic Napa Valley Cab-maker, it's hard to put your finger on him. Eddy is one part Napa historian, one part painter, and a last piece that's just plain horse trader. When we began talking, we thought we were just trying to dig out the essence of this deep purple, sleek 2006 Elodian Cabernet Sauvignon. But by the time we were done, we had been treated to a little excursion into the mind of a Napa Valley maverick.
"I was lucky," Tom said. "Christian Brothers is nothing but a cheap brand today, but back in 1984, before most people thought much about Napa Valley Cabernet, I was like a kid in a candy shop."
What did Eddy learn at a time when most of Napa's winemakers were too young to drink? In 1984, Eddy had a wild idea, a strategy for getting a grip on Napa. He convinced the powers at Christian Brothers to allow him to experiment with single vineyard micro-vinifications, and began purchasing a few tons of grapes from dozens of different vineyards. The more he learned, the more he turned up the heat on the experiment, eventually bringing in fruit from 70-80 distinct sites. And that's when the master impressionist took over, making subtle tweaks to blends from 5, 6, even 7 different sites, adding a splash of the dark purples of mountain fruit here, a dab of deep Oakville red fruit there. For Eddy, Napa Valley Cabernet wasn't so much about a single vineyard, but the sum of the parts of many great vineyards.
This 2006 Elodian Cabernet Sauvignon is pure Eddy. The backbone of the 2006 is the powerful, muscled dark red fruit tones of Stagecoach Vineyard up on Atlas Peak. But it's Eddy's masterful painter's touch that makes this one sing. Eddy micro-vinified a healthy splash of Bella Vista Diamond Mountain structure, dropping a delicious ripe Bing cherry sweetness to the mid-palate. Toss in some valley floor weightiness, a bit more mountain edge -- and there you have it.
Tasting Notes from the WineAccess Travel Log
"Dark purple color. Sweet pristine nose of cassis, violets, a touch of white pepper. Rich dark cherry/currant kernel, laced with sweet spices. Firm and wonderfully fresh and balanced on the finish with fine, ripe tannins. Drink now for the ripe, primary fruit lushness, or, as in the case of all Eddy's wines, age for up to 5 years in a cool cellar."