2009 Stewart Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Nomad Napa Valley
Expert Rating
RP 94 points
(Read the full review below)
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Paul Hobbs, RP and Michael Stewart's 94-Point Nomad

Several months ago, Paul Hobbs was interviewed by Forbes Magazine and asked what had driven him to become one of the most critically acclaimed winemakers in the world. "I like anything that requires a high degree of detail and complexity," he explained. "I would enjoy being a surgeon or a watchmaker but I could not be stuck in one place, so winemaking is the best fit."

None of which was lost on vintner Michael Stewart.

In 2005, Stewart convinced Hobbs to oversee the making of 8-16 barrels of a Cabernet Sauvignon that would take aim at Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle and Bryant Family. The agreement came with two stipulations. First, Hobbs would make the calls in the cellar, applying his lavish, black-fruit signature to a wine that Stewart would call "Nomad." Second, Robert Parker's two-time "Wine Personality of the Year" -- who enjoys strong relationships with the most gifted growers in the valley -- was given the green light to purchase 2-4 tons of the most sought-after small berry clusters in Napa Valley.

Hobbs immediately placed a call to Andy Beckstoffer, and secured a few tons of "Las Piedras" Cabernet Sauvignon. (Word has it that the "Las Piedras" fruit is now upwards of $20,000/ton!). Next, he drove up to Dana Estate and managed to ink a contract for a few tons from "Crystal Springs" Vineyard. "Nomad" was off to the races.

On August 29, 2012, the Stewarts offered a small group of WineAccess high rollers 360 bottles of the staggering 2007 "Nomad." Parker described it as "boasting an opaque purple color as well as a sexy perfume of camphor, barbecue smoke, blackberries, cassis and graphite" -- factors that earned it a staggering 95 points. Our allocation wouldn't last more than a few hours.

33 of 97 buyers rated or reviewed the '07 "Nomad." 13 came in at 4 stars. 19 at a perfect 5. The 4.54 average rating was the second highest for any 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in WineAccess history.

This just-released 2009 may well top them all!

In a 2009 growing season that much resembled 2007, both "Las Piedras" and "Crystal Springs" were harvested a week to ten days before rain strafed the valley on October 12th and 13th. Small berry concentration was extreme, but seeds were riper than in 2007, making for more silken texture and more supple tannins. Paul Hobbs -- the man whom Forbes called "the Steve Jobs of wine-making" -- worked his cellar magic.

Deep, deep purple/black to the rim with plush aromas of black fruit preserves, licorice and sweet spice, the attack is simply massive. Rich and richly textured, silken on the mid-palate, the attack is packed with blackberry and mountain blueberry, the finish soft, yet marvelously persistent.

Tasting Notes

2009 Stewart Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Nomad Napa Valley
"The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Nomad flows with the essence of expressive dark fruit, tobacco, new leather, licorice and sweet spices. The 2009 stands out for its perfumed aromatics, silky fruit and soft-textured personality. A soft, voluptuous wine, the 2009 captures all the best qualities of the vintage. In 2009, the Nomad was made from fruit sourced from Crystal Springs (61%) and Las Piedras (39%). Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029."
94 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate


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