Under-the-Radar Weeknight Cabernet
Be thankful that, as Samantha Sheehan’s Poe wines continue to ink national praise, her vibrant and supple 2016 Ultraviolet Cabernet Sauvignon still flies a bit under the radar. Ever since a right-place, right-time moment with a top-quality vineyard connection in St. Helena enabled Sheehan to make her inaugural vintage of Ultraviolet, her mission has been clear: turn out an everyday-drinking Cabernet that over-delivers for its shockingly modest price. And in 2016, a vintage hailed as “stellar,” “pristine,” and “exceptional,” by Napa winemakers, Sheehan’s Cabernet Sauvignon came from top growers in Northern California. Aged 10 months in 50% new and 50% neutral French oak, the result is a rich and supple wine of celebration — to be stacked by the case and enjoyed, anytime, with dinner and with good friends.
Samantha Sheehan’s Burgundy-inspired Poe label has been getting serious press for the unfussy nouveau-style wines that get snapped up as quickly as she can make them. Her reason for producing for those convivial wines sums up nicely the spirit of the 2016 Ultraviolet Cabernet: She does it to supply the feast.
Sheehan takes inspiration from the freewheeling open-field parties where French vineyard workers and their friends and families gather to toast the end of the season with an opulent meal — and by guzzling the new vintage. The 2016 Ultraviolet Cabernet is cut from that convivial cloth. It features ripe and vibrant fruit, supple tannins, and oak-aged softness that make it ideal for a late-night glass by the fire, a weeknight dinner, or grilling ribs or steaks on a clear winter day. Get a case — it will go fast.