2018 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Oakville

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 100 points

    April 30, 2021 - 3 days in Napa: Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Maxem, The French Laundry, Christopher Tynan, Kinsman, Harlan, Vice Versa, Accendo, Fairchild, Macdonald, and a truckload of others (Napa): A perfect wine in the making, the 2018 Macdonald is undoubtedly going to be one of the top wines of the vintage. For those familiar with the Macdonald lineage, the 2018 will be no surprise as a qualitative conqueror and stunning phenom for the region and the vintage. Blackberry seed, soil, charcoal, graphite, and striking minerality all make for a complex and loaded wine that is just waiting for the next decade to come around and blossom into its fullest form.

    This bottle was double decanted for nearly half a day. So, it’s no secret that the Macdonald pedigree of these wines requires a good 7-10+ years before optimum drinking will be had. That said, this thing was off the charts with reverberating fruit flavors and massive tension that the controlled power was utterly vibrating on the palate. Over the next few hours of following this wine with dinner, it became even more expressive. As one could imagine, it was one of those experiences where you just wanna stick your face in your glass and leave it there for an hour. I didn’t want to play nice around others with this bottle, as the three-year-old in me was caught up in the, “Mine, mine, mine” syndrome. It was honestly a little difficult to pay attention to the other amazing wines on the table once the Macdonald came into play.

    Frankly, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to process these wines every vintage with this producer. The Macdonalds are always on point. ALWAYS. They are always quality. They are always one of the most exceptional wines to come out of Napa year in and year out. One can try to explain it away all day long and go into all the details as to how and why this seems to occur, but the bottom line is that these are special wines and they continue to be special with the meticulous thought and passion that goes into every step of these wines’ constructions. They are special. Very special. Some wines make you smile. Some wine write history. This phenom does both. Sound the trumpets and release the hounds folks! If you’re able to hunt these down when they come out you’ll be a lucky chap indeed. This is liquid awesomeness and simply captivating. 100 points.

    During this trip, I was continually impressed with all of the wines we were fortunate enough to drink. I will say also that there were three wines in particular for me that totally crushed my cranium with their unbelievable representations of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 Harlan, 2012 Tynan MG, and 2018 Macdonald were next-level juice that dominated the landscape even among their otherwise remarkable peers.

    3 people found this helpful 4,263 views


  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    5/1/21, 6:55 AM - Awesome notes CSIMM. Alex shared a bottle of 18 with our small group last Oct. Loved hearing the family history though Alex. I asked Cristal this same question. Are you familiar with Graeme's recent work at Blankiet since he took over? Claude spares no expense on trying to make beautiful wine and I think it's fantastic he pulled Graeme into the mix.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 9:12 AM - Unfortunately Blankiet has been off my radar for a few years now. I have really enjoyed their wines in the past and with Graeme taking over I can only imagine how awesome they will be. I'll have to ask Alex if 2018 will be the first vintage with his brother's full involvement. Alex mentioned it some time back but I forgot the details.

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    5/1/21, 9:16 AM - AG scoring Mythicus 100 points in both 16 & 18. I believe Graeme blended 15 & took over in 16.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 9:46 AM - Christ, now I gotta put them back in my queue. I hate you for reminding me he took over Blankiet! Hahaha J/K. That's a great reminder. Now off to the hunt... !

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    5/1/21, 10:01 AM - Per AG - 100 both vintages.

    Blankiet's 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mythicus Paradise Hills Vineyard is magnificent. Inky, deep and soaring in its intensity. Mythicus is a blend taken mostly from well-exposed parcels in Blocks 1, 6, 7 and 8, which feature variations on volcanic ash soils that are starkly delineated in the separate components. The Mythicus is one of the most tightly wound wines of 2018, but in the very best way. It will be absolutely thrilling in another few years' time, once the tannins soften further. Purplish black fruit, gravel, spice, menthol, licorice and dried herbs linger on the intense finish.

    The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mythicus Paradise Hills Vineyard is a total stunner and one of the great wines of the vintage. Time in barrel has done wonders to marry all the elements. Gracious and soft-spoken, with superb textural finesse, the 2016 captures all the best qualities of this site. Readers should expect a mid-weight, polished Cabernet that is more about persistence than impact. Time in the glass brings out hints of cedar, tobacco and scorched earth and yet the 2016 remains powerful, virile and in need of cellaring. The track record for the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Mythicus is short, but even in the first few vintages I have seen this wine shut down pretty hard after bottling. Readers should be in no rush to open bottles.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 10:16 AM - Awesome! Thanks very much for consolidating the info here. Now I'll have to sign back up on their list and see where that takes me. I've really only had their Estate over the course of a number of vintages. Nothing since 2013 or 2014 I think. The pro reviews across the board are great for 16 and 18. Thanks again!

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