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2019 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon Les Cousins

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 100 points

    July 27, 2021 - Vice Versa weekend and dinner: A joint venture with the Bretons and Stephan Asseo of L’Aventure, the Les Cousins is a hybrid of Vice Versa’s Napa juice and L’Aventure’s holdings from the Willow Creek District in Paso Robles. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this sub-species Liger unfolds in the glass with a unique succulence that is simultaneously lavish and precise. Black licorice, dark chocolate, wet limestone, warm blackberry cobbler, plum, and black cherry flavors march across the palate with a decidedly direct but also at once openly expressive bearing. It is almost as if Napa is the engine and Paso is the steering wheel, where powerfully-postured ripe fruit is given course and direction. The front end fools you into thinking it is going to be overtly exaggerated and extravagant, but along comes a mineral grip to crack it all into proper form.

    To be frank, I’ve sometimes found Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon to be missing an element of concentration. They can be somewhat one-note for me (though, what Asseo does with L’Aventure is pretty darn phenomenal in general as it is). However, The Vice Versa Les Cousins caulks-in any perceived cracks in complexity and depth. Because I’ve also found many Napa Cabernets to be so bombastic that I can be quickly floored by the palate-burdening sensation of fruit, fruit, and more fruit, I endeavor to discover those Cabernets that carry requisite acidity, frame, and determined purity as well. Here too, the Paso terroir finds purpose in providing focus and keen maneuverability to which the core can travel with distinct persistence.

    I mean, let’s be honest; some of these little experimental projects can be fun for the winemakers and proprietors to tinker about and Frankenstein their ways into making wines in attempt to enhance allure in their brands or market some form of fabricated exclusivity. But for us consumers, we are sometimes left wondering if investing in someone’s “just cuz” side project is worth even entertaining. I can tell you as someone who doesn’t have a shower of money constantly raining down on my head, I often ignore these types of ventures and just stick to what I’m relatively comfortable with in a certain winery. Yet, all that said, I can also tell you that as soon as I tasted this wine, my exact quote was, “Hey, hold up Patrice. When are you releasing this and how many am I allowed to get?” So, do your research as I know many of you will, but in the end, I’m ALL about this wine. It is not so unique that it isn’t true to the varietal and doesn’t have a solid place in the Vice Versa lineup. It’s unctuous and delineated in the same breath. It’s perfect fruit and perfect frame. It’s an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. Period.

    98-100 points. Let’s see what happens here once it hits bottle. A very limited production on this. Hopefully I don’t get too busted for doing a write-up on this since there won’t be much of it to go around.

    5 people found this helpful 8,398 views


  • NickRut commented:

    7/27/21, 5:56 PM - What a damn weekend you guys had. How does one get invited to these Shindigs? Good lord. Looks like this one is worth seeking out. I absolutely loved the 19 Las Piedras when I got to try it. Loved the 19 Crane as well to be fair. Seems like 19 is going to just be a killer vintage for some of our Napa favorites. Hardest part is not spending all the money.

    Thanks for all the notes. May need to go back and buy a few more of the VV wines.

  • PIZZAandBAROLO commented:

    7/27/21, 9:18 PM - this sounds delicious and i'm always in the mood for some blackberry cobbler/pie type of wine. i'm fiending a bottle of this already!
    Great notes, much appreciated as usual. The '19's are sounding bomb.
    Oh, I nominated you for prez on Cristal's notes LOL I hope you win!!

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/28/21, 8:19 AM - Hi Nick. I'm loving the 2019s quite a bit for sure. As mentioned in the note, I am always hesitant when wineries come up with "new projects," because if nothing else, there is often a learning curve (and at worst, just some goofy one-off that was either a brand-hype or some rando fruit the winery got for some reason and wanted to do something with it). Anyway, the Les Cousins is a fine wine indeed - hybrid, one-off, or's just well executed. LPV is still my #1 personally, but I couldn't deny the performance of this Cousins shiner that was shared.

    Thanks for the nomination PIZZA. I heard pretty much anyone can be president these days, so maybe I have a chance!

  • michigan dogs commented:

    7/28/21, 12:17 PM - jealous, reading this great note reminds me why we seek out great wines

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/28/21, 3:32 PM - Well said Michigan! All it takes is a great wine experience to invigorate the love for this hobby and keep me fueled to try more and more quality juice!

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    8/1/21, 1:02 AM - Very cool. Thanks for posting.

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