Last February we introduced you to pureCru, with our review of their impressive 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (93 pts). Several years ago, veteran Napa Valley winemaker Mitch Cosentino founded pureCru with several partners with an ambition to produce small-lot wines with fruit sourced from the best vineyards across Napa Valley — in particular, wines that complement fine cuisine. We recently had an opportunity to taste three of pureCru’s 2010 bottlings and found them to be sophisticated, harmonious, versatile with food, and ready for immediate enjoyment. We offer our tasting notes, below.
Cabernet-driven (86%), with a generous dose of Merlot (13%) and just a splash of Cabernet Franc (1%), this wine offers aromas of ripe black cherry, cola, violet, and toast, followed by flavors that express more black cherry, bell pepper, and tea leaf, with hints of fig and bitters on a lingering finish. Additional suggestions of clove and mint lend complexity and intrigue to the mix. The wine is medium-bodied and on the lighter side for a Napa Cabernet, with moderate tannins and acids and a silky impression on the palate. It aged for 34 months in French oak barrels, but the oak is subtly interwoven with the aromas and flavors. It is a young, elegant, and easy-going Napa Valley Cabernet that can be sipped on its own or savored with food. Serve it with medium-sharp cheeses, assorted charcuterie, roasted pork tenderloin, and other hearty fare. (650 cases produced)
Fashioned from 100% Petite Sirah from young vines, this wine offers aromas of dark berry compote, mocha java, and praline, followed by flavors of dried blueberry, cured black olive, and anise, with hints of hazelnut and baking spice on a resonant finish. Additional suggestions of jasmine and sweet cured tobacco lend complexity. The wine is full-bodied, rich, and deeply layered, with moderate tannins and acids and a mellow, even velvety, impression on the palate. It aged for 32 months in French and American oak barrels, but the oak is subtly integrated. This is a polished Petite Sirah that will make an impression at the dinner table, especially when served with braised short ribs, beef bourguignon, and other autumnal fare. (72 cases produced)
A half-and-half blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine is aromatic of charred black plum, green pepper, and lavender, with flavors that suggest cherry cola, vanilla bean, and citrus peel that mingle with hints of cracked black pepper and eucalyptus on a spicy finish. The wine is medium-bodied, with moderate tannins and acids and a slightly edgy impression on the palate. It aged for 32 months in French oak barrels, and the oak is cedary but understated. It is a unique, nuanced blend that will serve as a capable companion to steak on the grill, seared tuna, and any variety of wood-fired fare. (104 cases produced)
Availability: PureCru wines are produced in very limited quantities, but they do enjoy some national distribution. We found the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon at Total Wine in Alexandria, Virginia, and it is available at many Total Wine stores nationwide (www.totalwine.com). You also may purchase pureCru wines directly through their website — www.purecruwines.com – or by visiting their tasting room at 1463 First Street, Napa, California 94559.