Caterwaul Wines by Matt Hardin and Thomas Rivers Brown

Wine

2018 Caterwaul ‘Regusci Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

We continue to refine everything about this bottling. Every year we have adjusted our small block within the Regusci Ranch adding and subtracting rows, partial rows, even individual plants to get the most consistent crop possible. In an abundant year that also saw above average rainfall, it was easy to walk this block and see variations in vigor that could be flagged to capture an ideal crop load and berry size. Just as overly aggressive canopy can be a bad sign for quality so too can an anemic amount of green growth. We sought to put our arms around medium vigor vines featuring a healthy, productive canopy but with small, loose clusters. What we got from this carefully selected block is a wine with no hard edges, a wine that tastes like it came from a million identical berries. There is great density, richness, acidity and structure but all in equal proportion. This is new school Stag’s Leap opulence with notes of scorched earth, incense, spice cake and licorice. The fruit profile here leans more toward the cool blue fruit side balanced by the tannin inherent in the vintage. This wine is so drinkable now but should easily go 20-30 years based solely on its density.

2018 Caterwaul ‘Cemetery Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

After 5 years in the works, it’s nice to finally add this vineyard to the lineup. I was convinced there was no more great ground to be planted in Napa Valley until I saw this site with Matt in 2015. Having input on clonal material for every block further cemented interest in locking up all the fruit from this vineyard before it was even done with its first growing season. We made a little wine from here in 2017 but found it subpar for its own bottling. Waiting definitely feels wise now though as we begin cracking through our first few bottles of this inaugural release. The vintage complements this site well. The word that keeps coming to mind as I try this wine is amplitude. It’s so far above the Napa norm for Cabernet in color saturation, aromatic intensity and depth of flavor. There’s a great streak of minerality shooting through the whole experience that adds a sense of balance and restraint. The wine is pure black fruited showing notes of graphite, gunpowder, crushed rocks, violets and ripe blackberries. There is plenty of tannin here but it is perfectly ripe which helps to frame the finish without clipping it. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about rolling out a first vintage of anything but I certainly expect this bottling to achieve the same heights as several of the best client wines that have come before it.

2018 Caterwaul Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

There was so much good wine to choose from in 2018, it was hard to know where to start. This wine has been and probably always will be a combination of lots made from Matt’s Pope Valley estate and barrels purchased from within my family of clients. The huge advantage here is we get to react to what we start with and then augment as necessary. With everything else, what you ferment is what you get and most qualitative steps forward come from subtraction instead of addition. With this Napa edition, we had the ability to grab barrels of wines that could have made $150+ blends but were simply too voluminous for their initial intention’s perceived demand. This 100 barrel blend comes from all over the valley encompassing 12 separate sub AVAs from Calistoga down to Stag’s Leap and across the hills from Diamond Mountain to Mt Veeder. It should give you a really good sense of how great 2018 is across all of Napa Valley. Dark purple all the way to the rim, the wine opens with aromas of creosote, blackberries, espresso roast and toast. Now fully recovered from bottling, it has picked up density and weight adding a rich blueberry core to the palate complemented by baker’s chocolate, tobacco and licorice. This is the $50 Napa Cabernet bottling we imagined offering when we started this project.

2017 Caterwaul ‘Regusci Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Regusci Vineyard is a dense, powerful wine. Black cherry, plum, graphite, incense, bittersweet chocolate, lavender and cloves infuse the 2017 with tons of complexity and Stags Leap character. Readers should expect a dense, hedonistically opulent Napa Valley Cabernet. This is just superb.
– Antonio Galloni, Jan. 2020


2017 Caterwaul Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a fabulous wine in its peer group and price range. Rich, boisterous and flamboyantly ripe, the 2017 offers tons of immediacy. Super-ripe dark cherry and red plum fruit are pushed forward in this opulent, inviting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate, new leather and spice punctuate the finish. This is one of the very best wines in its price range.
– Antonio Galloni, Jan. 2020


2016 Caterwaul ‘Regusci Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Regusci Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, inky and explosive, the 2016 possesses tremendous structure to play off the inky Stags Leap fruit. Crème de cassis, lavender, graphite, cloves, sage, white flowers and new French oak all run through this sumptuous, flamboyant Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2016 needs time for its tannins to soften, but it is tremendous, even in the early going.
– Antonio Galloni, Dec. 2018


2016 Caterwaul Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Caterwaul's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a gorgeous wine and a stunning value. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, leather and lavender all run through this sumptuous, beautifully ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. This mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon hits all the right notes. And it’s a tremendous value to boot.
– Antonio Galloni, Dec. 2018


2015 Caterwaul ‘Regusci Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that demands attention. Showy and voluptuous in the glass, the 2015 exudes richness in its inky fruit and overall soft contours. Crème de cassis, lavender, plum, violet and licorice shape this super-expressive, beautiful wine. As good as the 2014 is, the 2015 is shaping up to be even better.
– Antonio Galloni, Oct. 2016


2014 Caterwaul ‘Regusci Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon

A classic Stags Leap Cabernet, the 2014 exudes richness, power and depth. Graphite, crème de cassis, lavender, violets, chocolate and sweet spices infuse this beautifully expressive, sculpted Cabernet Sauvignon. Chocolate, inky black fruits and a dollop of new oak add the closing shades of nuance. The tannins need time to siften, but there is plenty to look forward to. The 2014 is gorgeous. It’s as simple as that.
– Antonio Galloni, Oct. 2016

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