Deep ruby color; black cherry, blackberry, chocolate on the nose; rich black cherry, blackberry, plum, dark chocolate, tobacco, spice on the palate.
Dry; massively rich and deliciously juicy dark fruits. Elegant, tasty tannins. Good acidity. Excellent structure, complexity and depth. Some oak, but not excessive from 22 months in 85% new French and 15% neutral, so this is surprisingly subdued and overall excellent wood treatment. This is still young, with opportunity to age a decade or more, but you would be hard pressed to pass up pouring it now; 14.9% ABV.
The key element of this wine is that it is simply delicious. Tannins are pleasantly comfortable, but present. Complexity is there, including a very pleasing finish. Each sip demands you enjoy another. No need to decant—which is saying something when I write that, as faithful followers may note.
Adobe Road Apex is the pleasing harmony of a blend of 50% cabernet sauvignon, 23% syrah, 22% merlot, and 5% petite sirah from Sonoma. Call it at California version of a left bank Bordeaux, and a reason why such California wines have earned world-wide respect.
Adobe Road is a Petaluma-based winery using grapes from “carefully selected” vineyards, which means they are a negotiant operation. They handicraft small lots with minimal intervention that includes fermentation with native yeasts. The winery was created by race car driver Kevin Buckler as an extension of his racing car team. Thus the names of his four ultra-premium wines. Apex is the point at which a race car driver is at the optimal line of the corner; winning depends on hitting the perfect apex. Other offerings in the “Racing Series” include Redline, Shift, and The 24.
The winery thinks in car racing terms, befitting the owner. The website notes Buckler scored: “100 professional victories around the world including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona (4 times). Then, in 2002, he and his wife, Debra, started a small boutique winery called Adobe Road, built on many of the same principles that made them successful in racing: pushing limits, a drive for perfection, focus, attention to detail, and teamwork.”
The website continues: “There isn’t always a need for speed. The winery is specifically designed to allow Kevin and his world-class winemaking team to spend time with each lot. Carefully monitoring each barrel, taking the time to make the right decisions, time to fully understand and manage the variables that go into crafting the perfect wines. You take one look at the winery—with its pristine state-of-the-art winemaking equipment and shiny, spotless floors—and you know there is a desire to make the best.”
Adobe Road Apex Sonoma County Red Wine 2016 is a delicious wine with complexity and depth. Drinks like a high-end Left Bank Bordeaux. Although this is an ultra premium offering in the USA world, you would pay more for this in the French wine world. Pair with ribeye steak; rich red meats in general; beef stew; lamb; aged cheeses. $76-80