Black Stallion Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2020

Deep ruby color; plum, black cherry, blackberry, raspberry, oak, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco on the nose and palate.

Black Stallion Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2020

Dry; medium tannins and acidity. Full body. Straightforward, uncomplicated Napa cab. Light on depth and complexity; solid on linear presentation of fruit. Certainly not a jammy, over-oaked fruit bomb. Struggles to find distinguishing feature; at the same time, presents no obvious flaws. Mellow for a Napa cab with some redcurrant bite on the medium finish. 14.5% ABV

Black Stallion is a brand of the Indelicato family. Twelve years after landing in America in 1924, Sicilian immigrants Gaspare and Caterina Indelicato planted a vineyard in Manteca, California. The website notes: “Since that first vineyard flourished, Gaspare’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have honored his legacy through dedication to his steadfast values of family, hard work and integrity.”

Black Stallion estate

The Black Stallion name comes from the winery grounds that once was the Silverado Western Center, a major equestrian center that opened in 1963. The website notes: “The original riding area now houses prized wines, instead of prize-winning horses. However Black Stallion Estate Winery carries its heritage forward. The estate’s legacy honors the world-class terroir of Napa Valley, the pioneering spirit of the Silverado Trail, and the Indelicato family’s warm hospitality and generations of wine expertise.”

Black Stallion winemaker Ralf Holdenried

Ralf Holdenried is the winemaker. Grapes came from a diverse range of vineyards in Oak Knoll, Rutherford, Calistoga, and Oakville AVAs. Various lots matured in different barrels. Malolactic fermentation followed by 17-plus months of aging, then lots were evaluated blind and blended. A small amount of merlot and other blend wines were used to knit the final assemblage together.

Black Stallion Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2020 is middle-of-the-road Napa cab with some elegance. Lacks power and heft of its pricier fellow cabs, but is nicely polished and presents dark Napa fruits without flaws or cloying ripeness. Oak presence is deftly done. May not be a wow wine, but it will not repel or boisterously overwhelm everything else on the menu either. Becomes rounder and more delicious with exposure to air—consider decanting.

Pair with steak, braised short ribs, ribeye; lamb; pepper-rubbed pork chops, baby back ribs; wild game—venison, boar; poultry with sauces or barbecued; duck breast with grilled plums. Cheese—cheddar, aged gouda, gorgonzola; aged cow’s milk cheese with some age; semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese with some age; slightly firm, soft-ripened cheese with earthy notes like triple-crème brie. $26-30

Black Stallion Winery website

Black Stallion Winery
Gaspare and Caterina Indelicato
Indelicato family today