Black Stallion Estate Winery Transcendent Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018

Deep ruby color; blueberry, plum, black cherry, chocolate, blackcurrant, coffee, clove, oak spice, vanilla, tobacco on the nose and palate.

Black Stallion Estate Winery Transcendent Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018

Dry; assertive, tasty tannins and impressive balancing acidity. Plush, rich, creamy. Full body. Powerhouse without being over-powering. Welcomed restraint on ripeness of the fruit, deft use of oak. Works on pop-and-pour, gets better with air exposure either in big glass or decanted. Very good now, in its youth, but can age another dozen years at least to add more depth and nuance. 15.5% 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.

Indelicato family today

Black Stallion Estate Winery Transcendent Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018 is rich, balanced, elegant, integrated, powerful without being overbearing. Exhilaratingly long finish. All you wish—and pay for—in a significant Napa cab. Pair with rich beef dishes—rib eye steak and other top cuts; roast or grilled lamb; veal; venison; rabbit; gourmet burger; grilled portabello mushrooms—mushroom risotto; eggplant parmesan. Cheese—mature and hard cheeses; aged cheddar, aged gouda, gorgonzola, blue cheese—roquefort, gruyere. $135-140

Black Stallion Estate Winery website

Black Stallion Winery
Gaspare and Caterina Indelicato