Deep ruby color; blackberry, plum, blueberry, cranberry, cherry, mocha, spice, vanilla on the nose and palate.
Dry; moderate tannins and acidity (3.82 pH). Bold, ripe, juicy, framed by savory notes. Full body. Blend of 91% cabernet sauvignon, 9% merlot. Fermented in stainless steel. Aged 14 months in French oak, 35% new. Deft use of oak—strong supporting role, does not draw undo attention. Smooths out nicely, especially after some exposure to air in glass or after decanting. Inviting mouthfeel, extended finish.
Winemaker Abigail Horstman pulled together hand-harvested, hand-sorted grapes from Oak Knoll, Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga to craft this effort. Individual plots were fermented and aged separately, then blended. Delivers power, richness but remains elegant and restrained, as reflected in 13.3% ABV. Impressive wine at its price point.
Jonathan and Susan Pey started Textbook Napa Valley in 2004. Jonathon spent a year in his youth in France when his father’s work transferred him. During that time, he discovered wine was as much a part of a meal as milk. Returning from abroad he earned his undergraduate degree in Agronomy from the University of Arizona and began working as a sales manager for Kobrand Corp in New York City. During that time, he discovered Napa and centered on Oakville as the place he wanted to have a winery. And so he did.
The Textbook name came about when Jonathan was tasting his first vintage from barrel. He remembers pulling out the wine with a wine thief into two glass and noticing the dark color, the density, the texture and the exotic aromas. He said something like, “this is classic Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon—so textbook like.” The name rang true and, surprisingly was not trademarked. He says his goal with his Napa Valley cab is to provide its varietal expression and make people want to say, “this is what Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon smells and tastes like.”
In 2019, with the business of wine taking up more and more of his time, Jonathan sold the winery to Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, a group whose parent company is Kirin Brewery Company in Japan that also is associated with Mercian, a Kirin subsidiary that owns wineries in Japan, France, and Markham Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Jonathon remains active in Textbook overseeing winemaking, vineyard sources, and participating in select marketing events.
Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley The Pey Family 2020 is fresh, juicy, balance of moderate tannin and acidity. Black fruit-forward with undercurrent of savory notes and well-managed oak. Full body, but not heavy or ponderous in the mouth; well played by the winemaker. Pair with beef dishes—grilled rib-eye, porterhouse, T-bone, New York strip; lamb; wild game—venison, boar; broiled, barbecue chicken; pork—baby back ribs, chops; comfort foods—beef stew, meatloaf, meat lover pizza, burgers and sliders, pasta dishes with beef and tomato sauces. 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. $25-35