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Since the day, almost 45 years ago, that Cathy Corison, on a whim, took a wine appreciation course at the prestigious Pomona College in Claremont, California, the course of her life has been set. Today she is one of the most acclaimed wine-makers in the Napa Valley, producing wines of great elegance and character that typically grow in stature with each passing year. "That is what we want to do, to make wines that age for 30 years," she told the Wine Spectator in 2018. "Its what I wanted to do when I got to Napa. And now that my first few vintages have hit age 30, I can say confidently that I achieved that.” She learned her craft the hard way. After an MA in Enology, she worked in a number of wineries, including top names such as Chappellet, from the late 1970s to the late 1980s before she found the right grapes and the confidence to establish the Corison Winery in 1987.
In the early years she sourced quality fruit wherever she could and space in third party wineries to make her wine. But in 1995, along with her husband, she bought the Kronos Vineyard, a property that had been a farm for over a century. The Corison Winery now had a home. There was finally an estate vineyard and a place to build a winery. A second estate vineyard, Sunbasket, a stone’s throw from the winery, was purchased in 2015 after sourcing grapes from it for over 25 years.
It was once said of Cathy Corisons wines that they are restrained but not reticent, yielding but not simple, ripe but never over-ripe. This 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is an exemplar of her work. Notes of blackcurrant with a hint of cloves give way to smooth, intense dark fruit, medium-bodied and perfectly balanced with a long elegant finish.
"Spiced aromatics of mixed fruits across a full range of colour – red, blue and black fruits appear here with a constellation of fresh herbs, all of which carry into the palate. The oak usage here is well done, framing the varietal character rather than dominating, instead bringing the earthy and herbal notes of the variety into highlight over a body of fruits and mineral notes.Decanter.com: (95) Another classic from Cathy Corison, the 2014 Cabernet displays a pretty bouquet of black cherry, petroleum jelly, cocoa nib and dried rose. On the palate the wine is intense, nicely concentrated and texturally refined, with good depth and a lovely line of bright acidity which lends a crunchy edge to the fruit." Jancisrobinson.com 17.5/20