WINE OF THE MONTH
May 1, 2017 by PWM
2013 FORTRESS CABERNET
WELCOME TO CAB COUNTRY- SONOMA
$19.95 BTL./$102.00 6-PACK
UNDER THE RADAR! First off, until last week we had never heard of the Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and we are pretty sure you haven't either. It happens that on a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Portland I had to sit next to a Cabernet is King guy who over the four hour flight told me every wine he ever drank & with what & how much it cost it was excruciatingly painful & I believe was my first glimpse of What Hell is actually like.
But through all of the Caymus, Silver Oak, Screaming Eagle, Harlan, and the list of Who's Who of California Cabernet producers I remembered him mentioning a wine that was made by a 'French Guy From France' which he claimed was the best under $50 Cabernet Sauvignon he had ever tasted. The name was Fortress...which meant absolutely nothing to me since I had never heard of it. Well, upon my return I grilled everyone and came up empty. And, of all people a young lady who use to work for Kendall Jackson upon my mentioning Fortress exclaimed "Wow, how did you hear about that." And then she told me the story.
While we all know Kendall Jackson as selling super market wines they also own properties in Bordeaux, Tuscany & Cardinale in Napa Valley. Well, the story goes that the Jackson Family hired Charles dePottere from the legendary Pomerol estate of Chateau Clinet to make a Cabernet from an old vineyard site they own in Sonoma's Alexander Valley and call it Fortress. IT IS INDEED SPECIAL! It delivers aromas of dark fruit, mocha and baking spices on the nose. The palate exhibits well integrated tannins that complement the subtle earthy flavors of pomegranate, blackberry and sweet pipe tobacco. My son said it perfectly, "If you want a piece of Heaven sometimes you have to spend a little time in Hell!" But 4 hours??