Introduces itself with springtime flowers and blossoms, grapefruit and peach. Stone fruits, crisp melon, Meyer lemon and the mysterious “minerality” take turns in the taste. Typical high acidity is countered by a textured roundness (from 4 months lees-ageing is both steel and nuetral oak). It’s young, and I suspect my tasting notes will be more even more enthusiastic when I enjoy in fall 2020 and beyond. Speaking from experience, this 2019 Cave Dog Albariño is more than an aperitif wine. It went toe-to-toe with my home-made pesto pasta studded with spicy sausage and earthy broccoli greens, making a tasty pairing. I imagine it can hold up to anything short of strong red meats.
The grapes come mostly from “Stewart Ranch” in southern Napa Valley, a vineyard planted to Albariño by Michael Havens in 1997 (It was the first Albariño planted in the U.S. – a Jeopardy final question perhaps). Arneis (15% of the blend) and a bit of the Albariño comes from “Hudson Ranch” in the Carneros.
Napa winemaker/winery owner veteran Michael Havens launched Cave Dog with his 2014 red wine. There are 3 Cave Dog wines: this Albariño, a Godello (another white wine of Spanish origin) and the red, a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend. I recommend all three wines whole-heartedly, past present and future vintages.