This husky Napa Cab shows the concentration and structure possible in 2016. Wound up when first poured with black currant, deep dark red cherry, tobacco, black olive and vanilla peaking through. The taste, while 5 years away from starting optimal drinking (I’m guessing), still brings great pleasure. Blackberries, kirsch, bittersweet chocolate, cracked black pepper and the tobacco & olive flavors come forth with impressive synchronicity in the wine’s youth. Broad mouthfeel and strong tannins that, gratefully, don’t hurt. I counted a 20 second finish that moved from ripe berry fruits to savory earth and spice. I only tasted this wine once-opened. I could tell it will open up and kick some serious butt with a 3-4 hour decant.
Majority of the fruit comes from Napa’s Oak Knoll District. 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec blended in.
Gary and Ellen Luchtel planted Fortunati Vineyards in the early 2000s and launched the brand a few years later. Most of their wines are estate fruit from their 10+ acres in the Oak Knoll District (everything except Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel). Gary is a self-taught winemaker, graduating from home-winemaking when he started Surh-Luchtel Cellars in the 1990s. Fortunati is 100% Direct to Consumer. If you visit and taste with Gary and/or Ellen, you will undoubtedly walk away with a case or two of their small production wines. Check out all the Fortunati Wines we recommend here.
The name Fortunati is derived from a combination of Ellen’s Italian heritage and Gary’s nick name, Lucky.