A simple premise underlies all of Agustin Huneeus’s wines: great wines reflect great vineyards. Faust is an exception to that ethos. As opposed to reflecting a single great vineyard, Faust is a wine that pays tribute to a grape. This is Cabernet Sauvignon, arguably Napa Valley’s noblest grape, at its rich, unctuous, full-bodied peak.
To express the complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust combines fruit from Huneeus’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville, a new Napa Valley appellation in the eastern foothills south of Atlas Peak. Agustin’s relationships with growers in other Napa appellations, including Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, St. Helena, and Rutherford, round out the wine with small lots from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs.
Faust is crafted at the state-of-the-art Quintessa winery in Rutherford. Grapes were hand-picked and double-sorted, gently crushed, then cold-soaked and fermented in stainless steel and French oak vessels. The wine macerated on skins for up to three weeks following fermentation, a period when flavour, aroma, and colour compounds are extracted. The wine was then transferred to French oak barrels (30% new, 70% single use) to age for 19 months.
The 2016 Faust release is a benchmark in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine opens with a lovely perfume of red and black cherries, ripe raspberry, and violet. The palate enters lush and supple, with blackberry, cassis, coffee, and dark chocolate flavours. The finish is long and complex, with lingering dark fruit.
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller portions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, aged for 19 months in 30% new French oak. The core of the fruit comes from the Coombsville estate blended with some mountain and valley floor fruit from elsewhere. Medium to deep garnet-purple coloured, it offers a beautiful core of ripe blackcurrants, blackberries and lavender with nuances of cedar chest, pencil lead and camphor plus a waft of tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a nice, firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and well-played freshness delivering a long, vibrant finish. 2018-2032.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2018
“This is a tremendous value for the quality—a youthful tightly wound wine that’s still thick and tannic, with a heavy thread of leather, gunpowder and oak. Savory and substantial, it has secondary seasonings of sage and cedar that contrast well against black currant and cherry.”
90 points + Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast, Feb 2019