Plenty of wines claim to capture the “spirit of California”. A top-bracket nomination for that honour is winemaker Andy Erickson and viticulturist Annie Favia’s Leviathan. Their deft touch shows: Leviathan is a rich, full wine that is almost miraculously light on it’s feet. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in 2014, this is a small-production wine that highlights the complexity derived from sound blending and careful handling. Each vintage is finely-tuned, intended to be bright and fruit-driven in its youth, yet entirely worthy of cellaring.
The 2015 vintage captures all the best qualities of that year’s stellar growing season, when a warm, dry spring gave way to early budbreak, balanced canopy growth, and small, intense berries. This concentrated wine is brimming with aromatics of cigar box, brambly fruit, and cacao. The palate gives way to a balanced expression of cherries, violets, and Japanese pickled plums, with savoury tannins and outstanding finesse and complexity.
“I was able to taste two vintages of the Leviathan cuvée, both of which are brilliant wines as well as smoking values. The 2015 Leviathan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah that was brought up mostly in used barrels. It’s loaded with dark fruits, barbecue smoke, lavender, and savoury herb-like aromas and flavours and is complex, full-bodied, and one serious mouthful of fruit.”
94 points, JebDunnuck.com, Jan 2019
“From winemaker Andy Erickson, the 2015 Leviathan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Red Hills, Dry Creek and Carneros with Cabernet Franc from Hudson vineyard in Carneros and Syrah from Dry Creek Valley. It was aged in 25% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it offers up a compelling earthy/savory nose of tilled soil, truffles, chargrill and beef drippings with a core of warm black plums, cassis and wild blueberries plus a touch of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied with a great structure of firm, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, it delivers bags of crunchy fruit and an herbal lift on the finish.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2018
“Andy Erickson blends Leviathan from numerous lots of bulk wine he purchases across Napa Valley. As its name suggests, Leviathan is a big, unapologetically rich red. It is also fun, easy to drink and a terrific value. The 2015 Red Wine from Leviathan is inky, deep and powerful, all of which will make it a pleasure to drink over the next handful of years. Black cherry jam, chocolate, leather and sweet spice all run through this unctuous, full-bodied Napa Valley red blend from Andy Erickson. Best of all, the 2015 is a tremendous value.”
91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2018