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 2018 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.
“Very attractive aromas of blackcurrants, black olives and dark leather with some cedar. It’s full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and a refined, polished finish. Shows finesse and focus. Grows on the palate. Really delicious now, but will improve with age. Drink or hold.”
94 points, JamesSuckling.com, Nov 2020