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 its feet. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, 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. A wine crafted with the single goal of being from the constraints of appellations, yet made with fruit from notable vineyards throughout California.
The 2019 Leviathan boasts an intense mix of fresh boysenberry, black cherry and plum jump from the glass with cocoa powder, allspice and nutmeg. Its earthy elements of rocky northern California hillsides include Bay Laurel, sage, cedar, dry red earth which speak to its origins. Supple and balanced tannins of this rich wine lead to a long savoury finish with hints of graphite and star anise. Approachable now and built to cellar.
“Very pure fruit this year with ripe raspberries and fresh currants throughout. Full-to medium-bodied with soft, polished tannins and bright, clean fruit. It’s really balanced and the finish and makes you want to drink it. Subtle and vivid fruit at the end. Yet, it can improve with age. Blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and Petite Verdot. Drink or hold.”
95 points, JamesSuckling.com, October 2021