Fourth Wall Wines - Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Composition: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot
Fine density of colour with extract to rim. Dense and brooding nose, closed but generous. Graphite, cedar, a puff of smoke, damson plum, packed with tobacco. Dark, savoury herbal edges. On the palate, lively acidity and alcohol that is in total balance with fine grained, mouthcoating tannins. Levity with a subtle vinous quality, repeating most of the nose with more currant and charred beef tips. Love the length. Medoc-inspired.
Winery & Winemaking Team
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery; Alyssa Bator, Nick Salvatore, and Fred DiProfio.
The majority of the fruit – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – comes from the home vineyard at Riverview Cellars Estate Winery, a long strip the begins close to the Niagara River itself and backs onto Concession 1. Overall, this growing area warms up relatively quickly. Cab was planted in 1999 and gets a quality boost from its planting on a patch of hard clay. Merlot has always succeeded here, closest to the water itself, planted in loam with more sand content a few years later in 2001. The Cabernet Franc was sourced by local Virgil grower, Adolf Redekop. He’s a trusted grower and had some of the ripest stuff we’d seen in the vintage.
Behind the Music
I have always been a Cabernet Sauvignon skeptic in Niagara. Had someone gone back in time and told me the first wine I’d get to release was this grape, I simply wouldn’t believe them. But when I started tasting through the barrels with Alyssa and Nick, there was something very right about this Sauvignon. By chance, they had recently acquired a 1000L French cask – it was bright, had a quirky freshness about it, and it felt like it was a proper wine from here. It wasn’t built up to knock you over, which is perfect. I don’t love high-alc blockbusters, even for Cab. All in all, reminiscent of the 2004s and 2006s.
We tasted through probably 20 or 30 potential components that day, and after meditating on them, identified a blend to build on that initial barrel of Cab Sauv. The Redekop Cab Franc was split between two 225L barrels, one quite clean/impactful and one a touch bretty. ¾ clean, ¼ funkytown made it to final. The Merlot was pulled from three old French barrels, all displaying soft, generous texture. No modifications like chaptalizing or amelioration, it’s pure expression.
Bottling was completed December 16th, 2019.