HIDDEN CAB STEAL

Talk about hiding in plain sight, this particular offer has us scratching our heads. In a world where Cabernet is king, and Napa Valley is the center of the Cabernet universe, why on earth would you market a Cabernet as Provenance Deadeye Napa Valley Red Wine 2016? The front label doesn’t even say that, or anything else. There is simply an artist’s rendering of something that loosely resembles a rifle sight or crosshairs zeroing in on some sort of target. While we had a good ‘what were these people thinking’ chuckle, the wine inside was anything but a joke.

This surprising complex Napa Valley ‘red’ is in fact 96% Cabernet Sauvignon (well into the realm where it could be labeled varietally) that sees 21 months in barrel! It has a real almost-old-school feel to it, and reminds us of some great Napa Cabs from the mid-90’s as Napa was just entering its cult period and things hadn’t gotten too ‘out of hand’ yet. Dark red and black fruit, something that could be described as “Rutherford dust” (though we have no idea where in Napa it came from), wonderful balance and a dense, juicy, rather polished palate, we expect most folks that are fans of Napa Cab will love the juice!

There’s the ‘rub’ and the advantage. Finding competent Napa Cabernet for under $50-60 is no easy task these days. Looking at the bottle, however, you would have no idea that this was Cabernet, and not some goofy proprietary kitchen sink blend vying to be the next ‘Prisoner’. The beauty is that neither will anyone else unless they read something about it somewhere (though there isn’t much). Apparently, this is the first release so few have seen Deadeye at all. Good vintage, fine effort, a delicious Cab for a modest fare and almost ‘witness protection’ anonymity, it’s a great deal as it is and there is no guarantee that the next one will hit the mark the way this one does.

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