This has been a wonderful recurring theme since Charlie Coniglio first walked into our office a few years ago with a Napa Cabernet in tow. Sure we see a lot of folks peddling expensive Napa Cabernets but this one had style, depth, and the kind of vanillan, chocolatey blackcurrent theme that Cabernet drinkers love. Even back then, $50 was considered a pretty attractive price on serious Napa Cabernet and we started to carry it in the regular lineup. That was a 2004. A few months later he came back to us with an extremely aggressive price on that same delicious Napa Cabernet and, well, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
We have done a number of deals since that time and have come to depend on this quirky relationship to keep us supplied with sensational and well priced (for the quality level) Cabernet whenever he had some to sell. We dubbed the series ‘The Bunny’ because it is our euphemism for Coniglio, the family name (which is also the Italian word for ‘rabbit’). ‘The Bunny’, by virtue of the series of thrilling Cabernet deals we have launched over the last half decade or so, has become something of a brand around here.
The style is remarkably consistent over the years. We could almost cut-and-paste the descriptors from one year to the next as the style is classic, Cabernet lovers juice. People have enjoyed these lavishly styled, full throttle Napa Cabernets, particularly at the kind of reduced prices we are selling them for. It has been a classic win-win, and we are always interested to see what Charlie has in his bag. The most recent ‘visit’ turned up another can’t miss Cabernet for a thirsty world.
The Coniglio Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 looks quietly impressive with its black label and broad-shouldered bottle. It certainly doesn’t taste like a sub-$35 Napa Cab, though that might be because the listed winery price is $70. Technically, this wine could have carried an even groovier Stags Leap District appellation on the label but ‘the bunny’ knows they’d probably have to charge more if they did that. That kind of decision-making is above our pay grade and we certainly didn’t want to create a case for raising the tariff. Let sleeping bunnies lie.
So what you have here is legit, well-endowed Stags Leap juice at a fantastic price. This is typical ‘Bunny’ style. You’ve got your dark, chewy, powerful Napa Cab with loads of cassis and inky black fruits, with a lovely sheen of chocolatey nuance from what tastes like expensive oak. This wine has a bit more volume than many SLD wines, with more weight and a broader palate impression. But the telltale elegance of the appellation lurks beneath. At $31.98 this is a pretty sensational value for a high quality Napa Cab!