2016 Buena Vista Napa Cabernet
Count Agoston Harazthy’s life ended when he was eaten by alligators.
But before that, he founded the California wine industry, the Wisconsin wine industry, and the United States’s beer industry. This was a man of talent, boundless energy – a hot-dog adventurer who left his mark across our entire country. His story is a fascinating one, but we’ve got some Cabernet to drink, so I’ll make it quick:
Who knows why the Count emigrated from Hungary but he did, and settled in a place called Szepataj, Wisconsin. There, he built roads, bridges, a sawmill, a gristmill, and a steamboat line. He also was the first to grow an abundance of hops, founding our beer industry. Then he planted his treasured grapes, hoping for the magical elixir of wine.
Now if you don’t know the town of Szepataj, Wisconsin, it’s not your fault. These days, we call it Sauk City. And if you don’t know the wine from Sauk City, well, that’s your fault, because its Wollersheim Winery. But Agoston’s Szepataj winery didn’t meet with the success of Wollersheim – after a couple of winters his vines froze solid and died, leaving him with no wine. He packed up and headed to Mexico, i.e., the Bear Republic of California.
The Count did a lot of amazing things in California, including becoming the sheriff, then marshall, then the mayor of San Diego. He planted grapes there, too, but they all died due to the heat. So once again, Agoston moved on, heading north to the newly founded state legislature where he was embroiled in a ’49er scheme of gold embezzlement. But he never stopped dreaming of his purple gold – red wine.
Finally, in 1857, Agoston hit the jackpot. Just north of San Francisco across the Bay lies one of the most beautiful agricultural areas in the United States – Napa and Sonoma Counties. There the Count founded a winery and planted grapes (that he had convinced the state legislature to import at their expense), thus starting California’s billion-dollar wine industry. This winery was the first commercial winery in California, and it’s what we are drinking to this day – Buena Vista.
A lot has happened since then but amazingly, this effort of Harazthy’s remains – in Buena Vista Cabernet.
Named “beautiful view,” this Cabernet completely lives up to that name, offering off the cork-pull a gorgeous display of Cabernet: blackberry and blueberry fruit lead the charge, with a sublime ripeness and concentration that only Napa Cabernet can bring. Therein follows pencil lead, crème de casis, the richness of black fruit and intense structure that will leave any lover of Cabernet completely satisfied. The mid-palate is full and the finish is intense – totally integrated, yet firm in its intent. This is powerful, bold-drinking stuff. For a cocktail, it rocks it out. At the table, just make sure you’ve got some grade A steaks for a pairing partner, because anything else is gonna get spanked off the table.
This wine proves the awesomeness of Napa Cabernet, and it’s rare to see Napa Cab at such a fantastic price. Don’t miss getting your share of our limited allocation.