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Wine Review: Moone-Tsai 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the latest wines to make its rounds in industry circles is Moone-Tsai. Since its founding in 2003, this family-run winery has built a reputation for cult-status Cabernet Sauvignon. Moone-Tsai isn’t trying to becoming an industry heavyweight, like Silver Oak or Caymus. It’s just here to craft extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon from the best fruit possible.

Moone-Tsai began as a partnership between Mike Moone and MaryAnne Tsai. Both built their reputation at Beringer Wine Estates; Moone initially served as president for 40 years, and Tsai took over when he left. Today, the Tsai family owns the brand entirely, having bought Moone’s stake. Winemaker Philippe Melka brings a Bordeaux-style elegance to the wines, drawing from his prior experience at Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Petrus.

The Wine
We chose to review the Moone-Tsai 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is technically the winery’s largest bottling, although only 777 cases were produced. The wine actually contains 12% Merlot blended in, which softens the angles of the Cabernet Sauvignon nicely.

The Vineyards
The Moone-Tsai 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are sourced primarily from the red volcanic and clay soils of Caldwell Vineyard in Coombsville. These mineral-rich soils lend a Bordeaux-like graphite note to the wine. The wine also contains smaller amounts of Howell Mountain and St. Helena grapes blended in for added depth of fruit. It’s worth noting that all of Caldwell Vineyards’ grapes are grown without pesticides.

The Verdict
Moone-Tsai in a word: seamless. The 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is integration to the point where you really have to search to tell where one element ends and the other begins. It’s a dark ruby brocade of liquid velvet; richness enrobing the palate. Black cherry, blackberry compote, dried cranberry, and anise are underscored by mocha and warm earth on the finish. While this botlle will surely be even better with time, our minds are blown by how delicious it is right now. This wine is putting Moone-Tsai down on our Napa Valley shortlist!

Moone-Tsai is an extremely limited-production winemaker, with approximately 3,000 cases produced annually. We were able to purchase our bottle for $90 through WineAccess.com. For a limited time, you can receive $50 off your WineAccess.com purchase of $150 or more through our affiliate link here.

To learn more about Moone-Tsai, visit MooneTsai.com.

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