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Jon Nathaniel Wines

2016 Fabulist Red Blend

2016 Fabulist Red Blend

Due to very limited production and high demand, limit of six bottles per person. Please contact us at 707-967-6754 with any questions.

Every family has one – the raconteur who captivates his or her listeners with tales of family lore, the one who extends the dinner conversation long after dessert has been served. In the Komes family, that person is John Komes, our own fabulist, a man of legendary storytelling ability who has kept us enthralled for decades. Fabulist is a tribute to him.

The 2016 Fabulist is sourced from Jon Nathaniel’s estate vineyard in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley. The dry climate is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, and this low-yielding vineyard features well-drained, rocky, bale loam soils that are low in fertility. The vines here are tightly spaced, creating competition for water and nutrients and lowering overall production even further. We tend this vineyard by hand with copious canopy management and fruit culling to ensure small yields of beautifully rich and concentrated wine grapes. 

Working closely with Winemaker Enrico Bertoz, John Komes cold-soaked the grapes to extract color, flavor and tannin, and then split the fermentation, with half of the grapes fermented in stainless steel and half in small French oak barrels. Fermenting red wine in oak is a labor-intensive process that can only be done on a small scale; the technique integrates the oak at an early stage and imparts a lush, silky texture to the finished wine. “This is exactly why I started Jon Nathaniel,” says John. “To be able to use production techniques that only make sense on a small scale.” Following fermentation the wine aged for 19 months in 100% French oak. It was bottled without fining. 

The 2016 growing season began with an early bud break followed by warm weather and welcome spring rains. From bloom, to fruit set, to veraison and harvest, nature cooperated offering a classic weather pattern of foggy mornings, warm, sunny days and cool evenings and nights. Harvest began in mid-August and wrapped up by mid-October. Looking back, Napa Valley winemakers agree that 2016 was one of the smoothest and finest vintages of the decade.

Tasting Notes
The Jon Nathaniel 2016 Fabulist is a blend of red Bordeaux varietals grown in the renowned Rutherford appellation. The wine is inky purple and opaque, with perfumed notes of blueberry, cassis, and plum layered with baking spice, cedar and dark baking chocolate. Rich and full-bodied, the wine shows freshness, deep, pure fruit, fine-grained tannins and a long, seamless finish. It will age beautifully for 15 or more years.


92 points
Jeb Dunnuck
"A blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Red Blend Fabulist sports a saturated purple color as well as plenty of smoky red and blue fruits, baking chocolate, licorice, and savory herbs and iron nuances. It's rich, full-bodied, and vibrant on the palate, with good acidity and purity of fruit. It's going to drink nicely for 15+ years." February 2019

95 points
The Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Red Blend Fabulist is made up of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It has a deep garnet-purple color and lifted florals of roses and lavender on the nose over cedar, cassis, baking spices and tilled soil plus hints of charcuterie. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is elegant and perfumed with very fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long." - 
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, December 2018

93 points
James Suckling
"A bright ball of plum-flavored cabernet fruit on the nose. Smoothly rendered and polished with a wealth of blueberry and cassis flavors in a fresh, long and seamless style. Drink or hold."
November 2018

Varietals: Blend of red Bordeaux varietals
Appellation: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Aging: 19 months in 100% French oak barrels

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