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2019 Fabulist

2019 Fabulist
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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 2019 Fabulist is sourced from Jon Nathaniel’s estate-owned vineyard in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley. Situated in the heart of Napa Valley, this low-yielding valley floor vineyard enjoys a warm, sunny climate, cool evenings and well-drained, rocky/loam soils that are low in fertility. We tend the vineyard by hand with copious canopy management and fruit culling to ensure small yields of beautifully rich and concentrated fruit. The grapes for this wine were hand-picked in small lots as selected blocks achieved ripeness.


After arriving at the winery the grapes were cold soaked for three to five days to extract color, flavor and tannin, and then placed in small stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Once dry, the wine aged for 18 months in French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels, 45% new. 


Heavy rainfall at the beginning of the 2019 growing season replenished reservoirs and gave the soils plenty of moisture. The vintage saw a long, warm summer with few extreme heat events, and the cool evenings and mornings set the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Relatively mild weather during harvest preserved freshness and finesse in the fruit, while extended hang time teased out great color, structure and soft tannins.

Tasting Notes

The Jon Nathaniel 2019 Fabulist displays opulent black and blue fruits – black cherry, blueberry and black currant – with lovely hints of Christmas spice, mocha, licorice and vanilla. The oak is restrained and balanced, and the wine has a plush texture and refined mouthfeel with ripe, sweet tannins. Like a warm, velvety embrace, this wine gives immediate pleasure but has the guts to last at least fifteen years.

Varietals: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 18 months in French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels (45% new)


94 points
The Wine Advocate
"An estate blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Fabulist Red Blend boasts a fabulous deep purple hue. Loaded with ripe, plummy fruit and gently framed by vanilla and cedar, it's full-bodied and concentrated, with fine-grained tannins and a long, intense finish. Tight, with plenty of potential, it should be stashed in the cellar for a few years prior to drinking."
Read more.
—Joe Czerwinski, May 2022

92 points
James Suckling
"Ripe nose of cooked cherries, plums, chocolate, praline and dill. Full-bodied with creamy, round tannins and a plush texture. Sweet spice and vanilla on the finish. Juicy. Drink or hold." Read more. November 2021

Jon Nathaniel and the Fabulist: A father and son's new winery in St. Helena
Napa Valley Register
"He and Nat set about transforming the barn of their adjacent property into a smaller-scale winery where they could experiment with wine-making techniques. This is Jon Nathaniel Winery..." Read more.
—Sasha Paulsen, October 2020