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2018 Fabulist

2018 Fabulist
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Only 100 cases made, limit six bottles per person

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 2018 Fabulist is sourced from Jon Nathaniel’s estate-owned vineyards in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley. Situated in the heart of Napa Valley, these low-yielding valley floor vineyards enjoy a warm, sunny climate, cool evenings and well-drained, rocky/loam soils that are low in fertility. We tend these vineyards 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 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. It was bottled without fining.


2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley with moderate weather in spring and summer and no significant heat spikes. Harvest was later than in recent years, with continued mild weather through the fall that allowed grapes to gradually ripen and develop both sweetness and acidity. Overall it was an uneventful and fine growing season yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance.

Tasting Notes

The Jon Nathaniel 2018 Fabulist opens up with beautiful fruit flavors of red and black cherry, blueberry and Santa Rosa plum, with secondary notes of semisweet chocolate, vanilla, sweetbrier and dried florals. The wine has a soft entry and shows nice weight on the mid-palate with a balanced acidity that adds structure and length. This is a lovely, mouth filling Napa Valley Cabernet with smooth, easy-going tannins; it’s drinking well now but will cellar nicely for 15 or more years.

Varietals: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 18 months in 100% French oak barrels (40% new)


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. October 2020

95 points
Blue Lifestyle
"Very dark color, lush blackberry nose, smooth and gentle with toast and vanilla, luscious and rich with intensely generous style; tangy acid structure and good length, a cellar candidate."—Anthony Dias Blue, September 2020

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