Ric Forman’s 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, beautiful, well-polished Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In short, it is everything we have come to expect from Ric Forman and his formidable St. Helena estate and exceptional talent for fashioning top California Cabernets. The addition of Cabernet Franc (13%), Petit Verdot (4%), and Merlot (3%) to the predominance of Cabernet Sauvignon in the fashion of the greatest Left Bank Margaux and Pauillac Bordeaux properties provides aromatic fireworks and palate pleasing complexity – the very hallmarks of the world’s top Cabernet Sauvignons and finest Bordeaux blends. The 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche sports an exceptionally deep red color and brilliant clarity. It offers intoxicating scents of blackberry, currant, and wild herbs. In the mouth, the wine reveals more of its charm and power with deep draughts of herb-tinged berries, cassis, cedar, and unsmoked tobacco, all backed by firm, ripe tannins that lead to a persistent mouth-filling finish. The 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is already immensely enjoyable; yet, it will in traditional Ric Forman fashion continue to develop in the bottle for years to come. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 20-30 minutes of aeration prior to serving at 58°-62° F. Enjoy!
Given the finesse, complexity, and balance of the 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Valley Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, one can happily enjoy this wine with nary a morsel. Although there is no shame in enjoying this fine Cabernet Sauvignon on its own, an equally well-crafted meal will provide the ultimate in enjoyment. Lamb, beef, duck, and complex vegetarian recipes all provide excellent options. Braised Lamb Shanks or Rack of Lamb, served with lentils and haricots verts; a perfectly grilled Porterhouse, served with hand-cut duck fat fries; and Grilled Duck Breast, prepared with duck confit hash and seasonal vegetables, all make splendid dinner companions to a bottle of Ric Forman’s 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Cabernet Sauvignon. For those who prefer simplicity and subscribe to the philosophy that less is more when it comes to enjoying a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, we suggest serving a well-endowed cheese plate comprised of many soft rindless cheeses with this wine. However, almost any aged, finely crafted cheese will shine in the presence of the 2018 Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!
Chateau La Grande Roche is grown and produced by Ric Forman at his iconic Napa Valley estate at the base of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain. Ric Forman has been making wine since 1966. He crafts just three exceptional wines from estate fruit each year: Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay under the Ric Forman label and Chateau La Grande Roche (this month’s feature). Ric’s Cabernets have earned him consistent accolades and place him among the greatest Napa Valley winemakers.
Influenced early in his career by the wines and winemaking practices of the greatest Bordeaux chateaux, Ric has consistently sought perfection in his wines, striving for finesse and elegance as well as a sense of terroir and place. As a sole proprietor, he revels in the luxury of personally nurturing the wines during every stage of production, beginning with harvest, through blending, bottling and aging. He acknowledges that in an age of anonymous ownership, his type of hands-on approach to winemaking is becoming a rarity, but it is the only way to make great wines. In Ric’s case, the proof consistently resides in the wines he crafts.
Chateau La Grande Roche (meaning great rock) pays homage to the rocky terroir of Forman’s Napa Valley estate. Traditional Bordeaux grape varieties and farming practices predominate, and in true Bordeaux fashion each estate vineyard is comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon along with varying amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.
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