The Wild One Cabernet Pfeffer 2019
With flavors of late summer strawberries and wild fennel, Cabernet Pfeffer reads like a deep cut from your favorite Alto Piemonte producer. Meanwhile, the grape itself is the subject of lively debate among the two or three people actually aware of its existence. Only about 12 acres of it exists in the U.S. (all of it outside Hollister in California’s San Benito County). Many believed it to be related to Cabernet Sauvignon or Trousseau — it is not. Nor is it Gros Verdot, the mythical, long-lost Bordeaux variety (though many old farmers in Hollister call it this anyway). No, it turns out that Cabernet Pfeffer is Mourtaou, a different French grape that everyone had forgotten about. Well, with Pfeffer meaning pepper in German, at least we know how it tastes, right? Not so fast. Pfeffer happens to be the last name of the horticulturist who first identified it. Josh and Noah treat their Cabernet Pfeffer to a semi-carbonic fermentation and gentle extraction method to soften its aggressive tannins. It’s light and refreshing — and, yes, a little bit peppery.