Culture / Foodie Events

Your Weekly Wine

A California Cabernet Sauvignon Made By One of Napa Valley’s Best

BY // 07.20.16

About a week ago I opened something I had been saving for a while, a 2009 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon. I had picked up a bone-in Wagyu rib eye the day before, and while waiting for it to come to room temperature I had a look in my Eurocave and decided on the Faust. The bottle was a gift from a friend, and that night I put it on my menu.

Some wonderful things hail from California.
Some wonderful things hail from California.

Here’s what the man who made this wine wrote about it:

The 2009 vintage brought moderate spring weather with alternating warm and cool days, which was very similar to the last few years. Early and mid-summer temperatures were temperate with expected warm spells. Late summer heat pushed flavor development and ripening in the crop of small, concentrated berries. The majority of the grapes were picked before the short period of rain and those picked afterwards were hearty Cabernet Sauvignon from hillside sites. De-leafing of the canopy, selective picking and careful sorting ensured that the grapes received at the winery were in optimal condition. The grapes were hand-picked, double-sorted and crushed at Quintessa, then cold-soaked and fermented in both French oak and stainless steel tanks. After an extended maceration, Faust was aged for 19 months in 30 percent new and 70 percent once-used French oak.

Those are the words of Charles Thomas, a California wine veteran (he’s worked with Charles Mondavi and helped create Opus One, and held winemaking positions at Rudd, Domaine Chandon, and Cardinale) who was the head of viticulture and winemaking at Quintessa for a decade. He and his wife, Lily, live on Mount Veeder and are making their own wines now under the Thomas-Hsi label (more on those wines, and the couple, later).

The 2009 is 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 percent Merlot, 3 percent Cabernet Franc, and 3 percent Malbec, and it was an ideal pairing for the steak’s richness. At one moment during my meal, the fat in the rib eye melded with a taste of the wine in a way that made me stop chewing. I wanted that combination forever: cherries, tobacco, salt, a bit of leather even. It was more than enough for one evening. I wish I had a few more bottles of the vintage on hand, but that taste memory must suffice for the time being.

The 2009 Faust is a bit difficult to locate on the market, but I have seen it online for $45-$50 from time to time, and the newer vintages are more easily found — you can get the 2012 for around $40. Try a bottle and let me know what you think.

Holiday Gifting

  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Cotton Club
  • Wayne Smith
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Cotton Club
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Asher Gallery
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Wayne Smith
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta

Looking for more wine? Read on!

A Texas White Blend for Your Table
A Pinot Noir Full of Flavor
This Pinot Gris From Oregon Pairs Well With Cheese
Willamette, Dammit!
A Value Rioja
Drink Pink!
Underbelly Veteran Goes for Grenache
A Man of Letters and Wine
Ms. Champagne Wants a Nebuchadnezzar
The Wine Artist Goes for Chardonnay
This American Loves Spain and Its Wines
Houston’s Wine Whisperer Has a Soft Touch
Blackberry Farm’s Somm Pours in Splendor
Mr. Pinot Noir: Donald Patz of Patz & Hall
A Cork Dork Wants to Spend More Time in Tuscany
Sommelier Turned Restaurateur Daringly Goes Greek
Texas Master Sommelier Debunks Wine Geeks
A Bottle From Gigondas Changed This Houston Man’s Life

Oil Man Falls in Love, and the Rest is Good-Taste History
Ryan Cooper of Camerata is a Riesling Man
Mixing It Up With Jeremy Parzen, an Ambassador of Italy
Sommelier at One of Houston’s Top Wine Bars Loves Underdogs

Home, chic home.

Featured Properties