Taylor Eason

Pure Cru = Pure pleasure from Napa and Mitch Cosentino

Mitch Cosentino
I can say with certainty that I haven't walked away from many winemaker interviews wanting to sign up for their wine club. I simply have too much wine sitting in my cellar at home. But the wines from pureCru, made by the ever popular and well-connected Napa Valley winemaker Mitch Cosentino, had that effect on me. They were like crack, but without the side effects.

pureCru is Mitch's new wine project (aside from remaining the consulting winemaker at Cosentino Winery), making about 3,000 cases per vintage to create a "small, hands-on entity where I could do it all myself again, like I did in the beginning [of Cosentino Winery]." The rather simple yet delicious premise is to grab fruit from his favorite vineyards throughout Napa Valley and northern California to craft small quantities of wine blends. Wines that the average consumer can afford too. How novel from a Napa winery.

From the clean, Chablis-like Chardonnay to the Pure "Coz" Cabernet blend, the wines kept delivering on quality and price. I was, quite frankly, blown away. As regular readers of my rants know, Napa Valley doesn't generally turn me on. With all the googly-eyed attention this region garners, coupled with offensively high prices, I never saw the point. But Mitch and his 30 years of far-reaching vineyard and consumer insight has led him to a new promised land.

My favorites from the Pure Cru collection of wines:

pureCru 2010 Chardonnay Napa Valley: Clean with no malolactic fermentation so no butteriness. Yay! Gushing with peaches, tangerines and shockingly high acidity from a Napa Chardonnay. A medium-bodied, crisp pool wine that would also pair with seafood. $25.

Purety 2010 Napa Valley: A Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend remiscent of white Bordeaux (what's that?). The creaminess comes from the wine stewing with its lees during aging, but it's also herby with plenty of apricot. When I remarked how easily the acidity and fruit came together, Mitch replied, "Flavor and balance are my thing." $25.

pureCru Sangio Vetta 2007 California: Euro-centric and tastes like Italy's gutsy Brunello. A wine currently on the shelves, this 2007 spent 30 months in French and eastern European oak. Concentrated dried fruit, blackberry, plum, baking spices and a swath of leather. Blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. Stunning. Drinkable alone or would be tasty with anything mushroomy, even a juicy burger. Fruit comes from Napa and Lodi Valleys. A steal at $25.

Reviews of 2007 Pure Coz and pureCru Secret 7 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon on TaylorEason.com


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April 17, 2012

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