MCF Rare Wine
Inconnu - Cab and Merlot the Way I Like It
Even though I'm sure you've noticed that I don't sing the praises of Cabernet and Merlot (aka 'The Bordeaux Varietals') all that often, when it comes to California Cabernet/Merlot that I am definitely a huge fan of, the wines of Laura Brennan Bissell's tiny, but irrepressible Inconnu label instantly come to mind.
First and foremost, it's because they perfectly blend the dark, mineral nature of Cabernet, the soft, juicy elements of Merlot and the sunny disposition of California with an incredible sense of balance and finesse. In other words, they're so delicious and engaging, it's hard to not like them.
However, they also strike a perfect balance between the philosophies of both natural wine and of terroir. That's not to say that 'natural' and 'terroir' can't/don't coexist, but it's also kinda true that, as lovable as the 'glou glou' is, not all of them are endowed with the best 'sense of place'.
Laura's wines exhibit the finest aspects of what true non-interventionist winemaking can accomplish, while also exhibiting great varietal typicity and an unmistakable sense of place.
Add to all of that a most beautifully supple texture and a bright, driving energy, and you have what are, for me, about as perfectly genuine an expression of the Bordeaux varietals as you'll encounter.
I also love that, lately, Laura's also gone full-bore down the path of regenerative farming, with the guidance of another one of our favorite ladies in the game, Mimi Casteel of Hope Well (I'll have an offer for her wines soon).
Let's talk about the wines, though. First, we have what is probably her most well-known and beloved red, the Kitsune 2019. A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cab Franc, it's Laura's take on a right bank Bordeaux, and, well...it's a good take. It's fragrant, herbaceous and mineral, with beautiful dark fruits and a driving acidity that make it both engaging and complex, but also quite refreshing. Plus it has one of the coolest labels on the shelf!
Then we have her Cabernet No Gods No Masters 2019. It's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and, while the soft, beautifully elegant, and boundary-less texture certainly conveys its natural wine upbringing, the dark, voluptuous, intensely mineral fruit, and bright, driving finish are really just reminiscent of old-school Cali cab, when people just took their amazing raw material, and let the wine make itself...
In other words, Cali cab the way I like it...
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MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011