12 bottles of 2015 Michel-Schlumberger 'La Cime' Cabernet Sauvignon
We're sometimes at a loss as to where to start. Do we tell you how this vineyard's adjacent to Raffanelli, one of the most under-the-radar Cab vineyards in all of Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley region? Or lead with how Schlumberg makes its all-estate "La Cime" (French for "the peak") bottling from a blend of its best blocks of both mountain-top and benchland vineyards. Maybe how this winery's been around since the late 70's, when Jean-Jacques Michel, a native of Switzerland, decided he'd found the ideal spot to make Old World-tuned Bordeaux blends? Or should we just tell you that this wine sells for $52 at the winery?!?
Though it began as Domaine Michel, Michel-Schlumberger (pronounced Schlum-bur-jay) was incarnated as such a little over a decade later, when another European vintner, Jacques Schlumberger, whose family roots were in the Alsatian wine industry for more than 400 years, joined Jean-Jacques at what was then Domaine Michel. Though the then-tiny winery expanded its production, they've stayed pretty small, making about 6000 cases of estate wine annually (they have a non-estate label that these wines should not be confused with; their Estate line comes entirely from their own holdings, some of the top terroir in Dry Creek).
Their 2015 "La Cime" is only now entering its prime drinking window after 6 years in the cellar. Done in a balanced, Old World style (as opposed to a Napa bruiser), it's built upon a core of Cabernet Sauvignon, other Bordeaux varieties like Petit Verdot and Malbec add layers and depth: all the classic notes of dark blackberry fruit, plum, cassis, cocoa, and grilled bread are here. Textured, balanced, and smooth, with soft tannins, this is made for summer grilling season. (Decant this for a few hours before throwing those ribeyes on the Weber!)