Wine Of The Week: Farella Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

A beautifully balanced Napa Valley Cabernet.

Courtesy Farella Vineyards

While Coombsville AVA is just a short drive from Napa’s main drag, it offers a different climate than much of the California wine region. Once upon a time, this pocket of the valley was perched atop a volcanic caldera. When it erupted and collapsed, volcanic ash covered the hills, which formed a lake over time.

Millenia passed and all of that eroded back into the earth, but tiny sparks of that history still stand. Where Farella Estates is situated, as far east in the valley you can go without hiking the mountain, soils are ancient and alive with energy. 

So what does all of that have to do with the wine? The vines grow out of that ancient volcanic soil, giving wines here a profound power and minerality.

This stellar Cabernet Sauvignon hails from vines dating back to the 1970s. And its experience shows: the wine is precise, balanced, and energetic — a beautifully unique snapshot of Napa (and an excellent value, considering the price of most noteworthy Napa Cabernets). $70

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.