Forget "jammy fruit bombs" that crush the palate—subtle cabernets are making a comeback in Napa Valley. "You don’t hear much about these sorts of wines today," writes Eric Asimov in the New York Times. While critics swoon over rich, oaky cabernets, a few wineries still rely on elegant floral and herbal flourishes that made the region famous years ago.
Unlike modern vineyards, these purists use traditional techniques such as dry farming to produce a lighter, more balanced cabernet. Critics pan the old-school wines as "rustic or green," but Asimov says the floral aromas and flavors are hallmarks of the varietal: "Personally, I would enjoy a lot more Napa cabernets if they were dry, austere and harmonious."