One of the most beautiful lines Shakespeare ever wrote is: “The quality of mercy is not strained.” The oft-quoted line is the beginning of a soliloquy that speaks of the gentleness inherent in all of us and in nature itself. There’s something in the gentleness of the 2013 GEO Cabernet Sauvignon from SILVERADO VINEYARDS that reminds us of nature’s bloom. From Silverado’s historic Mt. George Vineyard in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon magnanimous in its elegance and soft qualities. Starting with a deeply expressive, aromatic nose of dark, vibrant fruit, the palate is entreated to rich notes of blackberries, currants and violets, with a solid undercurrent of blueberries—the richness of flavor very controlled, exhibiting a sense of restraint. What truly captivates the senses is the cottony, pillowy softness of the wine’s texture and plumpness of body. This is the softer side of Napa, the cuddlier side of Cabernet. The emphasis is not so much on inward complexity or intensity but, rather, the outward generosity of character. This is an effortlessly joyous Napa Valley Cab and not strained in the least. Gentle of spirit, rich in expressiveness, exceptionally well-crafted and positively delightful. –J.M.