First time we were introduced to the 2015 Phifer Pavitt X Roads Cabernet Sauvignon was over dinner with their white winemaker Gary Warburton and his wife Terry back in September 2019. Back then I didn’t have a chance to take tasting notes and later wrote this for SCV Elite Magazine:
…Shout out to Phifer Pavitt and their 2015 XROADS Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. We had a glorious multi-course dinner with our friends Gary and Terry Warburton in the Solbar at Solage Resort where Gary brought the wine – he happens to be their white winemaker – and I was smitten. As soon as we got home I ordered some! — EVE BUSHMAN, Elite Magazine, November 2019 (Read it on the Phifer Pavitt website here.)
Note: There are four articles in Elite where I mention Phifer Pavitt. You can see them listed here. There are also over a half dozen times I’ve covered them here in Eve’s Wine 101. Wrote about their dog Mongo years ago for one of the Wine Dogs books too. Phifer Pavitt may actually have been one of the first wineries – or the first winery – I first wrote about over 12 years ago when I started my journey as a wine columnist. We have been overnight guests on their property and have spent many hours over the years with owner Suzanne Phifer Pavitt, of course, over many bottles of their wine. Suzanne is originally from Georgia, and has an unmistakable accent and exquisite Southern charm. She is the perfect pairing for their wines, IMHO. Now, back to X Roads.
Pronounced Cross Roads – not X Roads as it reads on the label – this is not their only Cabernet Sauvignon; it comes on the heels of their popular “DateNight” Cab and a Reserve. I was betting that another year in bottle, we wouldn’t need to decant, and the wine would have done nothing but improved over time. If that’s possible. At least I could rectify my earlier review with some tasting notes.
2015 Phifer Pavitt X Roads
Crushed dark cherry, wet forest floor, grilled steak and mushrooms, dark chocolate, black licorice, pipe tobacco, toasted oak, a hint of sweet cream and more all on the nose. Flavors included that same black cherry as well as blackberry, blueberry, a gamut of spices, velvety and firm drying tannins that of course require that you got back in for another sip…and another. We had it with a sous vide rib eye, it was delicious before, during and after.
The label says, among other things, that “X marks the spot” and it certainly marked a very sweet (as in good!) spot for me. 99 Eve points.
From the Winery
CITY BOY MEETS COUNTRY GIRL
This is the story of city boy meets country girl. What you may not know is that every country girl that has ever successfully worked her way out of the country life has worked exponentially harder than any city boy could imagine. What you probably already know is that every idealistic city boy has absolutely no clue just how challenging country life can be.
Sounded like a great idea to Shane, who grew up in the town of postage stamp lots, Manhattan Beach, CA. Move to the country, breathe some fresh air and sloooow down. Scared the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of Suzanne. Move away from the city (you gotta be kidding me!), hour plus drive from any reasonable shopping, holy smokes she was closer than that growing up in rural Ringgold, Georgia.
Every big decision we ever made together was on our once a week “Date Night”. The should-I-take-that-job decision happened on Date Night. The let’s-make-babies decision happened on Date Night. And the decision to put an offer on what would become the Phifer Pavitt property happened on Date Night. From our perspective, every decision we made together on Date Night gave us results that exceeded our expectations. So it should come as no surprise that the decision to make Phifer Pavitt Date Night Wine happened on Date Night. We fully believe that the enjoyment of the night led us to making the best decision. So this is our offer to you…cherish those moments together, because life doesn’t come with a pause button. Date Night is not just our wine, it’s a way of life.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.