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Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc 2016

Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.

The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.

Tasting notes: 

This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.

High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.

Review:

- Wine Enthusiast (September 2021), 90 pts  





 Wine Enthusiast: 90 94 Points
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc 2015

Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.

The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.

Tasting notes: 

This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.

High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.

Review:

"Sourced from the top two terraces of the vineyard up near the reservoir, this single parcel Cabernet Franc reveals good typicity and impressive depth of plum and dark cherry fruit. Creamy, lush texture on a full bodied palate with fine firm tannins. Matured 20 months in used French oak. The name means hut (pondok) on the ridge (rug) in Afrikaans."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts


"The 2015 Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Cottage Lane Vineyard, located at 300 meters above sea level. It was picked in small batches that underwent strict sorting and spent two to three weeks on the skins. It then matured for 22 months in 225-liter French oak barrels (10% to 15% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a tightly wound bouquet at first, presenting blackberry, bilberry, cedar and light damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and mint- and cedar-tinged black fruit on the entry, building toward a nicely structured, quite sappy finish. It doesn’t quite deliver the panache of its Syrah counterpart, but it is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon all the same. - Neal Martin"- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts






 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 93 Points
Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.

Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030

All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.

Review:

"Alex Starey's Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a single vineyard called Cottage Lane, located on the crest of a hill at 350 metres. Blended with 11% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec, this is scented, serious and concentrated, all cassis and blood orange flavours with dense tannins, stylish wood and the balance and definition of the 2017 vintage. 2022-29"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 93 pts




 93 Points
Willowcroft Cabernet Franc 2016

Willowcroft Cabernet Franc is made from 75% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Chambourcin and 4% Petit Verdot. This is a blend of clones from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. 
This is planted on silty loam soils. 
Harvested from home Vineyards on Sept 23rd 2015 (brix 23.9). 
Malo-Lactic fermentation.
Fermented and aged for 12 months in a mix of French, Hungarian and American Oak barrels.
It was slightly filtered before bottling.

Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.

Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030

All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.

Review:

Bright and spicy up top, this leads with notes of kirsch and crème de cassis that are complemented by sweet spice, dried purple florals and raspberry leaf. The palate is smooth and satiny at first, with rich fruit tones leading the experience, while firm yet fine tannins enter on the midpalate and carry through with moderate intensity through the earthy, sweet-spiced finish

- Wine Enthusiast (September 2020), 93 pts


 Wine Enthusiast: 93 International Wine Review: 91
Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Gaja Darmagi Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Angelo Gaja forever changed the world’s notion of Piedmont wines when he released this historic wine for the first time in 1985 (with the 1982 vintage), made from Bordeaux varietals planted in the township of Barbaresco. According to the often told legend, Angelo Gaja’sfather exclaimed “darmagi!” upon learning that his son had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in vineyards previously devoted to Piedmont’s traditional Nebbiolo grape. Akin to the French quel dommage, the Piedmontese expression darmagi means what a pity! Or what a shame!. With his characteristic respect for tradition and those who came before him, the younger Gaja decided to call this wine Darmagi, a homage to his family’s legacy with an eye toward the future.


Review:

You'll find more dark fruit and more freshness here than in many of the other offerings from Gaja, with a dark, deep inky appearance. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Darmagi is a 100% expression of the grape, whereas past editions saw tiny parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The fruit comes from a 2.5-hectare vineyard planted in 1978 directly under the town of Barbaresco, setting the stage for an elegant rendition of Cabernet Sauvignon with a fresh and contained style. The wine shows a nice balance between the extraction you get from the grape skins and the rich succulence you get from the pulp inside the berries. In the 2017, you taste more of the skins, and in the 2018, Gaia Gaja comments, you taste more of the pulp. The 2016 offers both, countering each other with precision. Whole grapes are pressed very gently, and the wine is aged in oak for 18 months, with less emphasis on new oak now. In fact, only 30% of the total sees new oak, and a greater percentage of the wine goes into large oak casks instead.

- Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95
Inglenook Rubicon 2016

Inglenook Rubicon  is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.

Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."

Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.

2016:

After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.

Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.


Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.


- Antonio Galloni 97 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97
Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

20 months in French oak (only about a third of that is new oak) and for 20 more months in bottle before release

Our winemaking "style" is solely determined by this place or terrior we call "Paradigm." Winemaking is agriculture when you own your vineyards and are able to farm them to promote the very best Earth will give you. All of our selections of wines are made from five varietals on the estate. Every wine is 100% farmed and grown by us.

Complexity in our wines supported by luscious fruit and acidity is our hallmark. Our efforts during harvest and barrel cellaring concentrate on maintaining the freshness from the first day we handpicked each vineyard block. Simple winemaking protocols are employed while crucial “timing” oriented winemaking decisions rule each day.

Dark Cabernet color with beautiful aromas of black cherry, cassis, plus 5-spice, vanilla. Big, ripe and mouthcoating across the palate. The flavors are similar to the aromas with ripe fruit, berry/cherry pie, moderate tannins, and nice length. This wine shows enough structure to be age-worth, yet soft and balanced enough to enjoy upon release. Flavors linger in this tasty, dense wine. Tastes like Oakville. -Heidi Barrett


Review:

"Pretty cassis and blackberry fruits as well as notes of cedar pencil, spicy oak, and tobacco emerge from the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville. Medium-bodied, it has a balanced, elegant texture, moderate tannins, and a good finish. It's a complex, classy wine to enjoy over the coming decade or more. This is a classic, workhorse styled Cabernet from winemaker Heidi Barrett with lots to love. The blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all aged 20 months in French oak."

- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2021), 90 pts


 90 Points
Trione Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21 2016

Trione Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21 is made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Aged 18 Months in French oak barrels (45% new)

Our Block 21 Cabernet is a single vineyard selection from the Trione Cloverdale Ranch, located on the western flank of the Mayacamas Mountains, in the northern portion of Alexander Valley. The vines, planted in 2001 with Bordeaux clone 337, grow in clay and sandy loam soils underlain with a high percentage of gravel. Cabernet Sauvignon grown in this ideal terroir develops deep, concentrated flavors and fine, smooth tannins.

Aromatic entry filled with hints of clove, allspice and nutmeg. The impression on the palate is soft, with silky tannins and lingering hints of mocha and cedar cigar box. Also present are the fruit profiles of plum, currant, blueberries and boysenberry. The finish is long and persistent which shows the beautiful balance of tannin/acidity/oak in the structure. This wine is showing the benefit of barrel and bottle age and is drinking perfectly now and will age gracefully for the next 5-10 years.


Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21 has a medium ruby color and ripe red and black fruits on the nose accented by vanilla, tobacco, dried herbs and pencil shavings. The medium-bodied palate has well-managed ripeness and mineral-laced fruits in a grainy, fresh frame and with a long finish. This is a fresh style that's approachable right out of the gate. - Erin Brooks"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (August 2020), 91 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 91
Chateau Franc Lartigue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016

Chateau Franc Lartigue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is made from Merlot 70%, Cabernet franc 15%, Cabernet sauvignon 15%

Eight hectare property in the town of Saint-Emilion. Elegant and structured wine, keep for 10 to 15 years depending on the vintage.

Review:

Vines with an average age of 35 years have produced a concentrated wine. It is rich and full, while also having restraint and elegance. That makes for a fine balancing act of generous tannins and opulent black fruits. Drink the wine from 2021

- Wine Enthusiast 92 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Keermont Estate Reserve 2014

Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot

The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.

Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.  

All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration

Review:

"The 2014 Estate Reserve is a blend of 37% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 2% Syrah. It has an intense bouquet of black cherries, boysenberry, pressed iris petals and a touch of iodine, all very focused and seeming to just close up a little with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins framing crisp blackberry and bilberry fruit laced with licorice and sea salt. It feels very composed on the finish, yet I suspect that it might close up for a couple of years. Have a cellar handy. - Neal Martin"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Keermont Merlot 2016

The  Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. 

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

Keermont Red Blend 2012 (Magnum)

Keermont Red Blend 2012 is made from 37% Merlot 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec

Venetian red in colour, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish. Drink 2015-2025.

Keermont Syrah 2015

Keermont Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2013-2023.


Review:


"The 2015 Syrah has quite a powerful, floral bouquet of black cherry and blueberry fruit infused with crushed violets, perhaps not as refined as the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied, with rounded tannins framing a supple, velvet-smooth Syrah that is built to seduce. Discreet notes of clove and pencil lead develop toward the finish. This is a wine that is keeping its cards close to its chest at the moment, so afford it two or three years in the cellar. - Neal Martin"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)

Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.

Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts

 94 Points
Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard 2017

Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.

This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.

“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

Review:

"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts

 96 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points

 95 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (magnum)

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon that will spend roughly 20 months in close to 100% new French oak. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and graphite notes all give way to a full-bodied, plump, rich, concentrated effort that's going to be better with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 94-96 pts

Chakana Cabernet Franc 2020

Chakana Cabernet Franc is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc.

Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.

Expressive and ripe nose, juicy texture and intense fruit. Excellent balance, well integrated tannins and stunning minerality.


DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Winemaker’s Notes:


Our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet is a classically built wine typical of this wonderful Napa vintage: deep fruit, enveloping texture, mineral freshness and long supple structure. It’s a harmonious interweaving of four distinct vineyards that intricately balances power and finesse.

With its exceptional farming and rocky volcanic soil, Meteor Vineyard is one of the finest sites in Coombsville. Its fruit dominates the blend and ensures both intensity and delicacy, with soaring aromatics followed by succulent dark fruit. 

True Dog Knoll serves as a new focal point in this vintage, its world-renowned west Oakville deep gravel soils bringing deep texture and mineral focus. 

Layering in a small amount of Petit Verdot from our Roach Estate in St. Helena provides an element of blue fruit and refinement that balances beautifully with the darker brooding power of Ballard Vineyard’s mountaintop muscle and structure.

With its harmonious layers and textures, this wine reminds me of the 2012 Napa Valley vintage. Dark, inky and opaque, it presents aromas of plum, violets and graphite. Beautiful fruit cascades almost immediately to more savory flavors: crushed rock dustiness, cocoa and cedar. A good, firm mineral spine runs through to the long, bittersweet finish. Ever-evolving in the glass, this wine is poised now and will age beautifully over the next 10+ years.


Review:

A ripe, friendly style, with a creamy-textured core of cassis and cherry preserve flavors underscored by anise and apple wood notes that stay nicely

melded with the fruit on the finish. There’s a lingering cast iron note keeping this grounded. -Wine Spectator 93 Points


 Wine Spectator: 93
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from their estate vineyard on Red Mountain, brought up in mostly new barrels, it reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 99 pts


 99 Points
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