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Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Helena Dakota is defined by its power, structure and sophistication. It is an intricate Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects both the terroir of the site and the influence of the surrounding Knights Valley AVA. It possesses layers of plums, anise, cassis, leather, bay leaf and cedar. Galvanized by a streak of minerals and bold tannins. Helena Dakota is a solidly-built wine that stands the test of time.
This sloping, 12-acre vineyard runs southwest to northeast at roughly 750 feet above sea level. It features soft, reddish brown, gravelly, silt loam soils speckled with rocks. Prevailing westerly winds blow over a large pond and continue uphill parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow the ripening process creating wines that are both powerful and balanced with red fruit flavors, notable minerality and graceful tannins. Pierre says the Cabernet from Helena Dakota remind him of Pauillac or Saint-Estèphe.
Fragrant, opulent, and complex, bursting with fresh blueberry and black currant, Crème de Violette, and subtle fresh bay leaf aromatics. The palate is luxurious and rich, perfectly balancing this wine’s firm structure.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard explodes with violets, aniseed and cast iron, with a deep core of crushed blueberries and black cherries, evolving continually with each approach to the glass. The palate is stunning with its intensity and lift, pure fruits, pixelated tannins and focused acidity that drives the very long finish. Its exceptional balance and super pure flavors, plus that characteristic streak of iron that appears across the Anakota portfolio, really take the 2019 Helena Dakota to the next level.
-Wine Advocate 99 Points
The story of Anakota begins deep in the heart of Knights Valley in rural Sonoma County. Located in an ancient volcanic zone, this relatively untouched and unknown place offers incredibly unique and diverse soils with a climate perfectly suited to Bordeaux varietals.
Sourced from estate-owned vineyards, Anakota is a collection of single vineyard, single varietal, wines that personify the rustic elegance and spirit of rural Sonoma County.
Rising more than 4,000 feet above sea level, Mount St. Helena looks down on our two prized estate-owned vineyards Helena Dakota and Helena Montana which are quietly situated on the rugged flanks of the Mayacamas Mountain Range.
Knights Valley is a remote winegrowing region bridging Sonoma and Napa Counties. It’s a place where time dilates. It’s an untamed landscape defined by rugged mountains, steep hillsides, placid meadows and abundant wildlife. Even though this AVA has produced some of the world’s greatest wines, it is still a mystery to most. Set along the flanks and foothills of Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains, this rustic sanctuary possesses the sparse volcanic soils and cusp maritime climate needed to produce elegant, profound and age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons.
HISTORY OF KNIGHTS VALLEY
In 1843, Knights Valley – or Mallacomes Valley as it was called back then – was a part of the 17,742-acre land grant to Jose de los Santos Berryessa. After taking possession of the property, Berryessa built an adobe lodge for his guests and used the land as a private hunting preserve. After the Mexican-American war, Thomas B. Knight, a Vermont immigrant and participant in the Bear Flag Revolt, bought 9,000 acres of Mallacomes Valley and added a second story to the lodge.
In 1858 and 1861, Calvin Holmes and his wife purchased a sizable portion of Knights Valley and erected a large Victorian house that still stands today. In 1875, real estate barons F.E. Kellogg and W.A. Stuart began developing a small resort town at the intersection of Ida Clayton Road and Highway 128. The town, which included a general store, school, homes and a hotel, burned down in the fires of 1964 and 1965.
Up until Prohibition, wine grapes were the largest agricultural crop in Knights Valley. From 1919 until the 1970s, the population declined, and the region regressed into a more bucolic state. In the mid-1970s, Knights Valley was rediscovered, and vineyards were planted by savvy winemakers looking for new sources of high-quality fruit. Today there are more than 30 growers and 2,000 acres of vines strewn throughout Knights Valley.
Back in the late 1990s, we began exploring new locations to grow Grand Cru-level Cabernet Sauvignon. Our goal was to find a site that could deliver the opulence and concentration of Napa coupled with the acidity, precision and age-worthiness of Sonoma. We found the perfect site in the Knights Valley AVA, a little-known wine region that earned AVA status in 1983. We named our ranch Anakota and in 1997 began surveying the terrain, analyzing the soils and planting vines.
Over his half-century of winemaking, Pierre has developed and refined his proprietary “micro-cru” farming/winemaking principles. Based on experience, observation, experimentation and intuition, this system considers that every vineyard is an intricate patchwork of soils, microclimates, exposures and elevations. Rather than treat each site as a single entity, Pierre divides each property into small blocks and sub-blocks. These vineyards-within-vineyards – often as small as one acre – are designed to mirror the subtle changes in the soils, terrain and microclimates. These micro-crus are farmed individually to ensure uniformly ripe grapes that bear the message of the soil. Each micro-cru is harvested and vinified separately. Two wines vinified from identical clones and rootstocks, but originating in radically different micro-crus, will produce radically different wines.
Castello di Bossi Gran Selezione is made from 100% Sangiovese.
Gran Selezione is the newest quality designation to have been added to the DOCG classification system in Chianti Classico. Gran Selezione takes quality controls a step further than Riserva-- which previously occupied the top tier-- by banning the use of any purchased, or non-estate-grown fruit, in the inclusion of a wine labeled Gran Selezione. This coupled with longer aging requirements (30 months minimum) and minimum levels of alcohol set to 13% designates a band of wines from Chianti Classico producers representative of the appellation's highest quality potential with often limited availability.
There’s purity to the cherry, strawberry, rose, mineral and herb aromas and flavors in this solidly built red, which shows excellent balance and length. The muscular finish begs for more time for the beautiful fruit to assimilate. Best from 2025 through 2042.
-Wine Spectator 96 Points
James Goddard was an ancestor of the Clarke family. Born in West Sussex, England in 1823, James spent his 74 years as a sailor, a whaler, a bullock driver, farmer, prospector, miner and hotel keeper. From an illiterate runaway living rough on the streets of London, he became a rich, successful and admired pillar of South Australian society.
James arrived in Adelaide in 1839 as a 16-year-old sailor. Twelve years later, his life changed forever with the news of gold findings. For the next 20 years, James roamed the country learning the geology that improved his chances of prospecting.
James Goddard Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
In 1870, he tried his luck near his farm in the Barossa Valley and discovered the region’s first gold deposits, creating the prosperous Lady Alice Mine. The Lady Alice Mine, though it is no longer operational, was & still is the most successful gold mine in South Australia. From these roots, the Thorn-Clarke family has been connected to the region for the last 150 years.
James Goddard Shiraz is a blend Shiraz sourced from the Milton Park vineyard in the north of Eden Valley, and the St Kitts vineyard in the far northern area of the Barossa. Fruit is harvested in the cool of the night to maintain maximum flavour and freshness and it is fermented for 8 days. The ferment is pumped over twice daily to extract the colour and flavour from the fruit. Once finished fermentation the wine was then matured in a blend of French and American oak for a period of 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage.
Deep vibrant red with purple hues to the rim. The nose shows lifted plums, vibrant purple berries and a delicate spice note. The palate has concentrated satsuma plum, blackberry with lovely charry oak in the background. Long, juicy and even with plush fruit on the finish.
“Blended from two estate vineyards, St. Kitts and Milton Park, this shiraz offers its richness without any aggression or overt perfume. It’s just lush and delicious, a friendly embrace of firm tannins and purple-red fruit. The texture and flavor combine in a saturated meatiness, for Korean barbecue.”
- Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points
Mascot Red Blend Napa Valley is Napa Valley Cabernet.
Mascot is a small-production label founded by Will Harlan in Napa Valley. The wines under this label are made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, but The Mascot bottles share an exclusive preview at the development of their estates. Founded as an initial experiment to see what the young vines were capable of producing, the wines were initially only shared with close friends and family. By 2008, Will officially released the first vintage to the public since production had increased significantly. They create just one wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, and the bottle is aged for five years before release. Assembled into a single, youthful expression, this wine shares a glimpse into the evolution and pedigree of its parent estates.
Mascot Red Blend Napa Valley 2019 vintage reveals itself first in the deep, brooding aromas of dark fruit, black tea, and herbal notes. The texture expands around a lifted structure, as powdery tannins gently resolve. This diffused, enigmatic softness is anchored on the mid-palate by a gratifying density, which prepares the senses for a flourish of hidden energy and vivid detail that illuminates the finish.
Dark fruit with hints of blackberry cobbler, graphite, and sandalwood. Mostly grown on warmer sites of the Walla Walla Valley including our estate, Bob Healy Vineyard. Beautiful tannins that are lush and have a strong core that broadens out last minute to an ultra-long finish. A really pleasing and luxurious wine.
Ripe blue and blackberry notes with floral quality, minty cherries and elegant oak spices undertones. Chocolatey texture on the palate, dense and concentrated, rounded. Dense core of dark plummy fruit supported by a refreshing acidity.
-Decanter 97 Points
Argot Le Rayon Vert Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
"Le Rayon Vert", the phenomenon which occurs as the sun dips below the horizon, and a brilliant green flash occurs when sunlight prisms through Earth's atmosphere. Jules Verne wrote "a green which no artist could ever obtain on his palette”, akin to the ethereal, green halo all truly pedigreed Chardonnays radiate from the glass.
Wafting from the glass like a freshly opened stick of Wrigley's gum. Both intense and vibrant, the full-bodied palate delivers Granny Smith apple and stone fruits; confections of custard and sticky vanilla bean; animated by bursts of spearmint and pine forest.
The 2020 Le Rayon-Vert comes bounding out of the glass with bold notions of lemon meringue pie, fresh apricots, and sea spray, giving way to nuances of struck flint, wet pebbles, and Marcona almonds, plus wafts of lime leaves and mandarin peel. The medium to full-bodied is simply electric, delivering super-intense citrus and mineral layers with a crisp backbone and a very long, chalky finish.
-The Wine Independent 96 Points
DAOU Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot.
The 2021 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is emblematic of Paso Robles as a world-class region for Bordeaux-style wines. Intense purple-red hues foreshadow deep aromas of black fruit, pomegranate, tobacco, mocha, and bay leaf. Trailing notes of clove, nutmeg, and vanilla emerge as the wine opens up in the glass. Opulent textures expand across the palate with flavors of red fruit, blueberry, and chocolate-covered raspberry. The overall experience is fresh and rich, concluding with velvety tannins and impressive length.
The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended with 23% Petit Verdot, made entirely with free-run juice, and it will be matured for 16 months in 50% new French oak. Opaque ruby, it offers pure aromas of cassis, violet, grilled meats, desert sage and bell pepper. The full-bodied palate is powdery, energetic and detailed with a long, layered finish.
-Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
The 2019 Helena Montana is characteristically powerful & complex on the nose, showing ripe red and black cherry, along with dried herbs de Provence, and subtle hints of toasted clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices. The palate is loaded with structure and complexity, showing concentrated fruit and non-fruit flavors, framing a powerful core of firm tannin and juicy acidity. The finish is very long, and balanced.
Incredibly spicy and aromatic with pumice and cloves. Pops out of the glass. Cedar, too. Full-bodied with soft, polished tannins adding tension and creaminess. Long and beautiful. All about class and breeding. Try after 2025.
-James Suckling 99 Points
Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grown on the west side of St. Helena, this distinctive cabernet sauvignon clearly displays its origins with a rich garnet hue and sophisticated aromas of cacao bean, crème de cassis, and sweet tobacco on the nose. Layered, with a superb structure, the wine offers impressions of blueberry coulis, black raspberry, and savory herbs like Herbs de Provence. The weighty mid-palate unveils anise spice and a graphite mineral note that combines with a fresh acidity that extends the long finish.
Needing plenty of air to show at its best, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is a sensational, gorgeous Napa Valley Cabernet that delivers the goods like only this region can. Pure Cabernet magic on the nose, with deep blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, lead pencil, and a kiss of spring flowers as well as a beautiful Pessac-Leognan-like scorched earth character, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, silky tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. It's one of those wines that builds incrementally on the palate and it's only after the second or third sip that you realize how special this wine is. It also offers that rare mix of power and elegance that's the hallmark of all great wines. It needs a couple of hours in the decanter if drinking any time soon. Hats off to Paul Hobbs for an incredible Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.
You don’t see many Cabernet Franc-dominated wines from this site, but the 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is certainly impressive. Offering more herbal, chocolate, gravelly earth, and espresso aromas and flavors, it has full-bodied richness and, as expected, is a powerful, opulent expression of this noble variety. The blend is 83% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It will benefit from short-term bottle age and drink nicely for 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Lithology is a series of single vineyard and AVA-designated wines made from select sites within Napa Valley. Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is produced solely from fruit grown in the historic Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard planted in 1865 by W.H. Crabb and represents Oakville's famous bench land.
The 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard just shines for its bouquet, which is classic To Kalon with its floral, incense, spicy, red and black-fruited aromatics. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, utterly seamless Cabernet Franc that’s balanced, has laser-like precision, and a great finish. This isn’t the biggest or richest wine in the lineup, but it’s Cabernet Franc in all its glory, with soaring aromatics and complexity, ample richness and texture, and a beautiful sense of finesse and elegance. It’s going to keep for 15-20 years with no issues.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock scents of blackberry pie, warm blueberries and cassis plus suggestions of spice cake, underbrush, candied violets and chocolate box. The full-bodied palate brings forth loads of earthy layers to accent the rich, black fruits, framed by plush tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and fragrant.
-Wine Advocate 97 to 99 points
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Alejandro Bulgheroni's Napa Valley project. The 2019 To Kalon captures all the pedigree of this iconic Oakville vineyard, and yet also remains nuanced and wonderfully finessed for an intense wine. To Kalon Cabernets are rarely this elegant, but the Bulgheroni 2019 sure is.
-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
A dramatic, ridgetop landscape — rising 1500 feet above Lake Hennessey, staring west over Pritchard Hill — persistently influenced by a push/pull draw between The Valley’s floor and Lake Berryessa. This wild, untamed, eastern frontier of Napa Valley, produces singular, terroir-driven wines of captivating beauty, power and lift. An unseasonably wet and cool springtime produced significant shatter at Sage Ridge in 2019, reducing our yields by 50%, leading to a particularly flamboyant edition of this wine.
An incomparable expression of Cabernet Sauvignon — massively pure red fruit character, delivered on a ribbon of ultra-suave tannins and gorgeously seductive high tones. The palate never relents its come-hither posture. Aromatically, puts forth an intriguing botanical complexity that is unmistakably site-specific. As our experience with this one-of-a-kind terroir deepens, we remain endlessly excited for the potential of these unique ridgetop vineyards. Get your hands on a bottle and pull the cork…a wine built for immense near-term gratification.
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sage Ridge Vineyard opens with open-knit notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and boysenberry jam, leading to a core of crème de cassis, mocha, camphor and Indian spices with a touch of unsmoked cigars. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and dense with black fruit preserves, framed by soft tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. Only 75 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95 pts
Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Farmed with a unique precision to match the unparalleled terroir of this historic Oakville site, this vintage is ethereal, delicate, and nuanced. An attractive deep garnet in appearance, this wine expresses soft red cherry, strawberry, floral, and graphite. The palate is full and lively with flavors of blueberry, blackberry, sandalwood, and dried herbs, supported by a lovely grip of tannins and well-tensioned texture that leads to a long, refined finish.
More expressive and open-knit, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard sports a similar ruby/purple to go with an incredible array of black raspberry, cassis, flowery incense, orange blossom, smoked tobacco, and exotic spice. As are all To Kolans, it's incredibly perfumed and complex aromatically, and it's one of those wines that changes every time you come back to the glass. Full-bodied on the palate, it offers beautiful richness and depth, a light, graceful mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a heavenly finish. It's another magical wine from this talented winemaker that readers will absolutely love.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the
"vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime
in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As
a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is
long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.