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Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)
An explosive nose of Cabernet—singular only to the Napa Valley—introduces the 2019 Starstruck with classically elegant red and black Cabernet fruits, enhanced by notes of smoked sage and rosemary. Red-fruits carry the mid-palate, dancing on a pillow of wonderfully sweet tannin and pie spice complexity. As the wine transitions from the mid, acid emerges lifting Starstruck's massive palate into a warming finish that continues to reveal dark fruits and intriguing spice accents. A gorgeous Cabernet that remains approachable, while its structure and earthy complexities keep bombast at bay.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck has a classic Napa Valley Cabernet nose of crème de cassis, violets, lead pencil, and flowery incense. This carries to a medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured Cabernet with moderate tannins, terrific overall balance, and a great finish. It's ready to go and should keep for 10-12 years or more.
-Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
Argot ˈärgō : a shared language, borne from, and reinforcing the intimacy associated with tight-knit groups, whom are brought together by their common interests and shared histories. Each significant relationship in life gives rise to an argot among the members who define it. The deeper the bond, and longer its history, this argot’s vocabulary becomes more personal, allowing it to strengthen and enhance the dynamic. When opening a bottle of wine, so too is opened the flow of conversation and ability to connect. Throughout human history wine has been used for worship, celebration, mourning and, more simply, sharing life. In christening our wine brand Argot, we honor the beautiful symmetry and complementary nature wine and communication hold. Round up a friend, pull a cork, splash a glass, and enjoy.
Winery Production: 2,500 / 9L cases Varietals Produced: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon 30% each Pinot, Cab, Chard; 10% Syrah Winemaker: Justin Harmon Grew up in Chicago with no family interest in wine. Came to wine as a consumer, fell in love, began devouring all things wine. Chemical engineer by education, drawn to the process. Began making wine in my basement in Chicago. Started with a concentrate kit, grew to flash-frozen grapes, brought to Chicago by rail car from Napa, fermented in garbage cans, pressed through nylon bags to carboy. Following season, 2005, came to California for first harvest work. Harvest internships in 06 and 07, bought first ton of grapes at end of 07 harvest and began Argot.
Argot Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hailing from the historic Bonny’s Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the gravel rich soils here adjacent to the Napa River riverbed. Roots plumb deep into the valley floor, while vine canopies harvest Napa Valley’s plethora of summer sunshine. These conditions conspire to deliver unerringly perfect Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Pouring a deep opaque red-violet, 1555’s Cabernet personality leaps from the glass balancing opulent fruit, damp earth, chilling minerality and an alluring spice note that keeps pulling us back for more. Exquisitely ripe tannins provide a refined, velvety structure, delivering the deep and seductively rich palate. The pedigree displayed in the glass is undeniable.
"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville wafts sensuously out of the glass with redcurrant jelly, black raspberries and rose oil scents, followed by a cassis and black plums core, with emerging suggestions of cinnamon toast, cedar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is fantastically fragrant, delivering red and black fruit layers accented by floral and exotic spice nuances, supported by super ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and perfumed. 250 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95+ pts
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
Our first wine in working with the vineyards owned by the Leonardini family of Whitehall Lane. A tribute to them and, more crucially, the numerous Leos—by both name and astrological sign—in our life.
Our most quintessential Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibiting brilliant purity, profound depth of fruit, focused acidity and fine tannin structure. This is Rutherford in full flight as soaring black fruits push forth over subtle earth notes that all dazzle on an invigorating, lively palate structure. While each of Argot’s three Napa Valley wines offer their own distinct take on the variety and terroir, it is the Cuvee Leo’s that is the most classic and exemplary.
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-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
Guillemot-Michel Vire Clesse (magnum) is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Beautifully expressive, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke & flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements, and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a thickness that few other northern Mâconnais can match.
Enjoy with fish (such as sole meuniere), seafood, roasted chicken, goat cheese.
Notes of crisp green orchard fruit, oatmeal, clear honey, white flowers and mint introduce the 2019 Viré-Clessé Quintaine, a medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated wine that's deep and sapid, framed by lively acids and chalky structuring dry extract. If the 2018 is open and demonstrative, the 2019 is built to age and will really reward some patience.
- The Wine Advocate (Issue 249, June 30th 2020), 93+ pts
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This cuvée is produced from grapes planted in the "Champ-Rond" vineyard and vinified in 800-liter amphoras.
The wine displays the estate's typical exotic fruit aromas and ripe citrus fruits with an extra dimension of expression due to the amphora's breathing. Ample and generous in the mouth with fine acidity and fantastic purity.
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is aged in 800-liter amphoras. The small grapes ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the aging in amphora gives the wine a great purity.
The vines are grafted on "Riparia Gloire de Montpellier" - an old root-stock that was obtained in 1880 - producing very low yields with magnificent small grapes of a deep gold color.