The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.
“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.” - Thomas River Brown
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is an absolutely gorgeous wine that conveys a striking interplay of richness, power and nuance. Silky and restrained for this site, the Winfield offers up a compelling melange of red fruit, iron, cedar, tobacco, rose petal and dried herbs, all in a mid-weight style that is incredibly appealing. The Winfield is a selection taken from Blocks 1, 4 and 5.
-Vinous 94 Points
K Vitners The Hidden Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.
It is not a secret the magnitude this wine can reach. In this vintage, femininity reigns supreme. Perfume, flowers, cassis. All anchored to sense of place with stone, ancient soil and chanterelles that make this wine a wine of the earth.
Kirsch, ripe black cherries, roasted herbs, violets, and orange blossom notes all emerge from the 2018 The Hidden Syrah Northridge Vineyard, which is all Syrah brought up in neutral oak. Rich, full-bodied, and beautifully polished, it packs loads of fruit yet stays light on its feet, with no sensation of heaviness. As with all of these Syrahs from Smith, it's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age.
-Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
The Grade Cellar Kingly Project Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
"This is a noble expression of Cabernet Sauvignon" in full regalia, with decadent aromas and a mouthfeel viscous and sleek. "This vintage of the Kingly Project Cabernet Sauvignon enters the scene" -- Thomas Rivers Brown
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Kingly Vineyard is endowed with tremendous richness and concentration. It emerges from the best spots within Block 5, which is a bit more protected from the elements. The 2018 is a bit closed today, but it has a lot of promise. Time in the glass brings out layers of inky dark fruit and the savory, minerally notes that are such signatures. This potent Calistoga Cabernet needs time to shine, but it is impressive today just the same.
-Vinous 96 Points
Enemigo El Enemigo Gran Enemigo is made from 50% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot.
In the spectrum of people who pay attention to detail, winemakers are often incredibly detail-oriented. This can sometimes spill over to become an internal battled, and, as Alejandro Vigil and Adrianna Catena state, "We are our own worst enemy." El Enemigo pays homage to this internal struggle.
The nose presents sweet aromas of black ripen fruits with hints of vanilla and chocolate, which appear after the oak ageing. The mouthfeel is sweet with structured, persistent tannins due to the natural acidity of this wine, leading into an excellent long finish.
The nose of the 2018 Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard, from a low-yielding and drier year, is full of curry, a note that was a constant across the three vintages I tasted together, but it tends to be stronger in low-yielding and dry years like this. It's also floral and comes through as aromatic and a little exotic, in a good way, with elegance, persistence and very pure flavors. It has fine-grained tannins, great acidity and balance. 7,200 bottles. All these single-vineyard bottlings mature in ancient 4,000-liter oak foudres for some 15 months.-Wine Advocate 97 Points
"Pretty and inviting on the nose with gorgeous aromas of floral violet, cassis and completed with a lifted, delicate liquorice note. The palate is graced with deep herb, pepper, crunchy red fruit and graceful, silky tannins."
-Decanter 97 Points
Nickel & Nickel DeCarle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Polished and approachable, the 2018 vintage offers an alluring floral-berry perfume and pops of dark, wild berry and clove flavors. There’s serious volume on the palate, supported by firm tannins and dusty-earth accents that are hallmarks of the Rutherford Bench. Balanced acidity lifts the finish while subtle notes of clove and baking spice linger with each sip.
The 2018 growing season kicked off in late February and eased into a mild spring that gave us extended flowering and uniform clusters throughout the vineyard. Summer continued with an even trend, with consistent temperatures allowing fruit to have beautiful, extended hang time. With no heat spikes we were able to wait patiently for every cluster to achieve perfect phenolic maturity. A no rush approach to harvest allowed fruit to develop beautifully on the vine and the Cabernet came into the winery with mature tannins, great acidity and perfect ripeness. This vintage was “near picture-perfect,” and the resulting wines are generous yet structured and expand on the palate.
Tenacity, innovation and a single-minded commitment to “vineyard and varietal” have established Nickel & Nickel as the leader in single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Every Cabernet offers the purest expression of its vineyard. No two vineyards are alike. And, as the release of the new 2018 Nickel & Nickel Cabernets can attest, neither are any two vintages. Taste the pure, powerful expressions of unparalleled Napa Valley vineyards. The 2018 Nickel & Nickel Single-Vineyard Cabernets are crafted with excellence and made to be savored.
Sleek and focused, with cassis and cherry puree notes leading the way, backed by a melted red licorice detail and a floral accent on the finish. Toast is judicious too, letting a subtle mineral hint peek in at the very end. Drink now through 2030. 4,157 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 92 Point
Ossian Verdejo is made from 100 percent Verdejo.
An old vines Verdejo barrel fermented with a different to what we are used to in the white variety of this expression. It has a remarkable complexity resulting in smoothness and depth of a high-end white. Very suitable for cellaring.
Color: Old golden yellow color with greenish reflections.
Aromas: Complex, toasty aromas, nuts, dried fruit.
Flavors: Large, creamy, spicy, balanced and voluminous.
Manual harvest in 15 kg boxes. Inspection rigorous selection table. Certified organic farming. Full clusters, stemmed and pressed very soft, only the first run only is used. Fermentation with indigenous yeast. After fermentation the wine is aged on the lees in French oak barrels (20% new, 40% one-year-old barrel and 40% two-year-old barrels during 9 months with batonnage (stirring up the lees). Then, the wine is bottled and released only after 12 month of bottle aging.
"Pale yellow-gold. Fresh peach, orange pith, pear and a suggestion of fennel on the powerfully scented nose, along with a hint of jasmine. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering vibrant Meyer lemon, pear nectar and honeysuckle flavors that are accented by a dusty mineral nuance. Silky and sharply focused on the finish, which shows strong, nervy lift, firm mineral cut and impressive persistence. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2021), 94 pts
Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut
This wine is quite emblematic of the great sea change that has occurred at Bonny Doon Vineyard since the sell-off/ draw-down of the Ginormous Doonamath, whereby we have essayed a most sincere effort to make “quieter” wines in a more natural, less manipulated fashion. As such, this Vin Gris is made from bespoke grapes and is not a byproduct of red wine production, per se. We harvested at the appropriate ripeness level for its style. The essential principle here is that less is truly more. The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.
The ’17 Vin Gris is a return to form from recent vintages, and a true expression of a proper Vin Gris, which is to say a pale pink wine made with the scantest skin contact. As a result, the wine is somewhat lighter and more delicate on the palate with minimal astringency and perhaps more of a floral aspect than doonright fruitiness. The perfume of this wine is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish.
The wine does not overwhelm one with fruity-bombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.
The Grenache for our Vin Gris came from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, harvested at the appropriate maturity level for this elegant style of wine. About 24% of the wine is composed of traditional white Rhône varieties in substantial part from the Beeswax Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco district of Monterey, adding a surprising richness and foundation. We also employed the practice of postfermentation bâtonnage—the stirring or re-suspension of yeast lees—to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture.
Varietal Blend: 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut.
Appellation: Central Coast
Vineyards: 41% Alta Loma, 13% Beeswax, 11% Bokisch Ranch, 8% JD Farming, 6% San Miguel, 7% Cass, 5% Gonsalves, 4% Scheid, 3% Wente, 1% Rancho Solo, 1% Ventan
Alcohol by Volume: 13.2%
TA: 4.5 g/L
This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2018), 90 pts, BEST BUY - YEAR'S BEST ROSES
Rubus Special Edition Barossa Shiraz is made from 100 percent
The Rubus Project was created by Fran Kysela as a way to source & sell incredible wines at value prices. All wines in this international project are hand-selected by Fran Kysela. Rubus wines are fruit driven, true-to-type values that over deliver - a true representation of quality for the consumer at an excellent price.
Deep red with a slight purple hue on release. The wine has a rich mix of dark chocolate infused with coffee bean and black liquorice, then scents of tar, aniseed, raw (pure) soy and black olive on the nose. The palate is expansive, and yet balanced and finessed. An amalgam of dark berried flavors and textural sensations. The 100% new oak is completely absorbed, meshed with ripe tannins, completing a palate of impressive length and youthfulness.
Sourced from Thorn-Clarke’s St Kitts vineyard (Block 7) in the far north of the Barossa, the Rubus Reserve demonstrates both the strengths of the region and the unique characters of the vineyard.
A thin layer of topsoil over weathered marble, schist and shale mean the vines work hard to source water and nutrients. The result is naturally low yields concentrating the power and density of the fruit. Diurnal temperature variation is another important aspect of St. Kitts. Warm daytime temperatures are followed by cool nights with variations of up to 30°C (55°F) from the peak during the day into the cool night minimums.
“Earthy detail develops in this sleek and juicy shiraz, a tarry streak under fresh plum and bruised strawberry. The tannins have gravity and precision, their bracing intensity and concentration integrated into what panelist David Hawkins described as “a big, powerful wine with great liveliness.” While suited to aging, this is accessible now if you’re grilling meats to serve with it.”
- Wine & Spirits (February 2023), 94 pts
"Made by Thorn-Clarke for the US market, this has a rich and vivid nose with blueberry, violet, dark plum and subtle oak spice in play. The palate has a succulent feel with plenty of rich, open-knit blackberry and blueberry flavor. Smoothly delivered tannins carry long and even. Drink over the next decade."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 94 pts
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Origines is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah
Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
Deep and brilliant, purple-red colour. An exciting nose with aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, cherry) spices and vanilla. This great aromatic complexity is found on the palate : the spices and ripe fruit appear with an elegant woodiness and harmonious tannins. The finish has good aromatic length and introduces a touch of liquorice and pepper.
A terrific Châteauneuf du Pape with great concentration and finesse.
Best between 2 and 20 years. Best to decant if young (less than 5 years old).
Soil type Extreme north of Châteauneuf du Pape. This plateau is made with a high quantity of red clay mixed with rocks. This area is considerated to be one of the best to produce rich and powerful red wines. By definition, LES ORIGINES will always deliver a great complexity and ageing potential. Winemaking & ageing Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
"The huge nose of violet pastilles, mulberries, smoked bacon and a touch of hot asphalt pulls you into this expansive but beautifully balanced Chateauneuf that’s packed with fine, powdery tannin. So much bitter-chocolate character, but this exactly matches the deep fruit and, at the long crescendo finish, there are fascinating balsamic and hot dry-earth touches. Drinkable now, but best from 2025."
- James Suckling (March 2022), 94 pts