Tomahawk Vineyard is the pinnacle of the Chimney Rock estate. Comprised of a small group of vines which were planted in 2002, Tomahawk consistently produces intense, massively complex fruit. The ensuing wines are truly world-class, compelling, powerful and elegant with a remarkably lengthy finish.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard offers a darker fruited, meaty, masculine and mineral-driven style. Coming from a site in Stags Leap, and aged in 80% new French oak, it's medium to full-bodied and nicely textured on the palate, with solid balance, good ripeness, lots of tannins, and a good finish. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Early to bud and early to ripen, the 2014 vintage was our third drought year in a row. Dry, even temperatures marched the grapes along at a steady clip all year and created a wine with beautifully integrated fruit, acidity, and tannin.
Dense and dark magenta in color, this is a lithe and energetic vintage with lifted aromatics and a purity of fruit that lights up the medium-bodied tannin structure. The nose promises fresh black fruits, cherries and a touch of graphite, and the palate completely delivers. Juicy blackberry, plum, and bright cherry explode in the mouth, and develop into savory notes of baked black fruit and fresh pencil shavings on the mid-palate.
Eagle Summit Vineyard’s signature eucalyptus appears on the back palate to brighten the fruit, showing fragrant peppermint and warm, toasty spices through the finish. Whether you open it young or wait a few decades, this vintage does Howell Mountain proud--sophisticated and smart, with a rustic wild side.
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged in 100% French oak (86% new)
• 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
• Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
• unfined and unfiltered
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 86% new French oak, with the typical suspects in terms of cooperage – Darnajou, Taransaud, and Remond. This opaque purple-colored wine has plenty of mulberry and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of blackberries, camphor and incense. The are some notes of unsmoked cigar and licorice as well. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is a classic to drink over the next 15 or more years. - RP"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 90 pts
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard is the most overt of these wines. Superripe black cherry, plum, chocolate and licorice add to an impression of flamboyance that sits on the edge of being too much. The effects of the drought are felt in the wine's slightly roasted profile. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2016), 91 pts
Heritage School Missiaens Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
A steep, rocky site with red volcanic soils results in our most structured and concentrated wine. Planted in 1998 using 110R rootstock and clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon our Hillside Vineyard produces wines as breathtaking as the views from its slopes. These tiny, dark blue berries ripen near the end of September thanks to cool afternoon temperatures allowing for increased hang time and developed flavors.
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Missiaen's Hillside Vineyard is the darkest and richest of these wines, but it also has enough structural breadth to handle all of that intensity. Superripe plum, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco and licorice all flesh out over time. This is an especially rich, seamless style, yet all the elements are in the right place. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2016), 92 pts
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from three vineyards: Mast Ranch, for its earthy and robust structure, Flat Rock Ranch, for its fruit-forward characteristic and silky structure, and Linda Vista Ranch, for its juicy and vibrant approach-ability.
Tasting Notes: Opaque ruby color with a tinge of purple introduces developing aromas of blackberry jam, cranberry, and acacia flower. This medium-bodied red wine expresses flavors of ripe black plum, walnut, and cassis on the front of the palate, and is complemented by chewy tannins and juicy cherry on the finish.
Vineyard: 42% Mast Ranch + 35% Flat Rock Ranch + 23% Linda Vista Ranch
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
"A rich, unctuous wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is sweet, layered and enveloping in feel. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, cloves and new leather are all fused together. This is an especially intense, flamboyant expression of the vintage."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (September 2016), 90 pts
"Aromas of blueberries, currants, spices and concrete. Medium to full body, firm and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften but so pretty already. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (January 2017), 93 pts
Stags Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars stunned the world in 1976 when its 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of Bordeaux’s first-growth wines in a tasting in Paris. It was the winery’s first commercial vintage, a wine produced from young, three-year-old vines. While the “victory” over the French in “The Judgment of Paris” continues to be hailed throughout the world – and the winery is still humbled by the achievement – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars enters its golden anniversary year with a commitment to producing more complex and age-worthy wines. No resting on laurels, no autopilot, no complacency, but rather a drive to ensure the next 50 years are even more glorious than the first 50.A step back in time puts Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ current and future plans in perspective.
The estate was founded in 1970 with the purchase of orchard land in what is now the Stags Leap District AVA in southeastern Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes replaced the prunes and walnuts, and the winery was built in 1972. A wine was made there in that year, but it was the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon that impressed – and shocked – a panel of experts on French wine. In the 1976 Paris Tasting, a blind tasting, they chose S.L.V as the finest red wine in the group, without knowing its provenance. The outcome brought international recognition to the infant Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the nascent Napa Valley wine region, and the entire American wine industry and put all on a path to worldwide renown.
S.L.V. Vineyard S.L.V. soils are predominantly volcanic in nature and contribute multilayered structure, concentration and spicy intensity, often referred to as the “fire-like” elements. S.L.V., also known as Stag’s Leap Vineyards, is the winery’s first vineyard. Planted in 1970, this vineyard achieved international fame when three-year old vines from the 1973 harvest produced a Napa Valley wine that triumphed over some of France’s greatest Bordeaux in a blind tasting among French wine experts in Paris. This history-making Stags Leap District vineyard continues to produce wines with complex black fruit and berry character, spicy intensity, excellent structure and complexity, promising long life and ageability. Today, the property encompasses roughly 35 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.5 acres of Cabernet Franc. The vineyard soil is volcanic and alluvial with good drainage, and benefits from warm afternoons and cool evening breezes.
All from the estate S.L.V. Vineyard in Stages Leap and aged 21 months in 90% new French oak, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. sports a deep purple/ruby color to go with a Saint-Julien like notes of blackcurrants, damp earth, tobacco and lead pencil. With medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, sweet tannin, beautiful purity and a great finish, it’s another terrific wine from this estate that can be drunk today of cellared for 15+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
The sémillon provides eloquent florals and textural richness, along with flavors of golden fig, while the sauvignon and muscadelle contribute layers of rose, jasmine, pink grapefruit and lime spice, all with enough enlivening acidity to keep things delightfully fresh and bright.
From a trio of renowned vineyards: Rosebud Ranch, Lonesome Springs Ranch and the legendary Boushey Vineyard, this wine delivers a seamless combination of enticing aromatics, mouthfilling richness and lovely minerality—all with enough enlivening acidity to add focus and definition to the alluring fruit. The sémillon provides eloquent florals and textural richness, along with flavors of golden fig, while the sauvignon and muscadelle contribute layers of rose, jasmine, pink grapefruit and lime spice. Firm acids add an almost architectural undercurrent to the creamy texture, keeping this wine delightfully fresh and bright.
"55% aged in concrete and 45% in barrels, just 3% new; 60% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. Pale gold-straw color. Pungent floral lift to the aromas of grapefruit, lime and fig. Fairly rich in texture, with an intriguing saline quality to the mineral and citrus flavors. Bright and long on the aftertaste, with lingering notes of grapefruit skin and peppery herbs. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Vinous (November 2015), 90 pts
The Buty Winery Estate
Pronounced "Beauty", Buty winery was founded in 2000 by owners Caleb Foster and Nina Buty, inspired by a decade of vintages from Washington and overseas. An artisan producer, Buty creates vineyard designated chardonnay, a crisp white blend and nuanced red blends—including Rediviva, Washington’s pioneering blend of syrah and cabernet sauvignon. The Rediviva of the Stones will be grown from the 2008 plantings at Rockgarden, their organic Estate vineyard in the cobblestones of Walla Walla.
Since the spring of 2001 they have worked with Californian consultant Zelma Long. Zelma’s multiple decades of worldwide winegrowing and winemaking offer a great breadth of wine and vine knowledge and a “whole business” perspective to Buty.
The philosophy of winegrowing and winemaking at Buty is one of balance, artisanship and enjoyment, as we aim to capture the essence of the grape in bottle.
The Buty Winery Vineyard
Caleb and Nina purchased 10 acres of apple orchard in Milton-Freewater in late 2006. In 2008, they organically prepared and planted Buty’s Estate, Rockgarden. The famous cobblestones section of the Walla Walla Valley appellation is located in the southeast part of the valley. In the 5% highest elevation of the cobblestones, this Grand Cru section has been the most prized farming section since the Walla Walla Valley was settled over one hundred years ago. Grand Cru is defined and set apart from its neighbors by location, history and consistently superior wines. We waited years to buy only here. Anywhere else further out in the cobblestones would have been a compromise. Developing the Estate with one wine in mind—the Rediviva of the Stones—we have densely planted clones of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, mourvèdre, marsanne and roussanne.
The Columbia Valley Appellation wines are sourced from six great estate grown vineyards. Caleb’s experience making wine from Champoux and Conner Lee Vineyards spans 16 vintages since 1992. All winegrowing stages are all maintained to Buty’s specific goals from pruning to shoot positioning, prevéraison cluster thinning, water and pest management, and the day and the time of harvest. They exclusively harvest by hand and hand berry sort on a shaker table before fermentation.
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts
Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.
Lots of blue fruits, cassis, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Estate, a magical, incredible Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, as well as a perfect wine. It's deep purple/ruby-colored, full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, with terrific elegance as well as a rich, complex earthiness that develops with time in the glass. However, it's not a classic Rocks wine, and the exotic funkiness is largely concealed behind classic Cabernet typicity. It reminds me of the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly with its rare mix of richness and power, and while it was brought up in almost all new French oak, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. Everything is perfectly balanced, it has silky tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of an impressive finish. It's a candidate for the wine of the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Don't miss it.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points