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
Clif Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap is made from 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot.
The fruit was sourced from the hillside terraces of our Poetry Vineyard, our Twin Peaks Vineyard estate surrounding the winery, and a few neighboring vineyards in the Stags Leap District. The wine is composed of small lots from our best blocks, representing a diverse range of carefully selected clones and rootstocks. From Poetry’s exposed, rocky terraces boasting volcanic origins, to the ancient riverbed alluvial soils of Twin Peaks, the breadth of contributing sites translates into a wine of impressive complexity.
Grapes were picked in the darkness of the early morning hours. The freshly-harvested fruit immediately underwent rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, which included our cutting-edge optical sorter. Whole berries were gently delivered by gravity to tank using our crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately seven days, and fermentations were managed via a combination of délestage, pumpovers, and punchdowns. Extended maceration ranging from four to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles, allowing us to perfect mouth feel and wine complexity. The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 38% of which were new, for twenty-one months.
This wine substantially overdelivers on its price point, presenting a dark fruit profile, generous tannin and oak, and an expansive full-bodied style. Blended with 8% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, it is approachable while never forgetting its structured, complex roots.
-Editors' Choice Wine Spectator 95 Points
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 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
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
Nickel & Nickel Bear Track Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bear Track Vineyard is planted in three terraced blocks on the eastern hillsides of Napa Valley, just outside of the Howell Mountain AVA. The cool climate and iron-rich, volcanic ash soils result in small, tight clusters of concentrated fruit. Ample hang time before harvest yields a Cabernet Sauvignon with intense, dark fruit flavors and integrated tannins.
Nickel & Nickel Bear Track Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Review:
With a plushness on the palate, this varietal wine offers spicy undertones of cedar, sage and oak, with woody tannin and thick, concentrated black fruit. Intense throughout, the berry richness is contrasted by flecks of iron and crushed rock. Enjoy 2029–2039. Cellar Selection
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Chappellet Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Petit Verdot.
Embodying the essence of great mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and the majestic terroir or Pritchard Hill, this wine is gloriously opulent and elegant, immediately demanding attention with aromas of violet, black currant, cassis, ripe blackberry, graphite and sweet smoke. As it opens up, fascinating layers of sandalwood and cardamom emerge, as well as hints of vanilla bean, nutmeg, dark chocolate and anise. On the impeccably balanced palate, complex flavors of ripe dark berries and spice dominate, framed by silky, polished tannins that carry the flavors to a long, epic finish.
Founded by Molly and Donn Chappellet in 1967, today a second generation of the Chappellet family has embraced the mountain’s exceptional terroir and is committed to stewarding their father’s vision for generations to come.
Pritchard Hill is the source of some of the world’s finest mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignons, earning numerous comparisons to the great First Growths of Bordeaux. Pritchard Hill has been dubbed “Napa Valley’s Rodeo Drive” and “Napa Valley’s Grand Cru”.
Great wines reflect the complexity and character of great vineyards, as well as the vision, passion and patience of those who farm them. Rising from 800 o 1,800 feet above sea level, the Chappellet Estate Vineyard on Pritchard Hill has earned global acclaim for yielding grapes that produce mountain-grown wines of rare depth, longevity and elegance.
Wines are handcrafted to embody the rugged terroir and intensity of fruit that makes Pritchard Hill famous. Recognized for their signature mix of grandeur, power and purity, each wine is a result of winemaking that begins in the vineyard. To honor and maintain the diversity of Pritchard Hill, the Chappellet team cultivates the estate as 48 individual blocks, each highlighting various soil types, elevations, exposures and grades. This mosaic of micro-vineyards features a wealth of varieties, clones and rootstocks for our winemaking team to work with.
Super-concentrated and mineral. Release always trails the regular Sancerre Blanc by a year so it has extra time in both tank and bottle.
An understated charm on the nose, revealing elegant aromas of yellow fruits like apricot and mirabelle plum, along with hints of anise and marzipan. A touch of green pepper adds a light and airy quality. On the palate, it offers a crisp and delightful experience, with flavors of plum and orange wedge, culminating in a chalky, saline finish.
VINEYARDS: The vineyards are planted in Terroir of Kimmeridgian marls (calcareous clay with encrustation of oyster and mussel fossils) from the Jurassic time. Trellised vines are averaged around 30 years old and have a planting density of 8000 vines/ha. Tillage takes place in the rows until the bud burst, the rest of the year to natural grass covers. The Côte des Monts Damnés is located in Chavignol. Steep hillsides (declivity up to 70%), facing south, with an altitude that ranges from 650 to 980 feet.
VINTAGE: The grapes matured in cooler temperatures than in recent years, so the 2021 vintage is in line with other vintages that conform to the temperate climate of the Centre-Loire wine region.
VINIFICATION AND MATURATION: The grapes were handpicked and had a light cold static settling to eliminate the coarsest lees. Fermentation and aging took place in stainless steel tanks (88%) and 10 years old wooden vats (12%). After, the wine was aged on fine fermentation lees for 9 months.
This mountain grown wine shows expresses ripe fruits of the warm days and the acid balance from the cool nights. Vibrant fruit aromas of blueberry, raspberry, and plum are the hallmarks of the aromatics along with a subtle cedar/cigar box note. These aromatics lead into voluptuous flavors of berries and spice in this structured, yet lively Pinot Noir.
In the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County the local residents speak an obscure dialect of English known as Boontling, developed in the late 1800s. The “Muldune Trail” was a term used in Anderson Valley lore o¬en describing the road traversing the ridge to Ukiah. There are other definitions of hitting the “Muldune Trail” that we will leave to the drinker to discover!
Savory spice, dried herbs, rose petal, earth, mulled cherry, and cranberry notes all emerge from the 2017 Pinot Noir Muldune Trail, which comes from an estate vineyard in the southern end of the Anderson Valley, located at 1,600 feet in elevation. Aged 17 months in 42% new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it's medium-bodied, elegant, and ethereally styled, with light tannins and solid length. It's going to keep for 7-8 years, but it’s not one of the more singular wines in the lineup.
-Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points