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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
Winemaker and founder John Giannini named Cresta Velia for his mother and grandmother - combining his mother’s maiden name (Cresta) with his grandmother’s first name (Velia). Cresta Velia’s inaugural vintage was the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and now also includes a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir label.
Cresta Velia’s Cabernet Sauvignon hails from Eagle Summit, a beautifully farmed hillside vineyard on Howell Mountain, overlooking Napa Valley. Thin soils underpinned by volcanic bedrock force the vines to delve deep in search of water and nutrients, producing wines with an ineffable sense of place.
John Giannini founded Cresta Velia in 2006. John grew up in an extended Italian family – wine was always served with food. He considers both to be inseparable from one another. He comes to Napa from a restaurant background – first working at Scallas Bistro in San Francisco. He was introduced to Napa wines by a server at Scalla’s who would often visit the valley. John would accompany him on these day trips; his appreciation for wine grew. Eventually he moved to Napa and worked at Terra Restaurant.
For winemaker, John Giannini, delicious wine and good food are the essential components of a life well lived. Hailing from San Francisco, two things were pivotal for John growing up; coming from a large Italian family and having parents who liked to go out to dinner. John’s family was no different than other typical Italian families for whom good food was paramount, wine was always on the table, and one or more members of the family dabbled in winemaking (John’s Grandfather). John and his siblings always got the requisite sip of wine on special occasions and grew up understanding that good food and wine go together. Equally as formative was that John’s parents took John out to dinner a lot when he was growing up. A lot. John was encouraged to order off of the full “adult” menu and was exposed to flavors and food combinations at a young age that most people do not experience until they are adults.
John’s first restaurant job was as a server at a local restaurant in San Francisco while he was in college. However, it became immediately clear to him that he was not a front of the house guy and that he belonged in the kitchen; and if you know John you know that sounds about right. A year or two later, he bought a paring knife and a chef’s knife when he was hired, with next to no experience, to work in the kitchen at Kuleto’s in Burlingame, CA. He was hooked from the start, not only on the energy of the kitchen but on learning to create food. From there John spent fifteen years as an accomplished chef in restaurants on the West Coast, including Chef Hiro Sone’s Terra Restaurant in Napa. He was on the trajectory to becoming Chef de Cuisine with plans to eventually open his own restaurant until he worked his first harvest in 2003.
Like so many people who end up working in the wine industry, one can look back on a chance encounter or conversation that set the wheels of fate in motion. John met Thomas Brown through mutual friends while playing volleyball and it was Thomas who gave John his first job during harvest in the Napa Valley in 2003. Everything about the harvest season was exciting and compelling and created a lasting impression however, John was still not quite sure that he was willing to give up on his first passion. Moving to Portland, OR in 2004 to help open a friend’s restaurant was to be his last foray in the restaurant business and by the time harvest of 2005 rolled around, John moved back to stay. He worked that harvest, and every harvest since, making a promise to not miss another harvest again. And he hasn’t.
In 2006, John became the Cellar Master at Outpost Winery in Angwin and in 2007 he took over as the Assistant Winemaker under Thomas.
Since then, John has helped craft many of the 100 point wines that have come out of Outpost winemaking facility. And while he continues to be the Assistant Winemaker at Outpost, the next logical step was to become a winemaker in his own right; and so Cresta Velia was born.
Eagle Summit Vineyard
Eagle Summit, which sits high atop Howell Mountain at an elevation just under 2000 feet, is a gently sloping site with iron rich red soil and well draining volcanic rock which contribute to the formation of small intensely flavored berries that create wines of distinction with an undeniable sense of place.
Bohemian Vineyard Green Valley
Our Cresta Velia Pinot Noir is crafted with clones 115 and 667 from the Bohemian Vineyard Green Valley just outside the town of Occidental. Residing in the western region of the Russian River Valley the site receives the cooling benefit of the coastal influence and slightly less heat than the middle of the Valley allowing full maturity while retaining freshness.
FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Lifted floral aromatics waft from the glass of this citrus-driven Chardonnay. Notes of lemon zest, white grapefruit, and Key lime, are complemented by hints of juniper, struck flint, and melon. The blend of citrus flavors continues in the mouth with an abundance of fresh lemon and orange zest. The juicy finish is carried by notes of lemon balm with zippy acidity.
Fresh, vibrant fruit aromas and flavors drive this full-bodied and well-balanced wine. It floods the palate with flavors of crisp apple, ripe pear and a touch of pineapple while subtle hints of baking spice play in the background.
- Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt. is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here we go again. It seems as though I’m saying the same thing year after year. Another excellent vintage from Howell Mountain. And once again it’s true. The wine shows deep purple color concentration with both sweet and savory aromatics on the nose. Blackberries, currants, freshly turned soil and black licorice attack your nostrils from the glass. Rich, broad and full bodied as this wine is the vineyard once again provides the balancing influence of acidity and tannin and helps usher in the finishing notes of roasted meats, cigar box, fennel and more black and blue fruit. If 2012 and 2013 Cresta Velia had a baby it would be the 2015. Incredible concentration from the 2013 with generous portions of fruit from 2012. And although you are not supposed to have a favorite child, if I had to choose I think it would be 2015...until we release the 2016.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
100% percent french oak 73% new 27% used
unfined and unfiltered
Charles Krug Family Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rising 1,650 feet above the Napa Valley floor on the southwestside of Howell Mountain, the Family Reserve Howell MountainCabernet Sauvignon sits above the fog line. The distinctiveclimate, along with volcanic and iron-rich red soils, producefruit with great balance and intensity.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release Cold Springs is the most distinctive of the wines in this range of limited-release Cabernets from Charles Krug. Gravel, licorice, menthol and spice all develop in a Howell Mountain Cabernet endowed with tremendous class and nuance.
-Vinous 92 Points
This signature wine contains only fruit farmed on Howell Mountain. The wine comes in a distinctive bottle that is hand dipped in red wax. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. aged 32 months in 100% new French oak.
Vinous 97 Points
Lokoya Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District is a monster of a mountain Cabernet that has a primordial bouquet of blackcurrants, smoked earth, chocolate, and graphite. While Spring Mountain wines tend to be more aromatic and complex right out of the gate, that’s not the case here, and this is going to need bottle age to round into form. Full-bodied on the palate, with a rich, concentrated mouthfeel, it has serious tannins, notable purity of fruit, and a great finish. With air, it picks up more and more classic Spring Mountain floral and exotic notes, and it’s flawlessly balanced, with gorgeous tannins and a great, great finish. This is a brilliant wine in the lineup and unquestionably one of the true gems from Spring Mountain in 2018. Give bottles 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Lush, energetic and intense, this gorgeous 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet begins with aromas of blackberry, huckleberry and chocolate, as well as hints of mint, cardamom, clove and graham cracker. On the palate it displays lovely brightness, with firm, resolved tannins framing flavors of boysenberry and black currant. As it evolves in the glass, subtle sweet and savory notes are revealed, carrying the wine to a long, focused finish.
This is a Napa Valley cabernet that does everything right. Renee Ary blends fruit from Duckhorn’s estate with grapes from growers, including 12 percent merlot to point up the luscious texture, aging it for 16 months in French oak barrels (half of them new), without the wine becoming overtly oaky. It’s a wine of elegance and restraint, delicious in its sweet purple-plum intensity, succulent in its earthy tannins. Those mineral tannins retreat into the finish, allowing the savory fruit to move in. Accessible now, this will only improve with a few years in bottle.
-Wine & Spirits 94 Points
Principal El Principal Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah originating from old, ungrafted vines. Deep, intense ruby red, black fruit and cassis aromas, well-integrated woody notes, great structure and balance. Ripe and present tannins, elegant and sophisticated in the mouth, a pure expression of the terroir.
Denomination of Origin: Maipo Andes Valley
Vineyard altitude: 800 meters above sea level
Soil: Alluvial origin, Clay loam.
Climate: Sub humid Mediterranean with big influence of the Andes Mountains.
Thermal oscillation: Between 18º and 22ºC.
Viticulture system: Espalier
Pruning: Double Guyot
Yield 4.500 kg/ha
Cool maceration (8°C): 6 days.
Alcoholic fermentation: 6 days.
Post fermentative maceration: 16 days.
Barrel aging: 20 months, new French oak
Bottling: February 2016
Bottle aging: Minimum 2 year in the bottle before release to the market.
Total Acidity: 5.9 g/L
RS: 2 g/L
- Descorchados (November 2017), 95 pts
"This complex cuvée of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah from some of the highest vineyards in Pirque is built to age in bottle. Aged in 75) new wood, it’s serious, concentrated yet beautifully balanced, with very fine tannins, some aromatic mocha oak, layers of dark fruit and a backbone of acidity. 2022-30"
- Tim Atkin (Chile 2018 Special Report), 94 pts
Faust The Pact Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley's noblest grape- full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon. To express the complexity of the grape and diversity of the Napa Valley, Faust sources Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville, plus smal lots from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs such as Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, Oakville and St. Helena.
Redcurrants and blackcurrants with some violets and crushed earth. Full-bodied with round, creamy tannins. Fine, velvety tannins that are open and grounded. Firm and tight finish. Drinkable now, but better in 2024.
- 96 Points James Suckling
Matheus Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling is made from 100 percent Riesling.
QBA stands for "Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete", which means that the wine comes from one of the 13 designated wine regions.
A beautiful wine with delicate perfumed aromas. Medium bodied, well balanced, filled with peaches and green apples, crisp and fresh acidity.