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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
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.
All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
Bright and spicy up top, this leads with notes of kirsch and crème de cassis that are complemented by sweet spice, dried purple florals and raspberry leaf. The palate is smooth and satiny at first, with rich fruit tones leading the experience, while firm yet fine tannins enter on the midpalate and carry through with moderate intensity through the earthy, sweet-spiced finish
- Wine Enthusiast (September 2020), 93 pts
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.
"Showing beautifully, with a Côte de Nuit-like nose of darker cherries, strawberries, sappy herbs, baking spices, and flowers, the 2018 Pinot Noir Memorialis is medium to full-bodied and has a gorgeously textured, layered mouthfeel, present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity. It would give many a Grand Cru Red Burgundy a run for its money in a blind tasting."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 95 pts
Double Diamond by Schrader Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
A unique expression of the Napa Valley region from which it's born, Double Diamond Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Red Wine is a dazzling and harmonious integration of decadent fruit, refined structure, and exotic spices. Made with quality red grapes from acclaimed Oakville vineyards known for highly diverse, resilient soils and an ideal blend of sun, cooling wind, and rain, this Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon red wine keeps company with some of the most sought-after cabernet sauvignon in the world. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, this red California wine opens with intriguing aromas of Mexican chocolate, nutmeg, brambly fruit, spearmint, and violets. Each sip of this dark red wine is voluptuous, sleek, and inviting, with a silky tannin profile that provides a complex framework. A delicious red wine with rich palate notes of black currant, blackberry reduction, leather, crushed rock, and allspice, this 750 mL bottled wine can be enjoyed promptly. With three to five years in the cellar, this bottle of red wine will develop into an even more beautiful expression of the vintage. Crafted by renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown in collaboration with Fred Schrader of Schrader Cellars, this aromatic red grape wine's rich taste brings out the best flavors of savory dishes like roast duck and lamb, grilled steaks with roasted mushrooms, and Tuscan meatballs. For best taste, store this cabernet sauvignon bottle of wine at room temperature then chill for 30 minutes before serving. Please enjoy our wines responsibly. 2020 Schrader Cellars, Oakville, CA
Double Diamond is sourced exclusively from a complement of prime vineyard estates. Sourced from the same famed vineyards as its beloved inspiration Schrader Cellars in Napa Valley’s world-renowned Oakville AVA, including our To Kalon Vineyard.
Readers looking to get a taste of the impeccable quality and style from Schrader at a more affordable price point would do well to check out the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Double Diamond. Coming all from Oakville, it has a classic Cabernet nose of black and blue fruits, green tobacco, cedar pencil, damp earth, and chocolate. It's not over the top and has beautiful varietal character as well as medium to full body, ripe yet present tannins, good overall freshness, and a great finish. This is beautifully done and well worth a case purchase. I'd lean toward drinking bottles over the coming 10-12 years, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it evolve longer. It's a candidate for the best Napa Cabernet under $100.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
A Schrader-related wine made by Thomas Rivers Brown, this 100% varietal wine is a showcase of the appellation, wide in appeal and bold, ripe red fruit. Sage, tar, cedar and pencil provide varietal complexity and contrast to the fruit; the tannin's are integrated yet still grippy. Enjoy best from 2028–2038.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points & Cellar Selection.
Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin is made from 100 percent Grenache.
A beautiful bottle, archetype of the appellation, which expresses the quintessence of Grenache in its cradle of Châteauneuf du Pape. Between notes of black fruit and violets, this vintage advances in time with suppleness, with already melted tannins.
This bursts forth with delicious crushed plum, cherry puree and raspberry coulis notes that stretch out slowly through the lengthy, anise- and black tea–infused finish. Not shy with its fruit, but this has more than enough energy and detail for balance. Best from 2021 through 2038.
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
As usual, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin displays more red fruit than the main bottling, being 100% Grenache from sandier soils. Raspberries and cherries appear on the nose alongside subtle hints of garrigue. The full-bodied palate is almost airy in feel, supported by a latticework of silky tannins and bright acids, while simultaneously adding bass notes of dark chocolate and licorice that linger on the finish. It's an impressive effort.
-Robert Parker 95 Points
Chateau Franc Lartigue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is made from Merlot 70%, Cabernet franc 15%, Cabernet sauvignon 15%
Eight hectare property in the town of Saint-Emilion. Elegant and structured wine, keep for 10 to 15 years depending on the vintage.
Vines with an average age of 35 years have produced a concentrated wine. It is rich and full, while also having restraint and elegance. That makes for a fine balancing act of generous tannins and opulent black fruits. Drink the wine from 2021
- Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
RUSSIAN RIVER, BUENA TIERRA VINEYARD
On the nose, you smell honeycomb and apricot with a slight hint of warm spices. The color is bright, clear and golden with legs that gently slide down the sides. The taste is a treat of Meyer lemon and vanilla with a touch of Crème Brulee. Its fresh, smooth and delicate. The complex flavors of the old vines make this wine an old soul. The finish lingers just long enough.
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
Mt Brave Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec.
Lots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
This packs in lots of dense yet sleek blackberry, mulberry and black currant fruit flavors, while anise, sassafras and violet notes add range throughout. There's plenty of structure embedded as well, though it tilts to the zesty, acid-driven side of the ledger, further enlivening the fruit. This has a serious oak treatment, but it's very precise and fine-grained. For the cellar. Best from 2022 through 2038. 6,753 cases made
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
Blackberry and chili with hints of cloves and graphite. Bitter chocolate, too. Full-bodied, very linear and tight with intense tannins that lead you down the finish. Solid structure. Needs four or five years to open up. Better after 2025.
-James Suckling 95 Points
A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder was aged for 22 months in oak barrels, 82% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it springs from the glass with vibrant crème de cassis, baked plums and Morello cherries scents, followed by nuances of sautéed herbs, clove oil, mocha and scorched earth. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with layers of black and blue fruits, sporting a rock-solid backbone of grainy tannins and great tension, finishing long and minerally.
-Wine Advocate 95+ Points
Mt Monster Cabernet Sauvignon is 100 percent Cabernet
Winemaking: Our Cabernet is fermeneted in static fermenters at controlled temperatures to retain the varietal aromatics. Once complete the wine is left for 7-1- days on skins to aide in the extraction of soft fleshy tannins and build wine structure. French and American oak has been used sparingly to ensure maximum fruit expression is retained in the final wine.
Tasting notes: Deep purple in colour. Classic aromas of lifted blackcurrant, blackberry and mint on the nose. Flavours follow through of sweet berry-fruit accented by fresh muddled mint. Elegant, structured palate with big velvety tannins.
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
Morlet Family Vineyards Mon Chevalier Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot .
Located on the hillsides of Knights Valley, near Calistoga, this vineyard benefits from its proximity to Mount St. Helena, whose warm and windy climate is ideal for the long ripening of the Bordeaux red varietals. Handcrafted by using classical winemaking techniques, this special wine is dedicated to our son, Paul Morlet.
Dark red with a hue of purple. Intense and complex bouquet of red, black and blue berries intermixed with notes of blueberries, minerals (graphite, wet river rocks) licorice, fresh blond tobacco and a hint of lavender. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a richly tannic yet round frame and a great intensity. The hillside tannins and the classical aromatic complexity create a harmonious ensemble, leading to a very long and elegant finish. Built to age for decades, this collectible wine opens up after a few years of cellaring and is particularly representative of this special vineyard from the hillside of Knights Valley. Mon Chevalier features the interaction of the loamy, well drained and rocky volcanic soil, the typical sunny mountain climate and the low-interventionistic Morlet winemaking approach.
Propietary Name Mon Chevalier
Name Meaning My Knight Named after our son, Paul Morlet
Varietal composition 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot 2% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Knights Valley
Vineyard singularity Morlet Family Estate Hillside 1100-1200 feet elevation Rhyolitic, loam & volcanic ash
Typical harvest date End of October
Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck
Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry
Fermentation Through native yeast Tank and Puncheons
Upbringing 16 months French oak from artisan coopers
Cellaring time Decades
Serving Room temperature
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier, which includes no Merlot (it’s 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot) is a black fruited, powerful 2015 that just fills the mouth with fruit. Blueberries, plums, violets, chocolate, and savory herb notes all emerge from this full-bodied, big, meaty, licorice-laced effort that, like all of Luc’s wines, stays balanced, graceful and pure. Drink it anytime over the coming 25+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
My First comment tasting this wine is "wow!" It's delicious; our flagship wine at Paradigm and it delivers. Dense, deep, ripe aromas of black berry and black cherry-like fruit layered with caramel and toastiness from a nice mix of French Oak barrels. Flavors coat the palate with matching notes in a classic Cabernet Sauvignon presentation. One of our best Cabs to date!
Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot , 1% Petit Verdot
"Owned and managed by the Harris family, Paradigm winery produced its first vintage in 1991 in Oakville with winemaker Heidi Barrett. A self-contained winery estate with 50 acres of vineyards, Paradigm maintains a hands-on approach to all winemaking and vineyard operations. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon consists of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, and is aged in both new and used French oak for 20 months, then aged a further 20 months in bottle before release. The total production for this vintage was 5,544 bottles." Blind tasted by Dave Allen, Stephen Brook, Terry Kandylis (at Decanter Magazine's December 2019 Californian Cabernet 2015 Panel Tasting, London, 17 Sep 2019)
- Decanter 95 Points
The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from their estate vineyard on Red Mountain, brought up in mostly new barrels, it reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 99 pts
Chartron et Trebuchet Hautes Mourottes Ladoix Premier Cru is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Ladoix AOC: This AOC (LADOIX) is about 75 % red and 25 % white wine from the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny (Ladoix is old French for “the source”). 11 premier Cru’s, with a production is 33,000 cases of red to 12,500 cases of Blanc. Location is very near the Grand Cru’s of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.
Tasting Notes:The white wine here is toasty, smoky, with a complex, mineral and long lemony finish……4-6 year aging wine. Ladoix blanc is somewhat rare, and we are only importing 25 cases …
VINEYARD: Rocky and reddish limestone and enough marl to make it ideal for white wines.
Plantations: ----- vines / hectare.
Yield: -- hectoliters / hectare.
HARVEST: Harvest by hand.
VINIFICATION: Traditional vinification. The grapes are pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery in pneumatic presses. The alcoholic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels, 20% new oak. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
AGEING: The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
Its freshness and finesse allow it to be enjoyed as an aperitif. It also pairs well with white meat and sauce. At the sea side, it will be perfect with a plate of shellfish (lobster, scallops) steamed or poached or noble fish just fried, grilled or steamed. Cheeses: Goat cheese, Beaufort Comté, Emmental...
"Fresh notes of chalk and lemon beckon from the glass, clothed in subtle smoke. The gentleness continues on the palate where Mirabelle fruit has an inviting streak of lemon. The ripeness of 2018 is expressed in the warm finish, but overall this is a very balanced, fresh wine. - Anne KREBIEHL MW"
- Wine Enthusiast (July 2020), 90 pts