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Freemark Abbey Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

ID No: 447418
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Freemark Abbey Sycamore Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Freemark Abbey Sycamore Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

Wine Profile: Opaque dark ruby describes the color of this Rutherford wine. Black currant and Boysenberry notes dominate the aroma, with dark chocolate truffle, cocoa powder,  Worcestershire sauce, cremini mushrooms and forest floor adding to the complexity. The oak adds the ideal amount of complexity with aromatic cedar, cinnamon and clove. The wine has great depth of black fruit flavor, with a strong expression of sweet black cherry. This full-bodied cabernet sauvignon has resolved tannins yet firm structure, with good acidity. Lovely long finish!

Primary Vineyard: Sycamore Vineyard—Rutherford (100%): Small 24-acre vineyard located about 1.2 miles south of Bosche, right up against the Mayacamas Range, this vineyard has a rich clay loam. Sycamore Vineyard produces small berries reminiscent of mountain fruit berries, with intense extract of color and flavor. The color is very dark early in the fermentation, with flavors of black currant and black berry with a forest floor complexity.


Review:

From a vineyard closer to the Mayacamas Mountains and first made in 1980, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards checks in as 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It spent 27 months in 66% new French. It offers more black fruits, earth, tobacco, cedar, and gravelly minerality as well as a touch more burly, masculine style on the palate. Nevertheless, it's still beautifully balanced, has considerable elegance, and a great finish.

-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards gives up powerful crème de cassis, dark chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and baked plums scents with hints of lavender, camphor, pencil shavings and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with rich, black fruits plus a beautiful perfumed undercurrent, framed by finely grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing with a mineral lift. 1,989 cases were made.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

Herbal, with characteristics of peppercorn, cedar and pencil shavings, this beautiful wine is also dusty and mineral-driven, with demure flavors of red and black currant. Full bodied and well structured, it shows an underlying softness that should continue to soften in the cellar. Enjoy best from 2026–2031.

-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points





 Wine Advocate: 95 Wine Enthusiast: 95 95 Points
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)

Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.

Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts

 94 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points

 95 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (magnum)

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon that will spend roughly 20 months in close to 100% new French oak. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and graphite notes all give way to a full-bodied, plump, rich, concentrated effort that's going to be better with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 94-96 pts

Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 76% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Malbec 7% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot. 

The 2016 vintage was a near perfect year, producing wines of opulence and intensity. The terroir of the Brandlin vineyard naturally thickens the grape skins, developing deep color and tannin while also creating remarkably small berries.   Our 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon offers inky, dark fruit, and a plush mouthfeel while boasting notes of blackberry, mocha, fig, dates and dense black currant fruit accented with hints of nettle, earth and clove.

Brandlin is a Napa Valley estate that produces wine from a small, historic vineyard in the Mount Veeder appellation. The wines pay homage to the Brandlin family. As early as the 1870s, the Brandlins settled on these steep, rocky slopes, and became grape growing pioneers in Napa's Mount Veeder region. With over 50 years' of experience, Henry Brandlin staked the family’s claim to this estate and planted their own vineyards in 1926.In 1998 Cuvaison Estate Wines was honored by Henry’s son, Chester Brandlin, with rights to purchase Brandlin Vineyard. Respectfully maintaining the integrity of the estate, only a fraction of the land has been planted to vineyards carefully designed to honor the integral beauty of the property. Glens of old oak trees and sustainable viticultural practices support natural biodiversity and abundant wildlife.We brought to Brandlin Vineyard all the lessons of Cuvaison Estate Wines' 38 years of viticulture - great care in the study of sun exposures and soil types, and profound respect for the environment. Our intention is to honor the Brandlin family with a namesake vineyard that produces intense and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. - Steven Rogstad, Winemaker


Review:

This has the expressive fruit and racy spine of the vintage, mixing plum and blackberry paste flavors with a graphite edge, while extra sassafras and bramble notes add energy to the finish. Solid. Best from 2022 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 2,226 cases made.

-Wine Spectator 93 Points


 Wine Spectator: 93
Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016

Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged for 22 months in 80% new French oak, 20% neutral French oak

Located in the heart of the Rutherford Bench the Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits all of the characteristics that make this one of Napa Valley’s most popular grape growing areas. Revealing deep and polished flavors of dusty earth and wild berry this wine finishes with fine-grained tannins that produce a complex and vibrant finish.

Review:


"Earthy black tea, Asian spice and sage underscore a savory note in this ultimately balanced, well-integrated wine. Finishing touches of toasted oak and cola round out the finish.- VIRGINIE BOONE"

- Wine Enthusiast (July 2020), 90 pts



 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Product Description

Freemark Abbey Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque with dark ruby color. The aroma is very rich with blackberry and dark currant fruit. With great depth of fruit, the oak adds a spicy edge, yielding nuances of aromatic cedar, cinnamon, clove, cigar box, black pepper and dark chocolate coco powder. This is a very big wine, the body is very full, balanced with black fruit flavors, coupled with a good acidity and resolved tannins. This will give a Cabernet lover goose bumps.

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford) is powerful, dense and savory, not to mention incredibly expressive. Sweet tobacco, grilled herbs, leather, licorice, chocolate and dried flowers develop in this characterful Cabernet; there is plenty of Rutherford dirt personality as well. This is very nicely done.

-- Antonio Galloni 93 Points

Winery: Freemark Abbey

For over half a century, America’s premier grape-growing state has enjoyed a reputation more or less interchangeable with Cabernet Sauvignon’s. It’s the king of red wine grapes in California—and also in France—for a reason: the amazing complexity that skilled winemakers are able to coax out of it when grown in optimum locations. They know all about this in the great, old chateaux of Bordeaux, as well as at many younger, but equally prestigious, wineries in Napa Valley. The world’s best Cabernet grapes are grown in these respective regions.

On the short list of the latter sits Freemark Abbey, a St. Helena winery founded in 1886, that hasn’t been “young” for a long time. With nearly 50 vintages’ worth of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vintages tucked away in its library, Freemark’s signature portfolio of wines represents one of the most fully realized Cabernet programs in America. They're produced by a winery whose contemporary rise to prominence has, from the 1960s to present, coincided with that of California’s fine wine industry.

Today, Freemark Abbey is many things to many people: a team of some of the most respected winemakers working in Napa Valley; a historic 1886 winery and pristine estate, with an enthusiastic hospitality program that highlights both; a collection of source vineyards up and down Napa Valley, representing several of California’s most distinctive terroirs; an extensive—and unparalleled—wine library that stretches back decades; and a winery that, because of its long history and international reputation, is one of Napa Valley’s true ambassador brands.

Freemark Abbey’s newly appointed Winemaker Emeritus, Ted Edwards, has overseen much of its ascendance. As he moves into a self-described “co-pilot” role to new Winemaker Kristy Melton, he can reflect on the changes he’s witnessed at this iconic St. Helena winery over 40 years.

Moving forward, Ted’s job will be to offer advice and counsel to Kristy and her winemaking team, to continue in a leading viticultural role, and to carry on as Freemark’s most experienced proponent. The two Rutherford vineyards, Bosché and Sycamore, are, like Ted himself, closely linked to the winery’s identity. This won’t change. What will change is Ted’s ability to focus his energy on the growing protocols at this pair of vineyards, which are closer to his winemaker’s heart than any others in Napa Valley.

The transition from Ted to Kristy in 2020 is just another step in the evolution of this extraordinary wine estate. There are bookends to the story, however, at least up to the present day: a pioneering, unstoppable woman founded the property 135 year ago, and today an equally unique and determined woman is taking charge.


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