When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
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…”
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni comes from a selection made by winemakers Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, mostly from Rutherford and Oakville fruit. Aged 20 months in 78% new French oak, it has incredible aromatics of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and graphite to go with a massive, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate that somehow stays graceful, weightless, and elegant. This tour de force in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 20-25+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
From a St. Helena vineyard planted by early Napa settler Edward Bale more than 150 years ago, and later serving as the estate vineyard for the area’s first winery built by Henry Pellet in 1860, the Las Piedras site always gives us our prettiest wine. When placed next to Dr. Crane and To-Kalon wines, the Las Piedras show a certain elegance, with a very graceful entry and finely detailed complexity. We produce it with at least 75% new French oak, so there is a floral, spicy, and vanilla accent to the intense red and black fruits, cassis, and black cherry liqueur. What distinguishes this bottling is the beautifully fine tannins, delicate texture, and stunning purity. (Less than 100 cases made.)
Fermentation 70% Oak, 24% Concrete, 6% Puncheon
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard comes from a world-class site outside of St. Helena and is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 80% new oak. It offers a touch more red fruit as well ample cassis, spring flowers, loamy earth, and spice-like aromas and flavors. It has a wonderful sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, a dense, layered texture, and incredibly purity of fruit. It’s another just about off the charts release from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Argot Chardonnay Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Pouring a green-tinted gold, our Sonoma County Chardonnay is a beautiful wine from word go. Radiating from within, a blast of apple/pear fruit informs this wine both aromatically, and on the palate. As flavors unfurl, a progression of orange blossom, pineapple, white peach, and hazlenut are followed by a finish dominated by ginger, baked apple, with a trailing kiss of mint’s freshness. A stunning wine — wholly informed by the perfection of 2018’s growing season — defined by its dichotomy of massively intense flavors, and superb acidity and freshness.
Raised by minimalistic methods, often associated with the classic Chardonnay winemaking techniques of Meursault. With a focus on the coolest Chardonnay region in Sonoma County, 2018’s long, even growing season favored our vineyards’ moderate climate, old vines and deep volcanic soils. These grapes were allowed an extended ripening period on the vine, resulting in perfect balance and concentrated flavors.
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!
VINEYARD Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION 600 cases
VARIETAL 100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING 16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.
Meridia Primitivo is 100% Primitivo
Dense ruby red with violet reflections.
Bouquet: A warm, spicy bouquet filled with bright, ripe plum aromas.
Taste: It is rich, full and round with a delicate spiciness on the finish.
Foods: Excellent with lamb, grilled and barbecued meats, dishes with olives or capers and seasoned cheeses.
Vineyard: High density vineyards located in the Salento in southwestern Apulia. Vines are trained on “alberello” (bush vines). The soil is a mixture of limestone and clay.
Harvest: October – by hand
The grapes are soft pressed and the juice is placed in stainless steel along with the skins for a maceration of 8 to 10 days with daily pumping over of the juice to extract more color and sweet tannins. The must is then racked and lightly filtered. Fermentation then takes place with selected yeast under controlled temperatures. The finished wine is placed in stainless steel holding tanks and bottled on order.
Aging: 3-4 months in bottle.
Pairs well with lamb, grilled and barbecued meats, dishes with olives or capers and seasoned cheeses.
Part of the production is from their own lands which mainly lie on the alluvial rich soil at the confines of the Veneto and Friuli, other is furnished by growers who have worked with the family for years and is basically an extension of their own vineyards. The family has expanded into the foreign markets slowly making sure that they could handle production requests and maintain quality levels before proceeding on to the next market. This cautiousness has earned them the reputation of being reliable and quality-orientated.
The winery produces several lines of different quality levels using Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Valpolicella, Prosecco, Soave and Bardolino. They have also expanded their production to include wines from Apulia, Calabria, Sicily to offer their clients a complete range of wines.
Color: Deep Red
Nose : Red fruits (raspberry, black-current) and flowers (violet).
Palate : Full, rich and ample, long finish, nice concentration.
Aging potential : 7 to 9 years
Surface : 22 Ha. Yield : 40 Hl./Ha. Vineyard age : 40 years Terroir : Clay / chalk, clay / limestone and sandy with pebble stones. Harvest : by hand Vinification : 100% destemmed , long 30 days maceration with a maximum of 34°C temperature
Pairs well with red meats, grilled meats, game and cheeses.
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
Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Charmois is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The wine shows aromas and flavors of red berries, herbs, and purple flowers. The palate is rich with ripe fruit and medium weight with bright acidity and fine tannins. Aging in up to 25% new Burgundian pièce brings notes of vanilla, toast, and baking spices.
Domaine Jean Grivot is among the great names in Burgundian wine. Étienne Grivot and his wife Marielle took over from Étienne’s father Jean Grivot in 1987. The vineyards are densely planted and farmed organically “sans certification” while the aim in the cellar is for balance and clear expression of terroir.