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Deep ruby. Aromas of deep cherry, black plum, and caramel with hints of dried sage and cedar. Flavors of ripe blackberry and cherry preserves framed by mocha and baking spices. Layers of abundant fruit, dried herbs, and sweet oak. Seamless, integrated tannins create a rich structure and reflect a mountain personality.
Plenty of blueberry and chocolate aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with round, fresh tannins. Lot of blue fruit and walnuts. Then crushed stones with the fruit at the finish. Flavorful, yet not overdone. Give this four or five years to come around. Try after 2025.
James Suckling 95 Points
Resembling a giant staircase, Mount Veeder's vines are planted on wide terraces of earth cut into steep slopes. At elevations of 1,000 to 1,600 feet, the microclimate is very different from the Napa Valley floor. Above the fog bank, exposed to the gentle morning sun and protected from the afternoon heat by the surrounding mountains, grapes on these vines ripen slowly and evenly. And in autumn, the mountain's cool days and warm nights mean extra hang time.
Our three ranches on Mount Veeder bask in the clear mountain sunshine high above Napa Valley. Estate ranches range in altitude from 1,000 to 1,600 feet in elevation to provide diverse microclimates for a wide variety of growing conditions and fruit profiles. All of the key Bordeaux grapes prosper, keeping with the tradition of being the first vineyard in California planted to all five Bordeaux varieties.
Michael and Arlene Bernstein were the first to plant grapevines on Mount Veeder in 1970. When 59 of their original Cabernet cuttings took root and flourished, they knew they were on to something. Encouraged by their friend and Napa legend Robert Mondavi, the Bernsteins established the first winery on Mount Veeder.
At the time, the Mount Veeder AVA did not exist. Undaunted, Michael and Arlene became the driving force behind its establishment. They later made history as the first vintners in Napa Valley to plant Petit Verdot, and the first to plant all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties on the same property.
Today, Mount Veeder Winery has three vineyard ranches nestled high in the Mayacamas Mountains, producing powerfully flavorful, concentrated wines that express their unique mountain terroir.
The goal at Mount Veeder Winery is to foster the natural balance of the vine and preserve the integrity of the land with a dedication to crafting wines that are the purest expression of this ruggedly beautiful site. Respecting the land and cultivating grapevines on Mount Veeder isn’t a simple task. The challenge lies in the ability not only to produce great wines, but also to improve the sustainability of the vineyards, prevent erosion, improve the quality of the runoff water, allow the deer and wildlife a place to live, and have the vineyard live in harmony with nature.
Many steps are taken in order to accomplish these goals, including a strict attention to erosion control. Following the contours of the land, the vines cannot be planted in long, straight rows; instead, the rows are laid out in shorter, curving pieces. Top soil is shallow and precious, so installation of extensive drainage systems is essential to protect against soil erosion. Water collector basins are created along the inside of the terraces, emptying into underground drainage pipes that run through the vineyards.
A cover crop of grasses and clover plus an organic mix of legumes that fix nitrogen levels and add organic matter back into the soil restore nutrients and help to control erosion. Organic composts also help maintain the vines’ nutritional balance. Compost is spread in the fall so that soil microbes and nutrients can penetrate the soil with the winter rains.
Maggy Hawk Unforgettable Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The 2018 Unforgettable was harvested and vinified separately for its unique qualities. After an initial five-day soak, the fruit fermented in three-ton fermenters with pump overs twice daily. Freshness, power and persistence. Unforgettable offers up a delightful balance of jammy blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry with lively aromas of violets, lilac and pennyroyal.
A dark heart of black fruit centers this complex and well-balanced wine. Enticing, spicy clove, cedar and earth aromas lead to a supersmooth but well-structured palate that reveals black-cherry, rhubarb and black-tea nuances. It's distinctive and should age well in the mid-term. Best from 2023. Jim Gordon
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
The 2018 Pinot Noir Unforgettable is built on texture and creaminess. It offers a bit more mid-palate structure than some of the other wines in the range. The mix of mostly Pommard and Wadensvil clones works so well here. Silky and open-knit, the 2018 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring.
-Vinous 93 Points
O'Shaughnessy Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Saint Macaire
This is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with an opaque purple color and perfumed aromas of blackberry compote, orange blossom, cassis, creme brulee, and cocoa. On the palate the wine is plush and concentrated with well-integrated tannins and a vibrant finish. Lush enough to be consumed now and structured enough to hold for decades thanks to the mountain heritage of this beautiful wine.
This red is youthful, wound-up and full of tension. Plush, polished tannins add to a weighty mouthfeel filled with deep flavors of cassis and blood orange, with seasonings of sage, herbes de Provence and black and white pepper. A showcase of sophisticated complexity, it will do well in the cellar. Enjoy 2028–2038.
-Wine Enthusiast 98 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
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
Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the essence of this famous appellation. It is broad-shouldered and deeply fruited, with classic Red Mountain structure promising a long life in the cellar.
Red Mountain Cabernet is renowned for its firm structure, ageability, and distinctive fruit profile. The 2018 Red Mountain Cabernet accentuates this character using older vines from two iconic vineyards, dating 25-35 years old. The result is a wine of profound depth and complexity featuring dark cherry and currant fruit, as well as crushed herbs and a hint of minerality. Red Mountain wines are known for their ability to cellar for years, and the 2018 vintage should ensure that this wine will be enjoyable for decades to come.
If the Horse Heaven Hills releases is Graves-like, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is the Pauillac in the lineup and has a more concentrated, austere style that needs lots of air to show at its best. Gorgeous cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as notes of graphite and lead pencil along with a terrific sense of chalky minerality give way to a full-bodied, powerful yet still elegant Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Delivering building tannins and good acidity, it will need 7-8 years of bottle age to hit maturity and should see its 30th birthday in fine form. This wine is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot, brought up in 75% new French oak, and the vineyard sources are Klipsun and Red Mountain Vineyard.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97+ Points
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
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.
"One of the wines of the vintage. Comprised of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, with small parts Merlot and Petit Verdot, this saw 80% new French oak prior to bottling. The nose is downright intoxicating with crème de cassis, anise, blueberry compote and sandalwood tones that all meld in the glass. The palate is rich and seductive, with not only beautiful concentration but a seamless texture and downright brilliant length. Rich crème de violette, sagebrush, blackberry cordial and mocha flavours provide plenty of exotic appeal."
- Decanter (April 2021), 99 pts
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
Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Cadettes is made from 52% Grenache, 38% Syrah and 10% Mourverdre.
Similarly colored, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes is a Grenache-heavy blend that includes 38% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. It was not destemmed and was brought up in 28% new barrels, with the balance in foudres. It offers more cassis, graphite, spicy wood, and minerality, full-bodied richness, a deep, powerful texture, integrated acidity, and awesome structure. It's a rock star wine from this estate that won't hit maturity for a decade and will keep for 10-15 years after that in cold cellars. It’s the finest wine from this estate since the 2010, 2005, and 1998.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
This is a luscious, creamy wine that's full of rich black-cherry and berry flavors edged by piquant hits of anise and black pepper. A concentrated wine structured by firm, taut tannins, it maintains lively freshness on the midpalate. This powerful wine is a bit unwieldy in its youth but should gain finesse through 2030 and hold further still.
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
Vina Mein O Pequeno Blanco is made from Treixadura, Godello, Albariño and Torrontes.
Grapes are coming from 12 small plots across just 40 acres of land with varying slopes and aspects that allow the grapes to benefit from different sun exposures and that thrive in the ´´Sábrego´´ soil: unique to this region and comprised of decomposed granite, sand and clay.
An aromatic, vibrant and intense white with a pleasant finish. Precise and careful viticulture and a unique blend of native varieties, Treixadura, Godello, Albariño and Torrontés, express the diversity and richness of Ribeiro – one of the most prolific winemaking regions in Spain since the 11th century.
"Peach, sliced apple, lemon pith and white pepper on the nose. It’s medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Juicy and fruity. Drink now."
- James Suckling (October 2021), 90 pts