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.
Quintessa Red Blend is made from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc 2% Carmenere 1% Petit Verdot .
The 2018 Quintessa is a wine of perfect harmony, with deep flavors and elegant layers that are apparent even from a young age. Intense aromas of cassis, black cherry, and raspberry intermingle with savory notes of sage and thyme; the 2018 Quintessa continues to unfold as notes of dark chocolate, graphite and fresh tobacco mingle with the fresh fruit.Precise and dense, the wine shows supple tannin that play with flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and crushed rocks. The 2018 Quintessa has a perfect balance of fresh acidity followed by bright fruit and minerality at the finish that portends unparalleled aging potential.
This is beautifully polished with firm, dusty tannins to the blue fruit, as well as chocolate and cedar character. Some much earthier character, too, from mushrooms to bark. Forest flowers. Perfumed. It’s full-bodied with round tannins and a soft, creamy finish. Some iron and iodine to this. So attractive at the finish. From biodynamically grown grapes.
-James Suckling 99 Points
HIDDEN IN THE HEART OF RUTHERFORD, Quintessa is a 280-acre site that reflects a diversity of geology, biodiversity, exposures and microclimates. Inspired by this distinct property, founders Agustin and Valeria Huneeus believed that it was destined to become one of the world’s great wine estates. Today, a total of 160 acres are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère on 26 vineyard blocks. Each block is farmed—organically and biodynamically—harvested, and vinified individually to preserve and enhance the nuances of the land. Inspired by the land’s natural grandeur, the Huneeus family dedicated themselves to capturing the beauty and harmony of this land in the form of a great wine.
Depending on the vintage, Quintessa may include some or all of the five varietals grown on the property: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère. The fruit is harvested early in the morning, then sorted and gravity-fed into oak, stainless steel or concrete tanks and vinified. Once fermentation and maceration are complete, the wine from each plot is aged separately for up to two years in French oak. After the final Quintessa blend is created, the wine is bottled and laid down for yet another year before release.
Zena Crown Vineyard The Sum Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Massed from multiple vineyard blocks and clones, this wine has a timeless beauty that can be inherently understood by innate human nature. Wines of this stature, much like great art, reflect the complex and compelling relationship between humanity and Earth. Expressing Autumn, S (The Sum) leads with Gala
apple, Japanese plum, gun powder, dirt, and garlic power on the nose, with barely ripe cherry on the finish. 60% whole-cluster fermentation bolsters the wine, sustaining the tannic imprint and tension that uncoils like a rattlesnake strike on the finish.
Dynamic and multilayered, with tiers of wild red berry, sandalwood and mineral laced with a hint of eucalyptus. Builds richness and tension on the way to refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 565 cases made. — TF
-Wine Spectator 94 Points
In 2007, production was just less than 5000 kg per hectare. This wine is prepared with Tempranillo 100% grapes from our vineyards.
The grapes are initially subjected to a six-day pre-fermentation cold maceration below 14ºC. They then undergo 30 days of alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature of 28ºC, after which the wine is removed from the tanks without pressing the grape skins. The malolactic fermentation is slow and relaxed at a temperature of 20 ºC for 28 days without the addition of bacteria.
The wine is aged for18 months in new French oak barrels and is decanted into new barrels every six months. At the end of this period, the wine is blended and bottled without undergoing any type of filtration, clarification or cold treatment.
Prepared with Tempranillo grapes (100%), this wine has a ruby red colour with very pure, intense garnet tones.
Its bouquet has fine complexity with tones of ripened fruit, especially cherries, blue berries and black currants, which are in harmony with tones of good wood, spices (vanilla and coconut) and a liquorice undertone.
In the mouth, this wine displays great balance, proving pleasing to the taste, sweet due to the maturity of its tannins and exuberant on account of its pleasant level of acidity.
Pago de los Capellanes, Pedrosa de Duero.
Type of soil:
Clayey and chalky.
18 months in barrel and remainder on rack.
Type of oak:
100% French oak, medium toast.
Uncork and decant one hour before serving at a temperature of 16-18 ºC.