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Wine from California (Napa)

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Wine from California (Napa)

Even though Napa Valley may only be 30 miles long and few miles wide, it is considered to be a primary winegrowing region in California. Due to diverse microclimates and soils throughout the region, Napa Valley grows about three dozens of grape varieties all year round. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Grigio are some of the most planted grapes in the region.

Napa Valley is one of the smallest winegrowing regions in the world. It contributes up to four percent in California’s wine production. At least 90 percent of the region’s wineries are family owned businesses. Over the years, Napa Valley has adopted meticulous environmental regulations for winegrowing regions in an effort to preserve the land and community.

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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
Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2016

Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The winery takes its name from a major equestrian area that once occupied the grounds. Its calling card is Cabernet Sauvignon, made in a classic Napa Valley style that offers richness and finesse. While single-vineyard wines are occasionally bottled, most Black Stallion wines are made from small lots cherry-picked from the valley’s disparate winegrowing zones. These are then painstakingly blended to create luxurious, unforgettable wines that capture the depth and brilliance of Napa Valley’s diverse growing regions.

This elegant wine begins with aromas of blackberry, black cherry and sandal wood. Flavors of black currant, fennel and lavender are followed by soft acidity and spiced fruit finish. Pairs well with hearty meat dishes. For a cheese selection, Comte, aged Gouda and Point Reyes Original Blue are suggested.

Review:

The name Black Stallion is a tribute to the Silverado equestrian centre, which once occupied the site now home to the winery. Grapes for its Limited Release wines are sourced from higher elevations in the valley, contributing greater power and concentration. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045

-Decanter 95 Points


 95 Points
Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 3% Merlot.

Our Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted from diverse, premium fruits thoughtfully cultivated by a variety of small vineyards spanning the Napa Valley. Low yields and great clonal pedigree, combined with meticulous farming within a variety of different appellations, are essential to producing our Cabernet Sauvignon. We believe it’s this blend of intensely ripe fruit that results in our wine’s unique character, complexity, depth and balance.

A fragrant nose introduces our classic, rich and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon which is filled with bright red fruits, black cherry and sweet violet aromas. The palate bursts with flavors of ripe blackberry, juicy raspberry and lovely notes of mocha that are surrounded by nuances of sweet cigar box and crushed stone minerality. Deep color and finely grained tannins that lend pleasing structure, round out this wine. Our use of several vineyards from different appellations enhances the layered complexity that makes this fruit-focused wine so exceptional. Utilizing blending varietals such as Malbec and Merlot impart exquisite dark fruit and a plush mid-palate only further adding to the multi-layers. Enjoy


Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley 2017

Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Named after our first-born daughter, Cuvée Katrina Eileen is primarily composed of fruit from a vineyard in the Western Hills of Yountville, where yields are miniscule. The extremely rocky soil of the vineyard produces concentrated clusters of perfectly ripened Cabernet Sauvignon. In German, the name “Katrina” represents purity and fittingly, this wine is made entirely from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, providing a pure expression of this decadent varietal. It also reflects our daughter’s personality with flavors that are complex, unreserved and expressive.

Always a 100% Cabernet blend, our 2017 Cuvée Katrina Eileen is an opulent and mouth-enriching wine. Captivated by the inky-black color, luscious scents of dark espresso and cinnamon stick leap out, along with powerful elements of graphite and cassis. Remarkably rich and seamless, while boasting flavors of blueberry compote, dark chocolate and black raspberries, this is a compelling and luxurious wine focused upon velvety texture, silky tannins and incredible length. An intentional breadth on the palate and length in the finish are hallmarks of this wine.


Buccella Merlot Napa Valley 2018

Buccella Merlot Napa Valley is made from  94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our Merlot fruit comes from two blocks atop a knoll in the famed Hyde Vineyard, where harvests typically yield less than two tons per acre. It’s a youthful wine that’s invitingly approachable, while still offering the richness and decadence we love.

Our Merlot is fresh and vibrant, yet also lavishly textured and elegantly fine-tuned. With a swirl of the glass, you are enticed with aromas of sumptuous ripe plums, warm baking spices and a touch of sweet vanilla. Savory and structured, flavors ooze with raspberry jam, hazelnut spread and concentrated plum. Immersed in lush red fruits, each sip of this voluptuous wine hits pleasantly at the beautiful round mid-palate, then evenly dissipates leaving you yearning for another taste.


Buccella Mica Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Buccella Mica Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Malbec.

Mica stitches together fruit from Oakville, Yountville, St Helena, and Coombsville in a way that embellishes the best qualities from each iconic AVA, without losing sight of balance. A generous and concentrated wine with black cherry and blackberry aromas with layers of dark chocolate, tobacco and licorice. The palate is fresh and vibrant with lush and smooth tannins and flavors of dark chocolate, fresh herbs and tobacco.

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County 2018

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier.

For some time now, we have shared a love of Rhone Valley blends and their domestic counterparts. We wanted to experiment with some completely different varietals by putting our California twist on the beautiful interplay between the bright fruit and mineral characteristics of these blends while still maintaining the rich, fruit focused, layered lusciousness we enjoy. We are fortunate to be working with fruit from the exceptional Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador County. It is a fantastically well-managed site with a diverse soil composition, producing a wine with an incredible flavor profile and depth.

Our Mixed Blacks is an exotic and constantly evolving wine crafted from unique varietals. The palate explodes with luscious flavors of bright boysenberry and blueberry cream followed by Chinese five spice, cinnamon and white pepper. Tantalizing notes of tangy pomegranate and zesty orange peel dance effortlessly on the nose with a beautiful floral essence of sweet lavender and a hint of rose petal. An uplifting presence of natural acidity and alluring minerality adds to the intrigue of this wine. The well-integrated sweet tannins give way to a long intoxicating finish.


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
Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


Cardinale Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot.


Cardinale offers the same winning combination in vinous form: a brilliant ensemble of celebrated Napa Valley vineyards where each brings its own personality and flavor contributions to create a singular storyline of their vintage. The 2017 has the signature structure of Cardinale and showcases Asian spice, blackberries, sweet black cherry, a touch of cedar, and a lush tannin expression that carries on the tradition of this wine at the highest level.

 Winemaker CHRISTOPHER CARPENTER

Reviews:

There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced. 1,440 cases produced. -Wine Advocate 96 Points

A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from throughout the valley that was brought up in 80% new French oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by its Stags Leap fruit (which is 30% of the blend) and has the classic elegance and spicy character of that district as well as great red and blue fruits, a seamless, building mid-palate, ripe yet present tannins, and ample tobacco, earth, and spice aromas and flavors. It's plush and textured on the palate yet has the structure to evolve for two decades. -Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points

 Wine Advocate: 96 96 Points
Checkerboard Aurora Red 2016

Vintners Dennis O’Neil and Steph Martin began development of Checkerboard Vineyards in 1999 and retained winemaker Martha McClellan to create a portfolio of wines reflecting the mountainside. The estate includes four vineyard sites of different elevation, exposure and soil composition, providing the foundation for a portfolio that includes Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard, Checkerboard Coyote Ridge Vineyard, Checkerboard Nash Creek Vineyard, Checkerboard Kings Row, Checkerboard Sauvignon Blanc, and Checkerboard Rose. Grapes are harvested at dawn in micro-lots and delivered steps away to the winery where clusters are sorted, discarding any blemished ones. Individual berries are hand-selected for vinification and transferred for fermentation, by hand, to Taransaud wooden tanks, stainless tanks, and individual wooden barrels.


Farming is based on long-term sustainability and includes water conservation and monitoring, permanent cover crops planted in alternating rows, and the use of entomology for pest control and the development of soils with good organic matter and microbiology. Checkerboard Vineyards is a member of Fish Friendly Farming which promotes environmentally-friendly land practices and water quality management. Aurora Vineyard is located in a small valley midway up Diamond Mountain and on a large knoll at an elevation of 1,200 feet. The knoll bulges outward, giving the vineyard full Southern exposure and open light from the East and West and protection from Napa Valley’s summer fog. Six acres are planted in the knoll’s rich, volcanic soils that are riddled with basalt cobble in a loamy red clay. The remaining six acres are planted in a deep gravely mix of volcanic ash and chips of decomposed Rhyolite that were washed down from the steep, rocky crags of Diamond Mountain above.


There's a fresh, sweet aroma to the 2016 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard that builds excitement and anticipation for what's to come. On approach, the palate is juicy and expansive and explodes with flavors of blackberry, mulberry, dark cherry, caramel, leaf tobacco and green olive. The wine continues with a voluptuousness that's linear and constant yet lifted by natural acidity. The finish is showy, long and lingering with finely polished tannins. An exceptional vintage.

Continuum Red Blend 2017 (magnum)

Continuum Red Blend 2017 MAGNUM is made from 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Merlot

2017 was a vintage of extremes, with abundant rain in the winter months and record-breaking heat waves during the growing season. A testament in resiliency, the wine bears the hallmarks of the elevation and terroir at Sage Mountain Vineyard, showcasing exquisite vibrancy, many layers of flavor, ferrous minerality and fragrant wild herb notes. 2017 Continuum shows freshness, hinting at rose petal on the nose with cacao, black cherry and plum giving way to a plush, silky mid palate. Fine tannins of crushed stone and subtle undertones of tapenade are present through a beautifully persistent finish.

Review:

Wonderful blackberry and blackcurrant aromas here with hints of mint and fresh sage. Some cassis. Wrought iron, too. Full-bodied, tight and elegant with lovely tension. Beautiful. Ends fine and focused. Drinkable now, but better after 2022.  -James Suckling 98 Points

A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 9% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2017 Proprietary Red soars out of the glass with notions of baked blueberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial, backed up by nuances of chocolate mint, wild sage, violets and pencil shavings, plus an earthy hint of Chinese five spice. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is jam-packed with spicy black fruit preserves, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and opulent. -Wine Advocate 97+ Points

 Wine Advocate: 97 98 Points
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2014

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

Review:

"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


 Wine Advocate: 90
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt. 2015

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

144 cases

Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend 2017

Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend  is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.

The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.


Reviews:

The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists. -Vinous 98 Points

The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Chateau Lafite-like notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn't get much better. -Robert Parker 97 Points

There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 98 Wine Advocate: 97 97 Points
Double Diamond by Schrader Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

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.

Review:

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.  


 Wine Enthusiast: 94 95 Points
DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Winemaker’s Notes:


Our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet is a classically built wine typical of this wonderful Napa vintage: deep fruit, enveloping texture, mineral freshness and long supple structure. It’s a harmonious interweaving of four distinct vineyards that intricately balances power and finesse.

With its exceptional farming and rocky volcanic soil, Meteor Vineyard is one of the finest sites in Coombsville. Its fruit dominates the blend and ensures both intensity and delicacy, with soaring aromatics followed by succulent dark fruit. 

True Dog Knoll serves as a new focal point in this vintage, its world-renowned west Oakville deep gravel soils bringing deep texture and mineral focus. 

Layering in a small amount of Petit Verdot from our Roach Estate in St. Helena provides an element of blue fruit and refinement that balances beautifully with the darker brooding power of Ballard Vineyard’s mountaintop muscle and structure.

With its harmonious layers and textures, this wine reminds me of the 2012 Napa Valley vintage. Dark, inky and opaque, it presents aromas of plum, violets and graphite. Beautiful fruit cascades almost immediately to more savory flavors: crushed rock dustiness, cocoa and cedar. A good, firm mineral spine runs through to the long, bittersweet finish. Ever-evolving in the glass, this wine is poised now and will age beautifully over the next 10+ years.


Review:

A ripe, friendly style, with a creamy-textured core of cassis and cherry preserve flavors underscored by anise and apple wood notes that stay nicely

melded with the fruit on the finish. There’s a lingering cast iron note keeping this grounded. -Wine Spectator 93 Points


 Wine Spectator: 93
Faust The Pact Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Faust The Pact Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley's noblest grape- full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon. To express the complexity of the grape and diversity of the Napa Valley, Faust sources Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville, plus smal lots from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs such as Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, Oakville and St. Helena.

Review:


 "This is really something, showing focus and purity that highlights the unique character of this appellation. So much blue fruit, lavender and walnut with some herbal and sweet tobacco undertones It’s full-bodied, yet tight and poised. Lovely quality to the tannins. Exceptional.”

- 96 Points James Suckling


 96 Points
Freemark Abbey Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Harris Estate Caseys Lakeview Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.

Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.

Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.

 


Review:

"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts

"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni" 

- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94 Wine Advocate: 95
Heritage School Caseys Lakeview Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.

Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.

Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.

 


Review:

"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard is the most overt of these wines. Superripe black cherry, plum, chocolate and licorice add to an impression of flamboyance that sits on the edge of being too much. The effects of the drought are felt in the wine's slightly roasted profile. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2016), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Heritage School Julies Creekside Cabernet Sauvingon 2014

 Heritage School Julies Creekside Cabernet Sauvingon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Julie’s Creekside Vineyard is an impressive, opaque purple colored wine that is super-concentrated and extracted with relatively sweet tannins, a touch of chocolate and espresso, a full-bodied mouthfeel and pure, dark, primordial fruits. This is a big, masculine, concentrated wine set for long-term aging. Saying that, it has a certain accessibility, but won’t hit its prime for at least another 8-10 years and keep 25-30.


Review:

"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Julie's Creekside Vineyard is dark, sumptuous and surprisingly open-knit for such a young wine. Black cherry, plum, game, rose petal, sage, smoke and earthy notes underpin a core of intense dark red cherry and plum fruit. Soft contours and generous, super-ripe fruit add to the wine's near and medium-term appeal. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2016), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
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