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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
Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2017

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:

With lifted acidity, this wine takes on a mineral aspect of crushed rock and iron, the tannins substantial in weight and force. Textured, the wine is robustly ripe in black cherry, plum and currant, with a note of dill that lingers from the oak.

-Wine Enthusiast 90 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 90
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
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
Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

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

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

Rooted in the heart of Napa Valley’s bench-land, Bydand's small but mighty vineyard sources are family-owned estates that share their passion for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. These hand-picked sites provide a rich diversity of aromas and texture that show off the best of their appellation. Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon delivers charismatic black fruit and earth-driven aromas in a silky smooth package. Juicy blackcurrant and wild blackberries meet graphite, subtle toast and spice on the palate. Structured but seamless, it offers grace and complexity the entire length of its confident, unhurried finish.



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:


A resounding success for the year, the 2017 Cardinale is truly impressive. It is also one of the most refined young wines I have tasted here. In most vintages, Cardinale is predominantly made from mountain sites, but the 2017 is roughly equal parts mountain and valley floor fruit. Inky blue/purplish fruit, white flowers, lavender and mint all build in the glass. Lifted and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is exceptionally polished.

-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points

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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 Wine Advocate: 96 96 Points
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe, velvety tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. We farm Cabernet grapes in eight of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations, with diversification enabling us to make the best possible wine in a given year. This Cabernet offers layered, lush aromas and flavors, including cocoa, cassis and ripe dark berries.

Review:

A rich, showy style, with a very creamy texture to its mix of warmed vanilla, plum and boysenberry puree, and melted black licorice flavors. A mocha notes swirls around the fruit on the finish. Drink now through 2028
-Wine Spectator 92 Points

 Wine Spectator: 92
Charles Krug Family Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Charles Krug Family Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Rising 1,650 feet above the Napa Valley floor on the southwestside of Howell Mountain, the Family Reserve Howell MountainCabernet Sauvignon sits above the fog line. The distinctiveclimate, along with volcanic and iron-rich red soils, producefruit with great balance and intensity.

Review:

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release Cold Springs is the most distinctive of the wines in this range of limited-release Cabernets from Charles Krug. Gravel, licorice, menthol and spice all develop in a Howell Mountain Cabernet endowed with tremendous class and nuance.

-Vinous 92 Points


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection has a deep garnet-purple color and features exuberant notes of crushed black cherries, mulberries and blackcurrant cordial with touches of unsmoked cigars, menthol, yeast extract and pencil shavings. Full-bodied, concentrated and opulent in the mouth, it has a solid line of plush tannins and plenty of backbone freshness to lift the generous fruit to a long fruity finish.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95
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.

Chimney Rock Tomahawk Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Napa 2014


Tomahawk Vineyard is the pinnacle of the Chimney Rock estate. Comprised of a small group of vines which were planted in 2002, Tomahawk consistently produces intense, massively complex fruit. The ensuing wines are truly world-class, compelling, powerful and elegant with a remarkably lengthy finish.

Review:

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard offers a darker fruited, meaty, masculine and mineral-driven style. Coming from a site in Stags Leap, and aged in 80% new French oak, it's medium to full-bodied and nicely textured on the palate, with solid balance, good ripeness, lots of tannins, and a good finish. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.

-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points

 93 Points
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
Continuum Red Blend 2018

Continuum Red Blend 2017 is made from 54% Cabernet Sauvignon,31% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot

VINTAGE NOTES- The 2018 growing season was a winemaker’s dream given the overall cooler weather patterns paired with ample sunshine. The spring brought timely, abundant rainfall nourishing the earth and setting the stage for a healthy crop. Moderately cool temperatures post veraison allowed the fruit an extended hang time, retaining vibrancy and evolving character complexity. Berry size was smaller than average, however berry count was up given the bountiful rain, leading to a relatively generous crop size for the estate at 2.4 tons per acre, still quite small by any measure. Harvest began 135 days from bloom on September 27th, and continued at an unforced and purposeful pace, reflecting the fewest degree days on record for August and September. Harvest concluded on October 22nd.

WINEGROWING- Continuum is estate grown on our Sage Mountain Vineyard. It’s location, high on Pritchard Hill along the eastern ridge above Oakville, overlooks Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay. The rocky, volcanic soils of the site focus the vine’s energy keeping yields low yielding fruit of depth and complexity. 38 acres of mature estate vineyard, planted in 1991 and 1996, with additional plantings in 2004, 2010, together comprise 38 distinct vineyard blocks. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot are grown from 1300 to 1600 feet in elevation, on western and southern facing aspects with slight northern and eastern slopes in places. This diversity of plantings on our volcanic soils are the essence of the complexity of Continuum.

PRODUCTION- Continuum is 100% estate grown, produced and bottled. All fruit is selectively hand-harvested at night. The fruit is then sorted before and after de-stemming, and gravity fed into French oak or concrete tanks. A threeday cold soak is followed by fermentation, receiving three to four pumpovers daily, and délestage two to three times in total during the most active period. The wine remains on skins in tank for 20 to 40 days. All lots are then drained, basket pressed, and transferred with lees for malolactic fermentation and aging. In 2018, Continuum spent 22 months in barrel. 63 percent of French oak barrels were new and 35 percent were once used. A single concrete amphora was also used for aging. The wine clarified slowly and settled naturally in our cold barrel room, was racked sparingly and bottled without fining or filtration. Each vineyard lot was tasted and carefully considered many times to assemble the 2018 blend. TASTING NOTES- 2018 Continuum shows energy and verve. The wine expresses purity and precision, with high tone aromatics of red and blue fruit, deep plum and rose oil. This vintage shows an approachable nerve of the land in the refined mineral quality on the palate. The surrounding native vegetation of bay and sage is evidenced in an earthy, savory profile. This is a shimmering, silky and harmoniously integrated wine with densely packed fine grain tannins. 2018 Continuum is a wine for the ages, delicious today with a long life ahead.

DECANTING- For the fullest sensory experience we encourage decanting to allow the wine to breathe before serving. Decanting awakens the wine’s more purely fragrant expression and enhances the suppleness of the palate. Continuum is accessible and enjoyable upon release; however extended aging will be richly rewarded.

Review:

Composed of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2018 Proprietary Red has a fantastically fragrant nose of candied violets, red roses, Morello cherries and blackcurrant pastilles with hints of wild blueberries, red currant jelly, iron ore and forest floor, plus a waft of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely packed with tightly wound black and red berry layers, framed by firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with incredibly persistent and evocative floral and mineral layers. An absolute head-turner, this 2018 is all that and then some. Tim Mondavi mentioned that this is due to be bottled in just a few weeks—mid-August—meaning this barrel sample I tasted is pretty close to being a finished wine. With the estate vineyard turning 10 year's old in 2018, here's where we see how incredibly special this singular Pritchard Hill site really is. -Wine Advocate 98-100 Points



 Wine Advocate: 100
Cornerstone Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cornerstone Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. 

A bountiful collection of robust aromas reveals its classic Calistoga character of both red and black fruit with a just a hint of earthiness. Complex, yet integrated the black licorice, anise, brown sugar and spice flavors are wrapped around a silky layer of vanilla. Both elegant and powerful, this Cabernet checks all the boxes delivering ripe summer fruit and dark red berry characteristics. The fine-grained tannins show its age-worthiness, but it is ready to enjoy right now.

Review:

"A rounded, plump, delicious Cabernet, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga gives up lots of cassis and blackberry fruit as well as toasted spice, chocolate, and leafy herbs. It's medium to full-bodied, has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and loads of charm."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020), 90 pts

 90 Points
Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.


Blackberry, dark Bing cherry, and a hint of licorice notes lead the charge, with a touch of vanilla and a touch of ripe plum close behind. The first sip is as smooth and luscious as you might expect. The sweet black fruit at the start is intertwined with complex layers of cassis, dark chocolate, blueberries, and baking spice. The finish lingers with spice and sweet fruit, on a bed of supple tannins, which simply begs for another sip. This has everything we have come to know and love about Cabernet grown in the best viticultural areas of Napa Valley.

Review:

"This wine has a sticky grip to it, tannins that weigh around a huge concentration of cedar, clove and varietal cassis. The structure is impressive and lengthy, giving it a boost of complexity and power. - Virginie Boone"

- Wine Enthusiast (September 2020), 91 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 91
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