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…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.
You don’t see many Cabernet Franc-dominated wines from this site, but the 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is certainly impressive. Offering more herbal, chocolate, gravelly earth, and espresso aromas and flavors, it has full-bodied richness and, as expected, is a powerful, opulent expression of this noble variety. The blend is 83% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It will benefit from short-term bottle age and drink nicely for 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Lithology is a series of single vineyard and AVA-designated wines made from select sites within Napa Valley. Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is produced solely from fruit grown in the historic Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard planted in 1865 by W.H. Crabb and represents Oakville's famous bench land.
The 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard just shines for its bouquet, which is classic To Kalon with its floral, incense, spicy, red and black-fruited aromatics. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, utterly seamless Cabernet Franc that’s balanced, has laser-like precision, and a great finish. This isn’t the biggest or richest wine in the lineup, but it’s Cabernet Franc in all its glory, with soaring aromatics and complexity, ample richness and texture, and a beautiful sense of finesse and elegance. It’s going to keep for 15-20 years with no issues.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock scents of blackberry pie, warm blueberries and cassis plus suggestions of spice cake, underbrush, candied violets and chocolate box. The full-bodied palate brings forth loads of earthy layers to accent the rich, black fruits, framed by plush tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and fragrant.
-Wine Advocate 97 to 99 points
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Alejandro Bulgheroni's Napa Valley project. The 2019 To Kalon captures all the pedigree of this iconic Oakville vineyard, and yet also remains nuanced and wonderfully finessed for an intense wine. To Kalon Cabernets are rarely this elegant, but the Bulgheroni 2019 sure is.
-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Helena Dakota is defined by its power, structure and sophistication. It is an intricate Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects both the terroir of the site and the influence of the surrounding Knights Valley AVA. It possesses layers of plums, anise, cassis, leather, bay leaf and cedar. Galvanized by a streak of minerals and bold tannins. Helena Dakota is a solidly-built wine that stands the test of time.
This sloping, 12-acre vineyard runs southwest to northeast at roughly 750 feet above sea level. It features soft, reddish brown, gravelly, silt loam soils speckled with rocks. Prevailing westerly winds blow over a large pond and continue uphill parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow the ripening process creating wines that are both powerful and balanced with red fruit flavors, notable minerality and graceful tannins. Pierre says the Cabernet from Helena Dakota remind him of Pauillac or Saint-Estèphe.
Fragrant, opulent, and complex, bursting with fresh blueberry and black currant, Crème de Violette, and subtle fresh bay leaf aromatics. The palate is luxurious and rich, perfectly balancing this wine’s firm structure.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard explodes with violets, aniseed and cast iron, with a deep core of crushed blueberries and black cherries, evolving continually with each approach to the glass. The palate is stunning with its intensity and lift, pure fruits, pixelated tannins and focused acidity that drives the very long finish. Its exceptional balance and super pure flavors, plus that characteristic streak of iron that appears across the Anakota portfolio, really take the 2019 Helena Dakota to the next level.
-Wine Advocate 99 Points
Argot Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hailing from the historic Bonny’s Vineyard in the heart of Oakville. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the gravel rich soils here adjacent to the Napa River riverbed. Roots plumb deep into the valley floor, while vine canopies harvest Napa Valley’s plethora of summer sunshine. These conditions conspire to deliver unerringly perfect Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Pouring a deep opaque red-violet, 1555’s Cabernet personality leaps from the glass balancing opulent fruit, damp earth, chilling minerality and an alluring spice note that keeps pulling us back for more. Exquisitely ripe tannins provide a refined, velvety structure, delivering the deep and seductively rich palate. The pedigree displayed in the glass is undeniable.
"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon 1555 Oakville wafts sensuously out of the glass with redcurrant jelly, black raspberries and rose oil scents, followed by a cassis and black plums core, with emerging suggestions of cinnamon toast, cedar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is fantastically fragrant, delivering red and black fruit layers accented by floral and exotic spice nuances, supported by super ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and perfumed. 250 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95+ pts
A dramatic, ridgetop landscape — rising 1500 feet above Lake Hennessey, staring west over Pritchard Hill — persistently influenced by a push/pull draw between The Valley’s floor and Lake Berryessa. This wild, untamed, eastern frontier of Napa Valley, produces singular, terroir-driven wines of captivating beauty, power and lift. An unseasonably wet and cool springtime produced significant shatter at Sage Ridge in 2019, reducing our yields by 50%, leading to a particularly flamboyant edition of this wine.
An incomparable expression of Cabernet Sauvignon — massively pure red fruit character, delivered on a ribbon of ultra-suave tannins and gorgeously seductive high tones. The palate never relents its come-hither posture. Aromatically, puts forth an intriguing botanical complexity that is unmistakably site-specific. As our experience with this one-of-a-kind terroir deepens, we remain endlessly excited for the potential of these unique ridgetop vineyards. Get your hands on a bottle and pull the cork…a wine built for immense near-term gratification.
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sage Ridge Vineyard opens with open-knit notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and boysenberry jam, leading to a core of crème de cassis, mocha, camphor and Indian spices with a touch of unsmoked cigars. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and dense with black fruit preserves, framed by soft tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. Only 75 cases were made. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (November 2021), 95 pts
Sonvida Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah co-fermentation.
SonVida's Cabernet Sauvignon is always the last to ripen in their Alegria vineyard, in the foothills of the Andes.
The wine shows balanced aromas of black currant and cherry fruits intertwined with spicy and earthy notes. It is an elegant and lively Cabernet Sauvignon with good structure and firm tannins that give a great aging potential and a delicate persistence. The oak is well integrated, giving good grip, body, power and elegance.
enjoy with a quality steak or cut of beef, or have it on its own
Almost 20 years ago, Sonia and David went back-packing in the wine country of Northern California and fell in love with the idea of owning a vineyard.
SonVida is Sonia's life and David's dream. After an international career in television news for the BBC, ITN and CNN, Sonia began her adventure in wine. She is a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is studying for an international Wine MBA at the Bordeaux Ecole de Management, a grand ecole in France.
After a career as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and ITN, David is now a diplomat with the United Nations. David is also a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London.
SonVida is in the heart of Malbec country, the Valle de Uco, in a small area known as Altamira, close to the village of La Consulta. Their neighbors are Chandon, Catena, and Achaval Ferrer. Close by, sharing the valley, are O.Fournier, Clos de los Siete, Finca La Celia, and Lurton.
Their terroir is defined by the Andes. They are at 1,029 meters above sea level. Snow melts high in the mountains, and waters the vines. The earth is strewn with rounded pebbles, carried down the Andes over millennia, by streams and glaciers. The sun shines brightly 330 days a year. The cooling nighttime breezes help the grapes keep their freshness and mature with full flavors.
SonVida Malbec is made from 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
SonVida Malbec is a single vineyard wine, the supreme expression of the award-winning zone of Altamira, in Argentina's Uco Valley. Altamira's smooth tannins shine through, and the combination of acidity and minerality lead the wine to a long, integrated finish.
"The wine is proud to be ripe and generous. Aromas dominated by smokey mulberry and blueberry. It's plush and coats the palate with bramble, blueberry and liquorice and the scent of vanilla. Immediately muscular and broad-shouldered in the glass, with a savory note, perhaps tapenade, running through the dense palate with mint and dried herbs on the finish. The oak will integrate over time, mixing its spice with the warm spice of fruit. - Joe Fattorini - The Wine Show"
Sunny Summer with moderate nighttime temperatures, followed by an early Fall.
Grapes come from the Mendoza region, in the Paraje Altamira area.
YIELD: 35 Hl/HA
MACERATION: Total 25 days, first cold-soaked 5 days, 14 days fermentation at 24° C, plus 7 additional days. No filtration.
SonVida Malbec can be enjoyed on its own, and matches perfectly with meats, chicken, turkey and hard cheeses. It is enjoyed best in good company. ‘Would you like another glass?’ The answer, almost always, is ‘yes’.
Grace Town Red Blend is made from 49% Zinfandel, 37% Merlot, 14% Petite Sirah
Historically, Lodi vineyards were developed in the fine sandy soils surrounding the community of Lodi. The area is noted for producing uniform and balanced vineyards that deliver fruit-driven wines with a rich silky texture.
Grace Town Red Blend is a harmonious fusion of three grape types: Zinfandel, Merlot & Petite Sirah. Hints of clove and vanilla on the nose combine with a background hint of cinnamon, and the fruity flavors remind you of Christmas. Smooth and fruit-forward.
Pair with light fare, such as a mixed green salad or a toasted flatbread. Best served with a slight chill.
Leindl Riesling Zobinger Heiligenstein Kamptal is made from 100 percent Riesling.
Medium yellow green. Fine nuances of ripe apricot, a hint of yellow apple, delicate herbs and spices, mineral Touch, hints of candied orange zest. Juicy, elegant, fine stone fruit, touch of finesse acidity, salty minerality in the finish, remains long, already well to drink.
Aged on the lees for 12 months in Stainless Steel tank. No Oak.
"Aged on the lees for 12 months in stainless steel, this wine saw no oak. Its original name – Hellenstein -- referred to hell stone, as the vineyards are on a mountain where the “sun burns like hell.” It was later renamed Heiligenstein, which translates as holy rock, and is a geological island of desert sandstone, with volcanic matter. Its earthy slate character lends out scents and flavors of honeyed apricot, salty pears, and stone fruit pith."
-The Tasting Panel (May/June 2022), 94 pts