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The Grade Cellar Kingly Project Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

ID No: 447323
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
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The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard 2016

The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“2016 produced wines that are very giving, round, coating and streamlined. Year after this year, this bottling aims to highlight the best attributes of the Winfield Vineyard, and also creates a wine that possesses qualities that allow it to age well in the cellar and evolve over many years.

“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.

“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.”  - Thomas River Brown

Review:

Coming from the Winfield Vineyard in Calistoga, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is another brilliant wine from the hands of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. This deep purple-colored effort boasts tons of blueberry and jammy blackberry fruits as well a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant style on the palate. It has the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, ripe, sweet tannins, and no hard edges, and is already hard to resist.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points



 94 Points
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard 2016 (magnum)

The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“2016 produced wines that are very giving, round, coating and streamlined. Year after this year, this bottling aims to highlight the best attributes of the Winfield Vineyard, and also creates a wine that possesses qualities that allow it to age well in the cellar and evolve over many years.

“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.

“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.”  - Thomas River Brown

Review:

Coming from the Winfield Vineyard in Calistoga, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is another brilliant wine from the hands of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. This deep purple-colored effort boasts tons of blueberry and jammy blackberry fruits as well a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant style on the palate. It has the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, ripe, sweet tannins, and no hard edges, and is already hard to resist.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points



 94 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
Cornerstone Cellars Oakville Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cornerstone Cellars Oakville Station Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.

From a legendary vineyard that is owned and farmed by the University of California, Davis, this is a brilliant expression of Oakville terroir. Each of the three Bordeaux varietals brings their own unique character to this complex red wine blend. The Cabernet Franc expresses lively red fruit with a touch of herbs. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds weight, depth and lushness to the midpalate, and the Merlot wraps it all up with a layer of juicy ripe summer fruit flavor.

The Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend comes from two different blocks in the highly acclaimed UC Davis Oakville Station, in the heart of “Cabernet Country”. The North Station is adjacent to the illustrious To Kalon vineyard. The tiny block of Merlot and a small block of Cabernet Franc were planted on the west side of the valley at the base of the Mayacamas in the south station in 1990.

The wine offers bold, ripe fruit aromas with some spice and dried herb notes. Smooth and round on entry the Merlot in this blend offers a juicy fruit-focused core that balances the big flavors that we expect from Oakville Cabernet. Expressive yet nuanced, this wine delivers a full- bodied lush core with layers of spice, and a touch of earthiness.

Review:

"The tannic intensity of this wine is complemented by dense, dark layers of black cherry, currant and oak. Elongated, it shows well-integrated ripeness and a length of black pepper, sage and cedar. - Virginie Boone"

- Wine Enthusiast (October 2020), 90 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 90 90 Points
Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

20 months in French oak (only about a third of that is new oak) and for 20 more months in bottle before release

Our winemaking "style" is solely determined by this place or terrior we call "Paradigm." Winemaking is agriculture when you own your vineyards and are able to farm them to promote the very best Earth will give you. All of our selections of wines are made from five varietals on the estate. Every wine is 100% farmed and grown by us.

Complexity in our wines supported by luscious fruit and acidity is our hallmark. Our efforts during harvest and barrel cellaring concentrate on maintaining the freshness from the first day we handpicked each vineyard block. Simple winemaking protocols are employed while crucial “timing” oriented winemaking decisions rule each day.

Dark Cabernet color with beautiful aromas of black cherry, cassis, plus 5-spice, vanilla. Big, ripe and mouthcoating across the palate. The flavors are similar to the aromas with ripe fruit, berry/cherry pie, moderate tannins, and nice length. This wine shows enough structure to be age-worth, yet soft and balanced enough to enjoy upon release. Flavors linger in this tasty, dense wine. Tastes like Oakville. -Heidi Barrett


Review:

"Pretty cassis and blackberry fruits as well as notes of cedar pencil, spicy oak, and tobacco emerge from the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville. Medium-bodied, it has a balanced, elegant texture, moderate tannins, and a good finish. It's a complex, classy wine to enjoy over the coming decade or more. This is a classic, workhorse styled Cabernet from winemaker Heidi Barrett with lots to love. The blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all aged 20 months in French oak."

- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2021), 90 pts


 90 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points

 95 Points
Product Description

The Grade Cellar Kingly Project Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

“The mouthfeel of this wine is structured and shows an architectural framework with pronounced and shouldered tannins. With a few hours in the decanter or 3-5 years in the cellar this wine will blossom.”

“Aromatic notes suggest star anise, flint, blackberry paste, and distressed leather. The palate expresses itself with even deeper notes of baker’s dark chocolate, rhubarb, roasted cedar bark, brambly jam, and crushed river rock.

Densely layered and brooding are accurate notes for this vintage of the Kingly Project. Visiting and re-visiting the wine each time seems to reveal new notes and expressions like a colorful tapestry of scents and tastes. The wine is a completely opaque deep purple in the glass.

-Thomas River Brown

Review:

A bigger, richer version of the Serpents Back release, the mammoth-sized 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Kingly Project (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 90% new French oak) comes from the Winfield Vineyard, which sits above the valley floor, just outside of St. Helena. This is primarily rocky, gravelly loam soils, and this 2016 reveals a saturated purple color as well as a huge perfume of sweet crème de cassis, black raspberries, toasted spice, vanilla, and licorice. The most powerful and hedonistic in the lineup, it’s nevertheless perfectly balanced and seamless, with a texture to die for. This majestic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will keep for two decades or more. -Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points



Winery: The Grade

In 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “we entered on the grade” at the south corner of what is now our estate vineyard and began his ascent in a horse-drawn wagon up Mount Saint Helena along the Old Toll Road. His memoir is now Napa Valley legend. We named our winery “THE GRADE” to commemorate his stories about Napa Valley and life on this mountain, but also as a way to tell our own story.

“Making the grade” is an expression for achievement and success in life by reaching the highest standard, and it is a fitting metaphor to our approach to winemaking. The GRADE Cellars has produced wines of rare balance, eloquence and complexity from fruit grown on this special site since its first vintage in 2004. Situated in the foothills of that mountain, the vineyard combines its naturally pure groundwater, the terroir of its alluvial sedimentary fans and mesoclimate conditions unique to the upper valley into an ideal Cabernet Sauvignon growing site. As Robert Parker once told us, “Calistoga is all about earthiness.”

The wines are made under the direction of Thomas Rivers Brown who joins us in our patient pursuit of wine poetry. Our shared ambition is attaining the transparency of expression between a single vineyard, even a single block, and each bottle it yields. Thomas has achieved this with our three distinctive Cabernets from Winfield Vineyard. Our collection of wine names are all inspired by passages in the book The Silverado Squatters written by Robert Louis Stevenson during his three-month honeymoon with his bride Fanny in a bunkhouse on the site of Silverado ~ the famous mining town on the mountain’s shoulder above our vineyard.

It’s our quest to show, as Stevenson expressed a century before modern critics, that California’s earth produces the finest Cabernets. We hope all who meet us and taste with us will be inspired to make the grade in their own lives.

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