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“Sporting a deep ruby/purple color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard comes from three separate blocks (block 1, 4, and 5) and was raised in 60% new French oak. It’s another layered, ripe, sexy, and seamless wine from winemaker Thomas Brown that boasts loads of blueberry, graphite and white chocolate aromatics, full-bodied, richness, no hard edges, and remarkable purity of fruit. Despite showing great today, I suspect this beauty will be even better with 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 15+ years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck, Dec. 2017 96 Points
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.
All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
- Wine Enthusiast (September 2020), 93 pts
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Origines is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah
Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
Deep and brilliant, purple-red colour. An exciting nose with aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, cherry) spices and vanilla. This great aromatic complexity is found on the palate : the spices and ripe fruit appear with an elegant woodiness and harmonious tannins. The finish has good aromatic length and introduces a touch of liquorice and pepper.
A terrific Châteauneuf du Pape with great concentration and finesse.
Best between 2 and 20 years. Best to decant if young (less than 5 years old).
Soil type Extreme north of Châteauneuf du Pape. This plateau is made with a high quantity of red clay mixed with rocks. This area is considerated to be one of the best to produce rich and powerful red wines. By definition, LES ORIGINES will always deliver a great complexity and ageing potential. Winemaking & ageing Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
"The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Origines takes things up a notch on the serious scale and has a much more concentrated, focused, structured style. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that saw 50% new barrels, it offers a rich, concentrated, focused texture, notes of black raspberries, roasted garrigue, pepper, and tons of minerality, building tannins, and outstanding length. The new oak is beautifully integrated, it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of those wines that has a kiss of modern character yet stays firmly planted in the Southern Rhône."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 95+ pts
Pure, powerful and polished, the Wall Road shows immense aromas of black currant, blueberry, blackberry preserves and hints of sweet dark herbs. The palate is fully developed and well-structured with firm yet ripe tannins and layers of dried red fruits and currants. There is a forest and sweet herb quality that hints at the signature terroir of this Mountain gem. The finish is long and lingering and lifts the layers of fruit on the palate perfectly.
Vintage Notes – An unseasonably warm start to 2015 brought early bud break and bloom for Napa Valley. Vines began to show fatigue as they entered their fourth year of drought, resulting in lower crop yields than years prior. Unexpected heat meant an early harvest for the valley, one of the earliest on record. Ripened fruit proved to be of tremendous quality, while Cabernets are deep and decadent in color with great balance in tannin.
Wall Road Vineyard – This three-acre gem is located at the northern tip of the Mount Veeder AVA, due west of Oakville and the To Kalon vineyard. True to the Veeder AVA, this site delivers both the power and elegance we strive to achieve in our Mountain Cabernets. The elevation, slope orientation and well-drained soils yield fully ripened small berries with concentrated flavor.
Mount Veeder AVA – Known for its acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, this illustrious appellation produces graceful, expressive and world-renowned wine. Limited by nature, Mount Veeder’s rugged mountain terrain, high elevation and cooling influence from the San Pablo Bay allows for a long growing season that returns low, sought after yields. This results in powerful fruit with distinct berry flavors.
"This is some very serious stuff. Aromas of tar, vanilla and cloves. But the fruit is delicious with notes of boysenberries, blackcurrants, oranges, lavender, herbs and baking spices. The palate's rich and warming but also calm and composed. Layers of blue fruit, ripe yet integrated tannins, a fine line of acidity and a long finish. The broader style remains so elegant. Drink in 2022."
- James Suckling (May 2018), 95 pts
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
Boich Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
22 months in French Oak- Taransaud and Darnajou
Thick, dense and expansive, the Missouri Hopper shows dark fig and cassis preserves, dried cherry and strawberry. Clone 337 from this historic site in southeast Oakville, a touch of molasses and stick spices linger throughout. Despite its saturation and size on the palate, the flavors roll perfectly together through a long and inky finish. This wine has the ability to taste great upon release and cellar well beyond while building complexity and nuance.
Vintage Notes – The fifth consecutively exceptional year for Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 growing season brought early bud break and spring rain. Temperate summer conditions allowed the fruit much needed time to naturally mature on the vine. A near perfect vintage, most vineyards saw slightly lower than average yields, but this coveted crop shows tremendous quality.
Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper – One of Napa Valley’s oldest vineyards, Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper yields ripe fruit full of balance and power. Perfectly trellised vines soak up morning fog from the San Pablo Bay, while the robust foliage of the vines protect growing clusters from summer heat.
Oakville AVA – Lying along the valley floor, Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA brings the best of climate, soil and topography to wine growing. Beyond terroir, Oakville is lined with family-owned vineyards, meticulous farmers and winemakers. Fertile soils promote world-class grape growing conditions, while warm summers and dry, cool autumns are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon.
From another great site farmed by the famous Beckstoffer, this is grainy, textured and robustly ripe. Powerfully built to age and impress, it offers a wealth of lush, layered blue fruit and black licorice, as well as impressive structure. Enjoy 2026–2031. -Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
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
2015 is another extraordinary vintage that fully expresses classic Cabernet style from this famed, high elevation site. Packed with complex aromas of ripe blackberries, cocoa along with some delicate minerality, it just begs for another swirl. As this wine opens up, aromas of plum, ripe blackberry, cassis and crushed rock can be found. Complex on the palate, ripe concentrated fruit leads the way, evolving into mocha, cedar, leather and spice, all wrapped in a subtle layer of sweet toasty oak. Bold and extracted, elegant and refined, this seductive wine delivers everything we love about Howell Mountain Cabernet. Enjoy now or lay a few bottles down for a few more years.
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from three vineyards: Mast Ranch, for its earthy and robust structure, Flat Rock Ranch, for its fruit-forward characteristic and silky structure, and Linda Vista Ranch, for its juicy and vibrant approach-ability.
Tasting Notes: Opaque ruby color with a tinge of purple introduces developing aromas of blackberry jam, cranberry, and acacia flower. This medium-bodied red wine expresses flavors of ripe black plum, walnut, and cassis on the front of the palate, and is complemented by chewy tannins and juicy cherry on the finish.
Vineyard: 42% Mast Ranch + 35% Flat Rock Ranch + 23% Linda Vista Ranch
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
"A rich, unctuous wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is sweet, layered and enveloping in feel. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, cloves and new leather are all fused together. This is an especially intense, flamboyant expression of the vintage."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (September 2016), 90 pts
"Aromas of blueberries, currants, spices and concrete. Medium to full body, firm and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften but so pretty already. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (January 2017), 93 pts
Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Importers Reserve 2012 is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The color is a deep red. The nose is lifted with delightful floral notes of wild roses. In addition the nose also shows characters of currants, green beans and roasted capsicum. the palate has intense blackcurrant fruit complimented by coffee, nutmeg and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied with sweet berry fruits right through to the finish. The seamless tannins are soft and silky, adding further complexity to this well balanced wine.
Drink this one over the next 5 to 7 years.
Willowcroft started planting albarino in 2010 after Lew visited Galicia trying to find a replacement for Chardonnay that had been lost to flavescence doree.
The wine is dry with earthy citrus & mineral notes and a touch of peach on the finish.
100% Albarino grapes.
Harvested from home Vineyards (brix 24.4 and TA 6.9).
No Malo-Lactic fermentation in order to preserve a good acidity and some freshness.
Fermented and aged for 7 months in Stainless steel tanks.
Bottled in April 2017 after a slight filtration.