Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olives notes while in very hot climates the current flavors can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side.
- Item #: i_200470Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsThe David Arthur Estate is located high on Pritchard Hill, on the eastern side of the Napa Valley. The rough mountain terrain and rocky red soils provide ideal growing conditions for wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1978, Donald Long and his 28 year old son David began the epic job of building roads, clearing land and finally planting wine grapes. Although David lacked a formal viticultural education, he learned hands-on by working in the vineyards and cellars of local wineries such as the Chappellet and Joseph Phelps. The first vintage of Chardonnay was harvested in 1985, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon in the nineties. A s his experience and knowledge of the land grew, David learned the ability of these hills to grow the very finest wine grapes. Today, with the help of a highly insightful team, David Arthur continues to cultivate rich concentrated wine grapes that in turn help them craft distinctive and memorable wines.
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Three Acre (there's a small amount of Petit Verdot in the blend) is a beautiful, refined example of Pritchard Hill Cabernet. Deep ruby-colored, with a mountain hillside-like bouquet of wild scrub brush, crushed rocks, tobacco, dried herbs and both blue and black fruits, it glides over the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, beautifully integrated acidity, and solid length. It's very much in the style of the 1147 release, but slightly less concentrated and majestic. Elegant, silky, and seamless, yet still with ample power, it's a brilliant 2016 geared for those that love the old-school, classic style of Napa Valley. It will keep for 2+ decades."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Composed of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Three Acre has a deep garnet-purple color and is beautifully perfumed of candied violets, Ceylong tea, underbrush and cigar box scents with a core of blackcurrant cordial, redcurrant jelly and black raspberries. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly styled and very polished on the palate, it has an exquisitely fine-grained texture and long harmonious finish."
- Item #: i_217620Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 93ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain has an incredibly evocative nose of creme de cassis, plum preserves and fresh wild blueberries with touches of chocolate mints, tilled soil, yeast extract, chargrill and scorched earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with fresh, crunchy black fruit, framed by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with bags of energy."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Randy and Mike Dunn's 2014 Cabernets are very pretty wines, even if they are a bit laid back relative to the norm here. Call me old-fashioned, but I like the Dunn Cabernets, especially the Howell Mountain, when they have the explosive punch that makes them so distinctive relative to other Napa Valley Cabernets."
"Inky blue/purplish fruit, graphite, lavender, grilled herbs and smoke run through the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain). The 2014 has all the Dunn signatures in its flavor profile, but in the mid-weight style of the year. This is an especially restrained, young wine for Dunn with far less of the tannic heft that readers familiar with these wines are likely to expect."
- Item #: i_232470Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Despite having been bottled a year ago, the 2014 El Desafio de Jonata is still very closed. Dark, dense and brooding, the 2014 is going to need at least a few years to unwind. The tannins are quite powerful, while the aromatics are reticent, both of which suggest readers will have to be patient."
- Item #: i_274990Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall gives up terrific complexity in its blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, tobacco leaf and cedary spice bouquet. This gives way to an elegant, silky, classic Cabernet Sauvignon that has impeccable balance, sensational purity of fruit, and a great finish."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall opens with intense creme de cassis, mulberries and plum preserves notions over hints of Chinese five spice, tapenade and smoky bacon, plus a touch of dried Provence herbs. Full-bodied, concentrated and powerfully fruited on the palate, it has a soft, inviting frame of fine-grained tannins and loads of spice and savory layers coming through on the long finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall is a juicy, voluptuous wine. Super-ripe raspberry, mocha, new French oak, plum and spice are all pushed forward in this lush, racy Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the Hall house signatures come through beautifully. As always, the Kathryn Hall is one of the more inviting wines in this range. The Kathryn Hall is a blend of fruit from Sacrashe and Hall's vineyards on Diamond Mountain and Atlas Peak. A dollop (8%) of Merlot rounds out the blend."
- Item #: i_234000Bottle Size: 750MLThis 12-acre vineyard and winery is located in a small, yet highly-envied area in Napa Valley called Pickett Road. The residents wineries of the area include Kenefick Ranch, Hundred Acre, and Eisele...so you get the kind of grapes are grown here! Winemaker Rebecca George does an amazing job on this project.
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "Proprietor Kelly Fleming has put together an all star team that also includes vineyard manager Mike Wolf and consulting winemaker Francoise Peschon, which is about as good as it gets. That commitment to quality comes through in the wines. Readers who have not yet tasted the Kelly Fleming wines owe it to themselves to do it. This Calistoga vineyard at the end of Pickett Road and near Kenefick Ranch, Eisele Vineyard and Hundred Acre's Few and Far Between, has produced a positively stellar set of wines over the last few vintages."
"Fleming's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and dense, with tons of explosive energy driving the red cherry, plum, cedar, licorice and tobacco flavors. A brooding wine today, the 2015 has really shut down since I last tasted it, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term prospects. Pomegranate, blood orange, menthol, spice and new leather build into the potent finish. The 2015 is a total stunner. That's all there is to it."
- Item #: i_235900Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 93-96 POINTS - "Atlas Peak was one of hardest-hit areas in the fires of last fall. As relentless flames encircled their property, the Kongsgaards were lucky to get out alive. Through some sort of minor (or major) miracle, and the efforts of firefighters, the family home was not damaged at all. Alex Kongsgaard camped out in the caves to make sure the wines survived as well. And they did. Even today, a year later, the damage wreaked by the fires is evident in the scorched hillsides. It is so great to see the wines showing so well, because they could have very well been lost. The 2016s are brilliant, while the 2017s aren't too far behind. As I have written here before, my sense is that the wines are just a bit more vibrant than they were a few years ago."
"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is outrageously beautiful. Savory, dense and earthy with a distinctly Old World sense of structure, the 2017 is shaping up to be a real gem. In a vintage in which so many wines are opulent, Kongsgaard's Cabernet Sauvignon is unusually tannic and brooding in feel, even though the blend incorporates 20% Merlot. "
- Item #: i_248740Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94Jayson Pahlmeyer's eponymous wine is now regarded as one of the blue chip brands of the Napa Valley. How did he do it? Jayson began by wanting to create his own California rendition of Bordeaux's first growth Mouton Rothschild. He seeks out the best vineyards in Napa Valley, hires the best winemakers and cuts zero corners to ensure only the best wine made goes into this blend. Current winemaker Kale Anderson blends Cabernet Sauvignon with small parts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot from the Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch and the famed Stagecoach Vineyard.
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2016 Proprietary Red is fabulous, just as it was from bottle. Silky, supple and also quite structured on the palate, the 2016 is a stunningly beautiful, vivid wine. Dark cherry/plum jam, bittersweet chocolate, rose petal, lavender, spice and menthol build into the huge, unctuous finish. There is so much to like." ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "Composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red Wine gives up bold notes of fresh blackcurrants, black cherries and wild blueberries with hints of cigar box, tilled soil, dried bay leaves and smoked meats plus a hint of lavender. Medium-bodied and fantastically intense in the mouth, it has a wonderful core of muscular fruit and a firm, ripe, fine-grained frame to match, finishing very long."
- Item #: i_230480Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is gorgeous. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, and leather are all front and center in this lush, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink it over the next decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (containing splashes of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) opens with expressive crushed plums, mulberries and cassis with touches of dark chocolate, baking spice and black soil. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with approachable, spicy black fruit, framed by grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long with a pleasant herbal lift. 5,899 cases were made."
- Item #: i_242830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To Kalon Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, powerful and voluptuous, the 2015 oozes with class from the very first taste. The flavors are deep, dark and boldly sketched in this sumptuous, beautifully resonant Cabernet. The tannins will need time to soften, but I can't imagine readers opening bottles anytime soon. The 2015 Reserve is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Robert Mondavi Winery."
ROBERT PARKER 96+ POINTS - "Composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Reserve features a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully expressive nose of creme de cassis, preserved plums and black forest cake with hints of cigar boxes, aniseed, dark chocolate and forest floor. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated in the mouth, the ripe, opulent black fruit is well supported by velvety tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and spicy."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To Kalon Vineyard is about as perfumed, upfront and sexy as they come. Sporting a ruby/plum color and a terrific bouquet of black raspberries, cedary spice, toasty oak, flowers and incense, it hits the palate with loads of sweet fruit, an undeniable opulence, ripe tannin and a great finish. It's an approachable 2015 that's going to evolve gracefully for another two decades."
- Item #: i_270270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "These 2015s from Tor Kenward and his longtime winemaker, Jeff Ames, are seriously impressive, but the 2016s I tasted from barrel may turn out to be even better. Over the last few years, Kenward and Ames have stepped up their game meaningfully, and it shows."
"Tor's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard is terrific. In a vintage in which so many wines are monolithic, the Herb Lamb possesses captivating aromatics and silky tannins that seem to bring out the best this site has to offer. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry, hard candy and wild flowers give the 2015 a level of sensual exoticism that is impossible to miss. There is so much to like. Tor Kenward and winemaker Jeff Ames have done a superb job in bringing out the essential signatures that make Herb Lamb one of the most intriguing sites in Napa Valley."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The Herb Lamb Vineyard is below the Howell Mountain appellation line yet above the St. Helena appellation line. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard was fermented in a single closed-top tank for about 14 days. The goal for this wine was not maximum extraction but rather to best express the singular profile of this historic vineyard. It saw no more than two pump-overs a day and had a maximum fermentation temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Following completion of the primary fermentation, the wine was put down to new Taransaud barrels, where it stayed for 18 months until being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It opens with creme de cassis, black cherry pie, plums and cedar with touches of tobacco, bay leaves and earth. The palate is full-bodied, velvety, lively, expressive and earthy with an herbal lift to the finish. 225 cases produced."
- Item #: i_287800Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "These are the first wines from Christian Moueix's property in Oakville. In 2008 Moueix bought the Schmidt Ranch, which lies on the southeastern edge of Oakville, next to Vine Hill Ranch and Missouri Hopper. From what I have gathered, the Schmidt Ranch was once considered part of the Missouri Hopper vineyard. More recently, the fruit had gone to Swanson. The Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon is made at Dominus (there is no winery on the property) by Tod Mostero and the team at Dominus. The wines I have tasted so far reveal the distinctly ferrous, savory and tobacco notes that are typical of this sector of Napa Valley, with less of an emphasis on fruit. Compared to Dominus, Ulysses is a warmer site, so the tannins here tend to be a bit creamier than those at Dominus. These three wines certainly point to a very bright future."
"The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is the first commercial release from Christian Moueix's Oakville property. Sensual and alluring, yet with striking depth, the 2012 is full of sweet red cherry, raspberry jam, wild flowers, all pushed forward in a sexy, layered Cabernet Sauvignon that delivers terrific depth for a wine from this generally uneven vintage. Sweet floral and spiced notes add lift on the finish. I imagine the 2012 will reward readers with a good two decades of fine drinking."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "I had the privilege to taste this new estate vineyard wine from Christian Moueix several months before the 2012 would be released. Moueix purchased the old Schmidt Ranch, which is just to the north of his iconic Napanook vineyard. The AVA is different, as he is on the southern border of the Oakville appellation. This is pure valley floor soil with great drainage, just to the south of Martha's Vineyard and the famous To Kalon of both Mondavi and Andy Beckstoffer. Several vintages have been made, but not yet released. The first official release is the 2012. This is a completely different style of wine than those produced at Dominus. While the property is much smaller (40 acres vs. the very large Napanook vineyard), a similar élevage is employed, with 40% to 50% new French oak, and bottling after the wine spends 20 months in wood. Moueix told me that the site, even though it is so close to Napanook, is warmer in the summer by several degrees and colder in the winter, Additionally, the soils are deeper. What Moueix has done is produce a wine that is in complete contrast to Dominus. The wines of Dominus are known for their silky complexity, and even though there is virtually no Merlot in any of the top vintages, they always have an almost Pomerol-like lushness and opulence. Ulysses, on the other hand, is a Napa version of a first or second growth Pauillac. The crème de cassis, the licorice, the purity and the graphite notes are present in all three of these vintages, just in varying degrees."
"The 2012 Ulysses (800 cases) is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest other Bordeaux varietals. A structured, dense purple wine that displays plenty of cedar wood, crème de cassis, licorice and graphite, the wine is full-bodied, rich, backward and dense, but beautifully pure fruit and an almost Pontet-Canet-like purity and density are hallmarks of this brilliant wine. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink it over the following 20-25."
- Item #: i_287830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 95ROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS - "I had the privilege to taste this new estate vineyard wine from Christian Moueix several months before the 2012 would be released. Moueix purchased the old Schmidt Ranch, which is just to the north of his iconic Napanook vineyard. The AVA is different, as he is on the southern border of the Oakville appellation. This is pure valley floor soil with great drainage, just to the south of Martha's Vineyard and the famous To Kalon of both Mondavi and Andy Beckstoffer. Several vintages have been made, but not yet released. The first official release is the 2012. This is a completely different style of wine than those produced at Dominus. While the property is much smaller (40 acres vs. the very large Napanook vineyard), a similar elevage is employed, with 40% to 50% new French oak, and bottling after the wine spends 20 months in wood. Moueix told me that the site, even though it is so close to Napanook, is warmer in the summer by several degrees and colder in the winter, Additionally, the soils are deeper. What Moueix has done is produce a wine that is in complete contrast to Dominus. The wines of Dominus are known for their silky complexity, and even though there is virtually no Merlot in any of the top vintages, they always have an almost Pomerol-like lushness and opulence. Ulysses, on the other hand, is a Napa version of a first or second growth Pauillac. The crème de cassis, the licorice, the purity and the graphite notes are present in all three of these vintages, just in varying degrees."
"The 2013 Ulysses is absolutely mind-boggling, as so many wines from this vintage are. Gorgeous blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with the telltale cassis and floral notes, jump from the glass. Again, this is Pauillac-like, with some cedar wood and subtle barrique smells. Again produced nearly all from Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, rich and long, with slightly sweeter tannins than the 2012. Production in 2013 was 960 cases, and Moueix told me that the entire growing season averaged about two and half weeks ahead of schedule from bloom break to harvest. This is a prodigious effort and will certainly stand as the great Ulysses of the first trio to be released. I suspect it will be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30 or more, given the Moueix track record."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95+ POINTS - "These are the first wines from Christian Moueix's property in Oakville. In 2008 Moueix bought the Schmidt Ranch, which lies on the southeastern edge of Oakville, next to Vine Hill Ranch and Missouri Hopper. From what I have gathered, the Schmidt Ranch was once considered part of the Missouri Hopper vineyard. More recently, the fruit had gone to Swanson. The Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon is made at Dominus (there is no winery on the property) by Tod Mostero and the team at Dominus. The wines I have tasted so far reveal the distinctly ferrous, savory and tobacco notes that are typical of this sector of Napa Valley, with less of an emphasis on fruit. Compared to Dominus, Ulysses is a warmer site, so the tannins here tend to be a bit creamier than those at Dominus. These three wines certainly point to a very bright future."
"Gravel, smoke, graphite, savory herbs, tobacco and iron are some of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. A typical wine from the eastern sector of Oakville on the border with Yountville, the 2013 is loaded with feral, savory notes, while the expression of blue/blackish fruit lies a bit more in the background. In 2013, the main signature is an expression of structure that is both vertical but also incredibly insistent through to the finish. In other words, this is a super-classic 2013 built for the cellar."