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_201500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Dark cherry, plum, grilled herbs, game, smoke, licorice and lavender infuse the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley) with tons of character. Beams of tannin and persistent saline notes – both typical of Knights Valley – give the 2015 much of its character. There is so much to like."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple and gives very pretty notes of crushed red currants, black cherries and black currants with touches of camphor, pencil shavings, lilacs and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a taut structure of grainy tannins and great freshness supporting the muscular red and black fruits, finishing with a lingering minty lift. 2,500 cases produced."
- Item #: i_201090Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 95ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon struts out of the glass with bold cassis, crushed black cherries and blackberries with touches of menthol, pencil lead, tapenade, lavender, espresso and bay leaves. The lively palate is full-bodied with firm, grainy, super ripe tannins and a fantastic mineral-tinged finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "John Schwartz's 2015 Au Sommet is superb. Nuanced, polished and super-delicious, the 2015 possesses exceptional finesse and texture in the mid-weight, gracious style that is Heidi Barrett's signature. The flavors are dark and incisive in this dark, sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Even so, the 2015 retains terrific freshness for the year. Black cherry, lavender, graphite, plum and menthol add striking layers of nuance."
- Item #: i_200452Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Winemaker Nile Zacherle crafts some of the most elegant, polished Cabernets readers will taste on Pritchard Hill. As good as the wines are, they would almost certainly be even better if the estate took a few more risks. Today, the wines are almost always outstanding, but there may be an even higher level of quality that can be achieved here."
ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Elevation 1147 has the darker, more spiced profile found in the Three Acre with the lift and freshness of the Old Vine. All the elements come together nicely in this super-expressive Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 is wonderfully dense and lush, and yet retains quite a bit of freshness."
- Item #: i_214940Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94In 2002 with a Viticulture and Enology diploma in hand, Massimo di Costanza apprenticed on four continents eager to learn his craft and the culture of wine on the global stage. As a native Californian, he laid down roots in Napa Valley working for several small and esteemed estate wineries where he began to articulate his own winemaking vision, both philosophically and in the wine.
This bottling comes from the Farella Vineyard in Coombsville, and is the birthplace of the Di Costanzo label. The 26 acre vineyard benefits from its west-facing, volcanic hillsides bathed in warm, afternoon sun, making it amongst the warmest sites in the traditionally temperate appellation. The vineyard, composed of red gravelly tufa, sits on a base of volcanic ash and is farmed meticulously and sustainably by the Farella family. The Farella Vineyard has been in production since the late 1970s and has the oldest known Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Coombsville. All of these characteristics combine to create the ideal conditions for an estate wine of proven longevity, purity, and place.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Once again, I was struck by the wines I tasted with Massimo di Costanzo. The 2015 and 2016 Cabernets from Farella, in Coombsville, are both impressive, while a new wine from a site in Oakville shows considerable potential. I also tasted a handful of 2017s that make me hopeful at least some wines from this vintage will survive. Massimo Di Costanzo remains one of Napa Valley's most promising young producers."
"The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Farella Vineyard is dense, plush and explosive. In 2015, Di Costanzo's Cabernet Sauvignon Farella Vineyard has quite a bit more body and textural richness than it usually has, with fewer of the more mineral and savory notes found in vintages like 2013 and 2014. I would give the 2015 a few years to shed some baby fat. Succulent dark cherry, plum, menthol and chocolate notes add to the wine's brooding, virile feel."
- Item #: i_233850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and displaying a deep garnet-purple color and nose of expressive blackberries, blueberries and pencil shavings plus lovely dried leaves, rose hip tea and fragrant earth nuances, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is medium to full-bodied in the firm, taut, energetic and lively mouth, with grainy tannins and a long, earthy finish."
- 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_238840Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 90Like every top Chateau in Bourdeaux, the great Spottswoode Estate also has a second label: Lyndenhurst. The allure is that you get to taste a blueprint of the flagship bottling earlier, and in a very approachable fashion. The Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys the same pedigree as Spottswoode (which has earned a perfect 100 points score for their last two vintages) and shares characteristics easily recognizable to those already familiar with the essence of the Spottswoode estate. All organically farmed and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months, this wine truly shows the power and exceedingly high quality of the 2016 vintage!
On the approach, the 2016 Lyndenhurst sings a polished and youthful tone and soon reveals generosity and sophistication. The progression is long and opulent, punctuated by notes of cedar, winter mint, bergamot, briar, sandalwood, and chestnuts. There are layers of fruit-blueberry and soft, dark cherry open to aromas of blackberry, intermingled with warming notes of vanilla bean and cocoa powder. The wine is held together with a bright, linear acidity complemented by dark, silken tannins that together leave a lingering finish.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Another gorgeous wine in this range, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst is wonderfully fresh, vibrant and nuanced. Black cherry, plum, spice, lavender, new leather and menthol overtones develop in the glass, but like so many 2016s, the Lyndenhurst simply dazzles with its exquisite balance and total class."
- 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_268480Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsWinemaker Matt Dees has the kind of resume that makes other winemakers green with envy. Having previously worked at other noteworthy estates such as Staglin in Napa, and Craggy Range in New Zealand, Matt has learned how to coax the best out of several different grapes grown in a variety of climates. And now, the wines Matt has made at Jonata have earned as high as 100 points!
Owned by Stan Kroenke (who also owns Screaming Eagle), Jonata is located in Ballard Canyon, just south of Los Olivos and is focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The entire Jonata property is comprised of sand, with varying amounts of clay. The vineyards are sustainably farmed (herbicides and pesticides don't even enter the conversation), and the area enjoys very cool nights due to winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, mixed with very warm days during the summer months. This helps to create wines of exceptional structure, intensity, and ageability…and it's not uncommon for these Jonata wines to earn 97-100 points from the critics!
While the Jonata wines are meant to age gracefully in the cellar, Matt selects some of the more approachable barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon and bottles them under The Paring label. By doing this, you quite literally get a wine that is a "chip off the old block"! This 2015 Cabernet blend has been aged in French oak barrels, of which 55% of them were new. This is something that is typically reserved for Cabernets that sell for 3-5 times this price! Matt then increases complexity and nuance by blending in Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot costs more than Cabernet Sauvignon, so again, you get something reserved for a wine that typically costs more. We can only imagine the conversations that go back-and-forth between Stan and Matt!
So if you're looking for a Cabernet-blend that packs a lot of flavor for a rather modest price...then today is your day!
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Red Wine is the Bordeaux blend of the estate and is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot, all from declassified Jonata lots. Its deep, inky purple color is followed by a rich, powerful wine that's loaded with notions of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, graphite, and crushed rocks. With background oak, full body, ripe yet present tannins, and a great finish, it's going to keep for at least 7-8 years."
- 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."