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_211280Bottle Size: 750mlEach year, Ancient Peaks crafts the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvee to exemplify their finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge honors an outcropping that always astonishes visitors to their estate Margarita Vineyard. Here, large white oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the ground, fostering the type of calcium-rich soil that is coveted by winemakers worldwide. The 2016 vintage is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec, all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
The 2016 Oyster Ridge offers a sumptuous bouquet of black berry and black currant with notes of creme de cassis, violets, vanilla bean, cedar and graphite. On the palate, the wine is exquisitely dense and integrated, showing chewy layers of black fruits interwoven with accents of caramel, mint, cinnamon spice and new oak. Fine-grained tannins and sleek acidity bring a resounding conclusion to what is nothing less than a blockbuster vintage for Oyster Ridge. This is a wine that will generously evolve in the bottle for years to come.
- Item #: i_213010Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Continuum celebrates the ongoing legacy of the Mondavi family's proud history in Napa Valley. It represents a new beginning, and reaffirms their longstanding commitment to winemaking excellence. At the helm is Tim Mondavi who led the winemaking team at Robert Mondavi Winery for 30 years. He is joined in guiding the vision and direction by his sister Marcia, his children Dante, Carlo and Carissa Mondavi. Carissa, Dante, and Carlo are the fourth generation to join the winery. Carlo and Dante have since shifted focus to their own project called Raen which we highly urge you to check out as well.
The wine comes from the family's vineyard atop the Vaca Mountains that run along the eastern side the Napa Valley. This mountainous region is home to other illustrious wineries such as David Arthur, Ovid, Bryant, Chappellet, and Gandona. This year's blend is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot. The wine was bottled with fining or filtering, to preserve much of the complexity of the wine.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - "The 2016 Proprietary Red is blended of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it emits an incredible array of seductive floral notes—violets, lavender and rose hip tea—with a core of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly, dark chocolate, cigar box, tapenade and crushed rocks plus hints of bay leaves, beef drippings and yeast extract. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with vivacious black fruit sparked by red fruit, herbal and mineral accents. It is framed with a rock-solid line of firm, grainy, super ripe tannins and finishes with fantastic fragrance and freshness. Wow!"
- 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_276347Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93The vineyards of Calistoga, located in the northern Napa Valley, are prized for helping to produce wine grapes of extraordinary flavors, complexity and quality. Frank Family Vineyards are located in this region on the original site of the historic Larkmead Winery and owned by wine legend Hans Kornell. Rich Frank and his family farm this piece of land with great fervor, and with the help of their winemaker Todd Graff, the wines from Frank Family Vineyards have become a "go to" at several of the top restaurants, hotels and retailers.
Now why is that? It's easy; Frank Family produces wine that they like to drink and they don’t charge the proverbial arm-and-a-leg like some others tend to do. What you get here exceeds what you pay! In addition to their Calistoga site, they have acquired a few other vineyards in other Napa Valley regions (such as Rutherford and Carneros) that they farm with the same intensity as their Calistoga vineyard.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Containing a 2% splash of Petit Verdot, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford is very deep garnet-purple colored and opens with tar, black soil and truffles notes with a core of crème de cassis, stewed plums and baked cherries plus wafts of smoked meats and sauteed herbs. The palate is medium to full-bodied with good intensity and depth in the mouth, featuring very fine-grained tannins and a lively finish."
- 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_251390Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsFounded in 2003 by Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup, the mindset behind the Long Shadows winery is quite simple; obtain the best grapes and get them into the hands of the best winemakers. However, easier said than done. Each of the Long Shadows wines have a different label, a different name, and a different winemaker. To make the best Merlot in Washington State, Allen Shoup employed the master of Merlot (Michel Rolland) and developed the Pedestal label. To get the best Cabernet Sauvignon, he brought on Randy Dunn and created the Feather Cabernet. And to make the best Washington State equal to Opus One or Joseph Phelps Insignia, he got Philippe Melka to create Pirouette, a Cabernet Sauvignon-driven blend!
Philippe Melka is a master of Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, and has crafted several wines that have earned 100 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. He has been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine world, including Jean Delmas and Jean Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean Claude Berrouet from Petrus, Paul Draper from Ridge, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak. For Pirouette, a variety of fermentation methods were used to enhance complexity and richness in this classic Bordeaux blend. Hand-harvested Cabernet was fermented in 400L French oak barrels that were gently rolled throughout fermentation to integrate the oak with refined, dark fruit flavors and give the wine its silky mouthfeel. All other varieties were fermented in traditional stainless steel tanks, with select lots enjoying longer skin contact to enhance the wine's dark color and mid-palate. The finished wine was aged 22 months in French oak barrels (75% new) before bottling unfiltered and unfined.
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The talented Gilles Nicault continues to manage this estate and all its different cuvées brilliantly. The key factor to understand with these wines is that each is made with consulting advice from a different winemaker. Hence, the style of each is unique, yet the quality is top notch."
"The 2016 Pirouette is made by Philippe Melka and it's a total blockbuster based on 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the palate Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec that was fermented in barrel and aged 22 months in 75% new oak. Creme de cassis, blackberries, toasted spices, cedar, and forest floor notes all emerge from this deep, rich, opulent red that has sweet tannins, a thrilling texture, no hard edges, and a monster finish. This is another best-to-date from this estate and it's an awesome wine."
- Item #: i_249330Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsWhile on our annual winter trip to the Napa Valley in 2013, we were invited to the "kick off" for a new winery named Pulido-Walker, and the first of their three single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. That wine was the single best wine we had on our entire trip!
Pulido-Walker is dedicated to the perfection of every element needed to craft exceptional single-vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon. Proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker grew up in pharmacy families, and this early common experience is integral to the Pulido-Walker philosophy. Their scientific backgrounds make Mark and Donna precise, inquisitive, and detailed; they know that perseverance and attentive observation yield results worth waiting for. Few people have the commitment or the endurance—never mind the conviction of their principles—to completely reframe the experiment mid-stream.
Their winemaker is the highly sought-after Thomas Brown, who also crafts the high scoring and incredible wines at Schrader, Maybach, Outpost, and others. He has been in Napa since 1997, where he began his career at Turley Cellars and now makes wines for select premium labels. Over the last decade, Thomas has received not just one but eight 100-point Wine Advocate Parker scores to go along with two 100-point awards from Wine Spectator. Beyond generosity and roundness in tannins, his wines have few common traits and are very individual. Pulido~Walker's Cabernet Sauvignons promise to be among his most distinctive.
"What separates the best valley floor sites from good valley floor sites is their ability to drain," explains winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Panek Vineyard blankets a rocky, gently sloping knoll in the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountains along the old Napa River bed wash. The loamy soil, with its highly compacted alluvial deposits of gravel, provides optimal drainage. The valley basin is also more temperate than the hillsides surrounding St. Helena, making it ideal for slower ripening and full development of flavors. These elements coalesce in low yields of reliably superb fruit.
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard comes from a site in St. Helena and offers a darker, savory style as well as plenty of blue fruits, violets, tobacco, and damp earth. With bright acidity, a silky, elegant texture, and terrific purity, it's a more vibrant, juicier, fresher wine than the Melanson Vineyard. Give bottle 2-4 years and drink over the following two decades."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard is gorgeous. Bright red cherry, sweet tobacco, mint and rose petal notes give the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard a level of brilliance that sets it apart from most other Cabernets being made off this site. Plush, elegant and sensual to its core, the 2016 is a winner from Pulido-Walker and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown."
- Item #: i_265440Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 92Vinous Media: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "This offers a wide swath of plum, boysenberry and blackberry puree flavors, laced with red licorice details and coated with sweet toast notes. A light bramble edge at the very end keeps this honest. Drink now through 2022. 1,536 cases made."
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color and offers intense blackcurrants and crushed blackberries scents with suggestions of dried Provence herbs, cedar and pencil lead plus a hint of chargrill. Medium-bodied and packed with youthful, crunchy black fruits, it has an approachable structure of ripe, soft tannins and finishes with a refreshing herbal lift."