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_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_208830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "As it often is, the 2014 St. Eden is a showy, racy wine. A rush of dark red cherry, plum, mocha, espresso and grilled herbs gives the wine its opulent, flamboyant feel. Even so the St. Eden shows the natural restraint and mid-weight structure of the year."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 St. Eden offers up expressive crème de cassis, black cherry compote and blueberry pie notes with hints of cedar chest, baking spices, menthol and pencil lead. Full-bodied, tightly packed, taut and muscular, it has a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and lovely vivacity coming through on the long, earthy finish."
- Item #: i_204440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2014 Quella is showing beautifully. Floral and savory overtones give the wine its energy and tension. The 2014 has really come along over the last six months. Today it is vibrant and full of life, with an understated sense of power that is compelling. The 2014 has developed very nicely since I last tasted it, but it still has room to grow."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Quella is scented of blackberry preserves, fruitcake and crushed rocks with hints of cigar box, dried Provence herbs and Indian spices. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and great freshness lifting the black fruit and earth layers, finishing on a lingering mineral note."
- Item #: i_204500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Vinous Media: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "Very deep purple-black colored, the 2014 Pluribus offers up notions of crushed black plums, black currant cordial and pencil shavings over a meaty core of chargrill and beef drippings plus hints of Chinese five spice and underbrush. Full-bodied and firmly framed with chewy tannins and a lively backbone, it features plenty of earthy and savory layers, finishing long and minerally."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2014 Pluribus is stellar. Once again, I am deeply impressed with the Pluribus. Inky blue/purplish fruit, lavender, mint, plum and licorice infuse this super-expressive, resonant Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Pluribus is the most improved Bond wine. This flight of 2014 makes that quite evident."
- Item #: i_213040Bottle Size: 1.5LVinous Media: 97Continuum 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 sons Dante and Carlo, his late father’s wife Margrit, and Carissa Mondavi. Carissa, Dante, and Carlo are the third generation to join the winery.
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 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, and 4% Merlot. The wine was bottled with fining or filtering, to preserve much of the complexity of the wine.
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The bonds of family run deep at Continuum, where Tim and Marcia Mondavi have created a world-class estate in just a few years. Here, high up on the Vaca Mountains, nestled between Ovid and Stagecoach, the Mondavis are making wines of pedigree and class. Tim Mondavi's daughter, Chiara, runs day to day winemaking, but no detail is too small to escape Tim Mondavi's attention. An increasing emphasis on Cabernet Franc, co-fermentations and less new oak are some of the more recent developments at Continuum. The attention to detail is equaled at only a handful of properties across the valley. Since 2012 Continuum is a 100% estate wine, so it is very much early days. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to watch this latest chapter in the Mondavi family history unfold over the coming years and decades."
"Graphite, lavender, sage, cloves and menthol race out of the glass in the 2013 Continuum, a wine that is just as impressive in bottle as it was from barrel. An intensely saline, mineral-drenched wine endowed with serious depth and precision, the 2013 shines with exceptional structural intensity and power, all that despite just having been bottled. In 2013 the Cabernet Franc is way up, which helps give the wine more aromatic top notes as well as greater overall complexity. Simply put, the 2013 is a real knock-out."
- 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_214180Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is super-refined, polished and articulate, with mid-weight structure and fine overall balance. Readers should expect a somewhat laid-back wine by Dalla Valle's standards. In 2014, the Cabernet Sauvignon is especially aromatic and nuanced. It should drink well with minimal cellaring."
- Item #: i_214170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Vinous Media: 95+ANTONIO GALLONI 95+ POINTS - "The 2014 Maya is powerful, compact and closed in on itself. That's not much of a surprise given the wine was just bottled a few months ago. Dark, powerful and intense, the 2014 offers plenty of energy, but is also holding back much of its potential at this stage. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, which is to say more Cabernet than has been the norm in recent years. There is plenty of intensity to the pomegranate, plum, red cherry and blood orange flavors, but the wine needs time to come into its own."
ROBERT PARKER 95+ POINTS - "...the 2014 Maya Proprietary Red may not be as perfect as the 2013 was, but it is a fabulous effort. Finishing at 14.6% alcohol, this wine (generally a blend of about 60% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon) has incredibly gorgeous aromatics of black and blue fruits, forest floor, violets, and an almost Graves-like, scorched earth, gravelly nuance. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied richness and terrific harmony among its structural elements such as alcohol, acidity, tannin and wood, with moderately sweet tannins in the finish. It is a good 30- to 35-year wine, as most Mayas have tended to be, and is impressive and surprisingly structured for a 2014. Forget it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 35-40 years."
- Item #: i_214430Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 97ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hershey Vineyard is dense, powerful and very much closed in on itself, with less of the aromatic intensity and power it has shown in the past. There is good depth and density in the glass, but I suspect the wine is simply going through a subdued phase given how the 2014 has shown in the past and how magnificent the other 2014s are today."
- 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_247330Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsInglenook's Estate Cabernet (formerlly known as "CASK") epitomizes the property's illustrious history and winemaking tradition. Francis and Eleanor Coppola's 1995 reunification of the Estate provided the inspiration to create a Cabernet Sauvignon that would pay tribute to the wines of John Daniel, Jr. John was the grand-nephew of founder Gustave Niebaum, who successfully ran Inglenook Winery from 1934 to 1964 and created wines since judged by critics to be among the best Cabernets ever produced.
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is the entry level effort and it offers delicious notes of currants, leafy herbs, cedary spice and forest floor. Ripe, opulent, medium to full-bodied and frontend-loaded, drink it over the coming 10-15 years. This cuvee is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot."
ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is a beauty of classicism and balance. Dense purple in color, with notes of creme de cassis, blackberry, cedar wood and forest floor, the wine is full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and pure, with moderate tannins and the potential for 20-25 years of upside."
- 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_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_265200Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Vinous Media: 96It was nearly 40 years ago when Stags Leap Wine Cellars won the famed Paris Tasting of 1976 and help to skyrocket Napa Valley Cabernets to stardom across the world! Flash forward to today, and you will find that this "blue chip" producer is not resting on its laurels. No, they are still pushing to put every little bit of complexity, nuance, and finesse into their Cabernet Sauvignons that they possibly can. Combine this with Napa's highly-praised and eagerly-anticipated 2013 vintage, and you've got some amazing wines!
The signature style for Stags Leap Wine Cellars has often been described as "an iron fist in a velvet glove," a reference to the artful balance-between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure—that yields wines of exceptional beauty and long life. Achieving that style requires a level of attention to detail found only among the world's most dedicated wine producers. In addition, Stags Leap picks in small lots to maintain the identity of the vineyards, age the wine exclusively in French oak, and their vineyard team works carefully on a vine-by-vine basis, rather than the more typical agricultural approach where farming decisions are made on a field basis. In addition, Stags Leap Wine Cellars focuses on sustainable farming, even receiving "Napa Green Certified Land" certification for their three estate vineyards, and "Napa Green Certified Winery" for the winery. Napa Green is the wine industry's most comprehensive "best practices" in land-use and wine production.
ROBERT PARKER 99 POINTS - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 ratchets up the level of complexity, richness and density. Magnificent floral notes intermix with blueberry, blackberry and cassis, and there is no hint of new oak. A full-bodied opulence on the palate, great purity and personality make for a prodigious example of Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 30+ years. Kudos to Stags Leap Wine Cellars."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "New owner Chateau Ste. Michelle, along with minority partner Antinori, has done a magnificent job with these 2013s. In fact, the wines are so brilliant and such a significant departure from the past that I tasted through the range twice. New winemaker Marcus Notaro has introduced a more contemporary, fruit-driven style at Stag's Leap. More importantly, these 2013s show none of the flaws that marred some wines in the past. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see where things go, but one thing is clear; the three flagship Cabernets are all fabulous."
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CASK 23 is another total knock-out from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Sculpted and nuanced, the 2013 presents a striking melange of typical Stags Leap notes. Violets, lavender, mint, cloves, graphite and dark spice are some of the signatures in a Cabernet that achieves a compelling balance of power, finesse and overall intensity. This tightly coiled Cabernet is going to need a few years to fully come together, but it is terrific and a great example of what Stags Leap Cabernets are all about."
- 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."