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_200100Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Chris Phelps grew up in the hills of the Livermore Valley, east of San Francisco, in a family of wine lovers. His early interest in winemaking grew out of his parents' practice of making a barrel or two of Zinfandel or Cabernet for family and friends. Chris attended UC Davis with the sensible plan of becoming a doctor. However, his love of wine and France pulled him into the school's Enology and Viticulture program, an internship at Louis M. Martini in Napa Valley, and the world of professional winemaking.
From there, Chris then embarked on a 16-month sojourn in Bordeaux, where he met Christian Moueix, who persuaded him to stay on to manage the 1982 harvest at Château des Laurets, in the Puisseguin-St. Emilion district of Bordeaux. It was during this trial-by-fire experience that Chris met his mentor, the brilliant Jean-Claude Berrouet, who served for 44 years as the winemaker of Chateau Petrus. To this day, Chris still credits much of his inspiration as a winemaker and his solid understanding of the technical challenges of the winemaking craft to Berrouet's tutelage. Upon returning to Napa Valley, Chris spent twelve years as winemaker at Dominus, as part of the Berrouet-Moueix team. He considers the 1991 and 1994 vintages to be among the greatest wines he has helped to create. He then spent seven years at Caymus Vineyards, managing all red winemaking from 1999 through 2002.
Ad Vivum (Latin for "toward wine") Cabernet Sauvignon is made from one small micro-block of vines at Sleeping Lady Vineyard, in Yountville, Napa Valley. The vines are located at the vineyard's uppermost western perimeter along the Mayacamas Mountains. Row orientation is southwestnortheast. The vineyard is sustainably and meticulously farmed by the Bettinelli family. The soil profile shows Keefers dark gravelly-sandy clay loam of alluvial origin.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard is pliant, succulent and super-inviting. Dark cherry, plum, lavender and sweet spice notes are all given an extra kick of plushness in a gracious, silky Cabernet that captures the essence of Sleeping Lady. The purity of the fruit alone is striking. Perfumed, suave and wonderfully detailed, the 2016 is exquisitely beautiful. When I think of reference-point wines from Sleeping Lady, Chris Phelps' Cabernet is very often on top of my mind."
- Item #: i_200580Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Only the second time this cuvee has been 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 ERA is a blend of all the single vineyards and what Jean considered the best wine. I can't argue with him. This wine offers awesome notes of crème de cassis, crushed violets, crushed rocks, hints of mountain scrub brush, and lead pencil shavings. Deep and full-bodied, it has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. There are 900 cases of this brilliant wine which will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades."
- Item #: i_201290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Quartet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currants notions with an undercurrent of black plums, mulberries, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus wafts of tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied and laden with decadent black fruit and spicy layers, it has a velvety backbone and long spicy finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, aged 22 months in French oak, the 2016 Red Blend Quartet reveals a deep purple color, beautiful notes of cassis, tobacco, iron, and sweet spice, a full-bodied, voluptuous, layered, sexy texture, and a big finish. As Napa Cabernet goes, this beauty is a value. Drink this hedonistic, pleasure-bent beauty any time over the coming 7-8 years."
- Item #: i_203380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "This estate blend from Howell Mountain was formerly known as "Obsidian." Composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 4% Malbec, the 2015 Proprietary Red Estate gives a deep garnet-purple color and aromas of spiced blackberries, fruitcake and plum pudding with suggestions of Indian spices, earth and underbrush, plus a touch of violets. Packed with rich, opulent fruit in the full-bodied mouth, it has a solid, fine-grained backbone and plenty of freshness, finishing long and multilayered. 500 cases were made."
- Item #: i_201540Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsArrow and Branch proprietors (and Laguna Beach locals) Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Chateau Cheval Blanc. The couple sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Cabernet Franc-based wines from Napa Valley. They bought the Arrow and Branch Vineyard in November 2007, as this vineyard was the source of Tony Soter's renowned and highly rated Little Creek Cabernet Franc. The Contursi's have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and the rest Merlot from the Lewelling and Stagecoach Vineyards and aged 20 months in 60% new French oak, the gorgeous 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label offers everything you could want. Blackberry, blueberries, incense, sweet spice and dried flower notes all soar from the glass and it's full-bodied, incredibly opulent and mouthfilling, all while never seeming heavy or cumbersome. It's a big Napa Valley fruit bomb done with class!"
- 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_208450Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 95 PointsMany years of farming and crafting Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley across appellations as diverse as Oakville, Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District and St. Helena, has helped the Nickel Family to intimately know the very best sites — each with its defining characteristics — from which to create Bella Union Cabernet.
Upon first sip, Bella Union offers exuberant plum and black cherry aromas, signature notes of the Bella Union Vineyard. The wine is luscious with supple tannins that provide a framework for longevity. The finish lingers with persistent fruit flavors and notes of toasty oak, black pepper and espresso bean.
- Item #: i_277886Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "Containing the tiniest splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of plum preserves, baked blackberries and cassis with hints of menthol, sandalwood and chocolate box. Full-bodied with soft, seductive tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous, ripe, opulent fruit, it has a decadent spiciness and great length."
- 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_204460Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "Another gem in the lineup, the 2015 Melbury has a more feminine, elegant, seamless profile that certainly doesn't lack for fruit. Loaded with notions of cassis, blueberries, flowers, and violets, it's ethereal and elegant on the palate, with sweet fruit and opulence galore. It picks up ample tannins as well as mid-palate depth with time in the glass, is perfectly balanced, and has another 3-4 decades of longevity."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "The more time passes, the more I think Melbury may turn out to be one of the most complete wines in the BOND range. The 2016 and 2015 both make a very strong case for that view. Tasted from bottle, the 2015 is exceptionally beautiful and vivid. Blood orange, mint and floral notes add nuance to an unbelievably polished, refined Cabernet Sauvignon. Put simply, the 2015 Melbury is a total stunner and every bit as captivating as it was last year."
ROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the 2015 Melbury is deep garnet-purple colored with beautiful redcurrant jelly and creme de cassis notes with savory notions of tobacco, black olives and smoked meats plus a waft of lavender. The palate is full-bodied, firm and grainy, with a lively line lifting the perfumed, savory layers, finishing long."
- Item #: i_208870Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 100Vinous Media: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the 2015 Pluribus is deep purple-black colored with minted cassis, pencil shavings and tobacco over a core of black plums, black berry preserves and mulberries plus hints of Chinese five spice and dried lavender. Big, rich, bold and decadent, it has a firm line of super ripe, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness lifting the generous flavors to a long finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 98+ POINTS - "The 2015 Pluribus comes from the highest elevation vineyard in the lineup, located halfway up Spring Mountain on a southeast facing parcel of volcanic and Aiken soils. Classic Spring Mountain conifer and bay leaf notes are balanced by loads of sweet blue fruits, lavender, and exotic flower nuances. As with all the 2015s, it's full-bodied and beautifully textured, with a seamless, pure, layered style that carries the sexy vibe of the vintage beautifully. Drink it any time over the coming 30+ years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "All the elements come together beautifully in the 2015 Pluribus, a wine that captures all the best this challenging vintage had to offer. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, blood orange and mint are some of the many notes that take shape. Powerful and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2015 has more than enough fruit and overall richness to play off the structure that is such a signature of this Spring Mountain wine. Complete, multi-dimensional and stunning in its beauty, the 2015 Pluribus is a fitting conclusion to this flight of 2015s from BOND."
- Item #: i_208800Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The Quella is somber and brooding in 2015. Dark cherry, plum smoke, tobacco, leather, spice and scorched earth give the 2015 distinctive baritone inflections. There is quite a bit of density and textural resonance, but at the same time, the Quella is not particularly expressive. Perhaps bottling has affected the Quella more than it has the other wines in the range, as it was quite showy from barrel. I have seen Quella go through a period of reticence after bottling, so I won't be at all surprised if all it needs is time."
JEB DUNNICK 97 POINTS - "The 2015 Quella is a darker, more mineral-laced wine and offers a classic Quella bouquet of black fruits, black truffle, tobacco, and dried earth. It's full-bodied, deep and layered on the palate, with ripe, present tannins and terrific elegance as well as purity. It has the balance and texture to shine today, yet the class to evolve for 20 years or more."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Quella gives aromas of blackcurrants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of tobacco, new leather, iron ore and truffles plus a hint of tree back. The palate is full-bodied, muscular and laden with earth and mineral layers, finishing with persistent savory notes."
- Item #: i_204520Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Jeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Moving to the 2015s tasted from bottle, this is an incredible vintage for this estate and there are two perfect wines in the lineup. First up, the 2015 St. Eden, from a hillside of red volcanic soils near Oakville, boasts a saturated purple color and heavenly notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, and huge crushed rock-like minerality. It's full-bodied, deep, and layered on the palate, with incredible concentration, yet it stays seamless, pure, and perfectly balanced. It's a magical wine to drink over the coming 2-3 decades."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 St. Eden springs from the glass with exuberant blueberry pie, potpourri and spice cake scents followed by a black raspberry, cassis and preserved plums core plus a touch of wild sage. Full-bodied, plush and decadently fruited, it completely packs the palate with layer upon layer of black fruit preserves, finishing very long with those spices coming through."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 - "The 2015 St. Eden is another wine in this lineup that is not quite as expressive as it can be. Firm tannins dominate over softer contours that so often make St. Eden such an alluring wine. Time in the glass brings out an attractive set of dark cherry, plum, leather and tobacco notes. Even so, the 2015 is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. "
- Item #: i_204770Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Also pure perfection in a glass, the 2015 Vecina comes from an east-facing site located not far from the Harlan Estate. It was previously a terraced vineyard but was replanted when they opted to remove the terraces 7-8 years ago. Totally thrilling notes of creme de cassis, lead pencil, barbecue, white chocolate, and spring flower notes all flow to a full-bodied, powerful wine that has building tannins, no sensation of weight, hints of background oak, and incredible intensity and length. It's a true "wow" wine that could not be better. Don't miss it!"
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the 2015 Vecina is deep garnet-purple in color, with baked blackberries, black cherries and blackcurrant cordial aromas that leap from the glass with nuances of roses, pencil lead, menthol and mocha. The palate is full-bodied, very fine and incredibly seductive with a solid frame supporting the generous layers, finishing long and exotic."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "While some of the Bond 2015s are quiet today, the 2015 Vecina is super-expressive. A big, dense wine, the 2015 possesses stunning richness and dimension. Black cherry, scorched earth, leather, licorice and tobacco build as this towering, statuesque Cabernet shows off its pedigree. Quite simply, the 2015 Vecina is a tremendous expression of Vine Hill Ranch and one of the more complete wines of the year."
- 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_205880Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Bootleg Red is a new production by Jackson Family Wine Collection; these are the people who own and produce awesome estate wines like Freemark Abbey, La Jota and StoneStreet just to name a few. Trust us; there are too many "household" names you would recognize for us to list them all but you now have an idea of the quality they bring to the table.
This offering is their entry to the California "Red" category, a section of the domestic wine industry that has seen tremendous growth with labels such as "The Prisoner" and "Menage a Trois" becoming brands that everyone who drinks California wine has heard of. In terms of sales this category is as hot as Cabernet Sauvignon!
So what sets this apart from other blends and why should you try it? Fruit sources; using Vineyards they own, the Jackson Family sourced grapes from prestigious sub-AVAs within Napa like Atlas Peak, Oakville, Rutherford, Mt Veeder and Spring Mountain with the balance of fruit (25%) coming from their Sonoma and Mendocino Vineyards. The blending components going into this Red comes from outstanding vineyards of whom we all love. Plain and simple, you have outstanding winegrowing, winemaking and wine-blending with Bootleg Red!
ROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS! "The 2015 Red Blend is made up of 53% Merlot, 21% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, aged 20 months in 28% new French oak and 2% new American oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, baked plums, warm blackberries and Black Forest cake springs from the glass with touches of Chinese five spice, dusty soil and garrigue with a touch of black tea. Full, rich and with an approachable chewy texture, it has great freshness and a long earthy finish. 3,046 cases produced."
- Item #: i_206430Bottle Size: 750mlSituated in the mountains above Conn Valley and near the base of Howell Mountain, the Buehler Estate vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. The juxtaposed topography of steeply sloped hillsides with eastern exposures against very gently sloping hills with southern and southwestern exposures hints at the tumultuous geologic past of the Estate; extensive faulting resulted in at least three distinct soil types. Not surprisingly, grapes grown on the different soils give different characteristics to the finished wines; these differences are often as great as the differences across various Bordeaux varieties and allow Buehler to blend within the variety of Cabernet Sauvignon to craft a truly multi-faceted Estate wine.
The aromas hint at black fruit: ripe black cherries and black plums. Enticing barrel qualities of cola and spice complement the fruit aromas. On the palate, the wine shows layers of deeply extracted flavors that only mature hillside vineyards can render. Buehler's Estate Cabernet is the most age-worthy wine they produce and may be enjoyed anytime over the next 15 years.
- Item #: i_206400Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "The wine is brimming with fruit aromas and flavors biased to the black fruit end of the Cabernet spectrum: plums, blackberry, and black currant. Rich and full-bodied on the palate, this Cabernet drinks well on release but will soften and develop with additional age. For those who seek youthful fresh Cabernet fruit aromas and a more structured wine, drink it from 2018 through 2022. If you prefer the less fruity, more developed bottle bouquet aromas and a softer, more velvety wine on the palate, drink it from 2023-2033."
- Item #: i_208505Bottle Size: 750MLANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep, powerful and intense. Wild cherry, underbrush, gravel, savory herbs, smoke and earthy notes give the 2014 much of its potent, virile profile. There is plenty to look forward to as the 2014 develops in bottle. This is a lovely wine with classically inspired proportions and plenty of structure."