- 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_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: 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_204410Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Jeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Moving to the single vineyard releases, the 2016 Melbury is pure perfection in a glass and is the finest vintage of this cuvee I've tasted. Awesome notes of cassis, blackcurrants, toasted bread, white flowers, and spice give way to an ethereal, seamless, yet opulent wine that has that rare mix of power and elegance possessed by all truly great wines. Full-bodied, concentrated, and with building yet perfectly ripe tannins, do your best to give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age. It will evolve effortlessly for 30 years or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "The 2016 Melbury is powerful and yet medium in body, with layers of exotic spice, dark red cherry, blood orange, leather, licorice and star anise that give it an exotic character I don't remember seeing in the past. Despite its mid-weight profile, the Melbury has plenty of supporting structure. Over the last year, the Melbury has gained a bit of weight, but remains quite focused. Sometimes the Melbury suffers by being the first vineyard-designate poured at Bond. Its remarkable allure is evident nonetheless. This is an impressive showing."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "Overlooking Lake Hennessy up on Pritchard Hill, Melbury vineyard has produced a beautifully elegant and vivacious signature in 2016, which clearly reveals the personality that this incredible site tends to want to give. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Melbury comes bounding out of the glass with expressive black and red currants notes followed by wild blueberries, warm plums, pencil shavings and wild sage plus wafts of lavender and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is practically electric with energetic fruit, framed by firm, grainy tannins and invigorating freshness, finishing long and minerally."
- Item #: i_208710Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Vecina vineyard is located in the western foothills of Oakville, just to the south-east of the winery (up on Oakville Grade). Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Vecina slips sensuously out of the glass with gorgeous black cherries, kirsch, wild blueberries and blackcurrant pastilles notes plus suggestions of bouquet garni, pencil lead, tilled earth and underbrush. Full-bodied, taut and packed with ripe, expressive, exquisitely accented black and blue fruits, it has loads of earthy sparks and a compelling fine-grained nature to the firm texture, finishing long and layered. This bright, energetic, incredibly nuanced beauty is built like a brick house and, while approachable in youth, is easily a 50-year wine. I therefore urge readers to wait at least 5-7 years before opening to allow for the myriad of subtle nuances to emerge and offer that 'WOW' experience that will reward patience."
JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 Vecina got a few expletives in my notes, and it's one of the more powerful, structured, inward wines in the lineup. From a site on the western side of the appellation (not far from Harlan Estate), its deep purple color is followed by stunning notes of crushed rocks, violets, chocolate, graphite, and cold steel. It's an incredible, insanely good Cabernet that's going to benefit from a decade of bottle age and keep for 30 years or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2016 Vecina is the most tannic and brooding of the wines, as it so often is. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of black cherry, chocolate, new leather, licorice, spice and menthol. I would cellar the 2016 for at least few years to shed some of its youthful bombastic intensity. There is certainly no shortage of character or complexity. As always, Vecina emerges from choice parcels within Vine Hill Ranch."
- 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_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_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_200470Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb 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_241510Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Do you want to get a real glimpse into the characteristics and style of the 2009 vintage in Washington, then you don't need to look any further. Delille has been somewhat under the radar, but if the quality in this Merlot blend doesn't open your eyes, we don't know what will! "D2" is the main highway that runs through Bordeaux, so being that this is a Merlot-based blend (just like the right bank of Bordeaux), the name is apt. This year, the wine is a blend of 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(a blend of about 60 lots from 13,500 vines, according to Jason Gorski): Bright, dark red with ruby highlights. Aromas of cassis and licorice hint at a dried-berry character. Impressively concentrated for such a large blend, offering a fine-grained texture and noteworthy inner-mouth floral lift. Boasts plush, sweet dark fruit and spice flavors, with a repeating element of very ripe berries. Suggests a wider range of fruit ripeness than most of the other DeLille reds but very successful for such a disparate blend. The long finish features substantial ripe, broad tannins."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Exhibiting aromas of loamy soil, crushed currants and creamy new oak, the 2015 D2 Proprietary Red Wine is medium-bodied, chewy and rustic, with a good core of juicy fruit but a firm, somewhat drying finish that seems to be marked by tannins derived from its time in 55% new oak but which could also simply reflect the vintage. It's a blend of 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot."
- 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_245270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsThis is the personal label of Luc Morlet and his wife Jodie. Luc has made the wines at Newton Vineyards, where he cotinued to craft their highly-touted Unfiltered Chardonnay Unfiltered (a collector favorite). He then became the head winemaker for Peter Michael Winery and crafted their wines from the 2001-2005 vintages, where he made a 98-point Cabernet-blend and a 99-point Chardonnay!
The "Passionement" Cabernet Sauvignon comes from one of the best vineyards in Napa Valley's Oakville area. Dark purple in color, this has intense and complex bouquet of red, black and blue berries intermixed with notes of blueberries, Creme de Cassis, plum, cedar and a hint of cedar and cigar box. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a creamy texture and a great intensity. The luscious tannins, the intense aromatic complexity and its opulence create a flamboyant yet harmonious ensemble, leading to a very long, complex and smooth finish. This early charming and collectible wine represents the passionate, uncompromised and on-going pursuit of quality.
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "I loved these latest releases from Luc Morlet and family, and they show a sensational mix of classic, balanced, even old-school, characters mixed with killer California fruit. As a whole, the 2014s show more elegance and complexity, with the 2015s possessing more power and richness. These are rockstar wines."
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnement comes from a site in Oakville (there's a tiny portion from St. Helena) and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers a ripe, sweetly fruited, elegant, yet also powerful style that just glides over the palate with no sense of heaviness or coarseness. Revealing notes of creme de cassis, crushed flowers, graphite, and spice, this cuvee always shines for its seamless, elegant personality, yet it never lacks for density or richness."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnement, tasted from magnum, is plush, sensual and inviting. In 2014, the Passionnement is a bit restrained, but that is not necessarily a bad thing for this wine, which is a selection of the best barrels in the cellar. Bittersweet chocolate, lavender, graphite, spice and silky tannins add to the wine's considerable appeal."
ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnement is a relatively small cuvee of 250 cases from Oakville. Sweet tannin, a seamless entry on the palate, an opaque ruby/purple color and a big kiss of creme de cassis, blackberry, scorched earth and burning embers is followed by a wine with a long finish, moderate tannin and surprising intensity and power for a 2014. Drink it over the next 30 years."
- 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: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is just as delicious from bottle as it was from barrel. Deep, fleshy and super-expressive the 2016 has a lot to offer. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender, mint and spice notes all grace this alluring Napa Valley Cabernet from Paul Hobbs."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals bombastic blackberry pie and blueberry compote notes with underlying cassis, dried herbs and unsmoked cigars scents plus a waft of pencil shavings. Full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruits and earthy layers, it has a solid, grainy frame and a long finish with a lively herbal lift. 6,576 cases produced.
- 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_253050Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsAbout 20 years ago, David Ramey was part of a select group of winemakers who became tired of "laboratory" or "squeaky clean" wines devoid of character. He wanted to bring terroir back into wines from California, and his success was the benefit of the consumer! David Ramey became known throughout the wine world as a winemaker associated with stellar quality, and he brought his expertise to brands such as Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, Dominus Estate, Rudd Estate, as well as his own brand. While the Ramey Chardonnays have been on the "center stage" for a few years, this release shows that his Cabernets can hang with some of the best in the Napa Valley...and at a MUCH lower price than others that sell for exponentially more!
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is just as appealing today as it was last year. Supple, open-knit and expressive, the 2014 will drink well with minimal cellaring. Floral and savory notes add an attractive upper register in this mid-weight, juicy 2014. Bright red stone fruit, plum and savory notes abound on the finish. This is a gorgeous Napa Valley Cabernet from David Ramey that shows just how appealing 2014 can be."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is classic Ramey Cabernet all the way. Blackberries, currants, scorched earth, and charcoal aromatics, medium to full body, great elegance, and notable concentration all make for a top notch 2014 that can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 6% Malbec, and 3% Petit Verdot, and it's made in decent enough quantities that it should be easy to find."
- Item #: i_242830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+Jeb 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_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."