- Item #: i_243880Bottle Size: 750MLWinery's Notes: "At its core, wine embodies the very best of optimism. Even amidst challenging times, the fundamental belief in a better future pervades the thoughts and actions of everyone involved from kicking bare dirt to pulling the cork. It drives the development of new vineyards, spurring years of sweat and investment before yielding a single berry. It sparks the imagination of winemakers, painting the picture of possibility, justifying vigilance and detail-driven focus. Moreover, it promises a reward for patience and hope. We're regularly amazed by the stories of special bottles of Montelena, stashed away for years, destined for a single day and are incredibly happy to be part of that moment in time. It's in that same vein of optimism, in looking forward, that we continue to hone our craft, improve our corner of the planet, support our community, and bring joy through each bottle we share."
Dark garnet, nearly violet in the glass, the aromatic intensity of this wine is irresistible. Fresh berries and dried cherries comingle with bergamot, lavender, mint, gunpowder, and sage without a single element dominating another. On the palate, the wine is fresh and dynamic, with cranberry, cola, and raspberry jam. The acidity is laser focused, the spine pulling the layers of flavor into harmony with the wine’s supple, yet dense, structure. The tannins here serve to elevate not overwhelm the kinetic balance of texture, ripeness, and vineyard character.
- Item #: i_214190Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "What could be thought of as the entry-level wine from this benchmark estate, the 2017 Collina is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. There's not much made (600 cases) but it's a beautiful wine that certainly has the classic vibe of the estate as well as medium to full body, a rounded, textured mouthfeel, solid mid-palate density, and beautiful cassis, currants, Asian spice, and flowery incense aromatics. Given the prices of Napa Valley Bordeaux blends these days, it's a stunning value."
- Item #: i_200380Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91The 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. As 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.
Meritaggio is the brainchild of the Long brothers. Wanting to fulfill his desire of producing a fine Meritage blend, David set out to find clones of the five classic Bordeaux varietals. On his travels, he came across Sangiovese, which stole the spotlight from any Malbec he had ever tasted. Bob had the brilliance to name the wine "Meritaggio" in honor of Sangiovese's Italian Heritage.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "Winemaker Nile Zacherle has done a fabulous job with the 2014s at David Arthur. The wines showed just as well, or better, than they did last year."
"The 2014 Meritaggio Estate is a very beautiful, classy wine. Bright, focused and nuanced, the 2014 offers striking aromatics and finely sculpted fruit, all in a refreshing, mid-weight style that will drink well early. Red stone fruit and sweet floral notes are pushed forward in this attractive mid-weight wine. The 2014 has a bit less Sangiovese than in the past."
- Item #: i_276347Bottle Size: 750MLThe 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.
Deriving from stellar vineyard sites, this beautiful wine exhibits the Rutherford appellation's signature earthy tone. Fresh, with characteristics of cassis, red currant and mocha, the 2017 is also dusty and mineral at its core. Full bodied and well structured, it shows an underlying softness and finds plenty of length and grace.
- Item #: i_233850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Vinous Media: 91ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "Keenan's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is powerful and a bit rough around the edges although it is certainly not lacking in character. Dark red cherry, savory herb, earthiness, tobacco and cedar add to the wine's somewhat rustic personality, and yet there is more than enough depth in the fruit to balance things out. Medium to full in body, but very much classically built the 2016 has so much to offer, especially for readers who can look past a few small blemishes."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple colored with a plums, cassis and baked berries nose with violets, cedar, cigars and earth. The medium to full-bodied mouth is firm and grainy with decent concentration and an earthy finish."
- Item #: i_236710Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsIn the wine world, there are a small number of winemakers that garner just a little extra attention from us buyers. That's because these select few winemakers are known for perennially producing some of the best wines from a given region...Andy Ericson is one of those winemakers! Andy started his winemaking career at Harlan, then Staglin, and has been the winemaker at Screaming Eagle, Ovid, Dancing Hares, and others!
With years of winemaking and vineyard-walking under his belt, Andy was often given the "inside scoop" on vineyards that make extraordinary wine, but were "under the radar" by most winemakers. Taking this information, Andy created Leviathan in 2004. The goal was simple: to create one, unique red wine, drawn from some of the best vineyards in Northern California. The resulting bottling, was born of a passion for blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, to create a full-bodied wine with a character all of its own. Since then, he has remained true to the goal of producing a rich, distinctly Californian red blend, year after year.
Receiving high praise and scores isn't new to this wine, as this is the fourth year in a row this wine has received 94 points. The consistency is there, and the wine is here at Hi-Time for you!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Always a great value, the 2018 California Red Wine is a Bordeaux blend put together by Andy Erickson. The wine reveals a ruby/purple hue as well as complex notes of red and black fruits, green tobacco, cedary spice, and spring flowers. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, elegant wine that offers good overall concentration, seamless tannins, and a great finish. Very much in the style of the 2018 vintage with its more streamlined, elegant style, it's going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age (although it's far from unapproachable today) and keep for a solid 10-12 years or more. This is one of the more age-worthy examples of this cuvee that I recall."
- Item #: i_253050Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 92 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!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep ruby, it has an incredible nose of licorice, dried flowers and mint chocolate over black berries and black cherries, cedar shavings and pencil lead, plus spicy clove and star anise touches. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with plush flavor layers wrapped in chocolate-textured, pixelated tannins and great freshness to counter, finishing long and luscious. 7,177 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a hot, sunny vintage yet has a pure, classy character. Notes of creme de cassis, tobacco, leafy herbs, and spring flowers are just some of the aromatics and it's medium-bodied, elegant, and incredibly polished on the palate. It's another wine from Ramey that's nicely balanced, with terrific purity and loads of class."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "David Ramey's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is racy and inviting, with all of its natural exuberance on display. Another year in bottle has really helped the 2015 come together. Pretty red fruit and floral notes add a kick of brightness to balance the natural exuberance of the growing season."