- Item #: i_200100Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Winemaker 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_200510Bottle Size: 750mlII is the culmination of the two worlds, the Alpha and the Omega, the Old World and the New World. Winemakers, Jean Hoefliger and Michel Rolland worked to create a wine that is not only opulent, fruit forward and generous, but also has the backbone of European acidity and elegance. A reflection of both worlds, II is a wine that is built to be approachable, both in taste and price, and consumed early.
A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec, this wine has an explosion of fresh cherries on the nose, along with violets, hints of marzipan, cherry pits, Campari, vanilla beans, almond milk chocolate, and cloves. The palate is fresh upn entry, opening to structuring granular tannins, notes of chocolate sauce, cookie dough, fresh cherry, root beer, wild blueberry, candied red cherry, and pencil shaving.
- Item #: i_200320Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Steeped Black Mission fig, plum and blackberry flavors are melded to warm fruitcake, dark licorice and Turkish coffee notes. Despite the profile, this is defined, with a subtle sanguine hint adding detail on the seductive finish. Drink now through 2030."
- Item #: i_201290Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91A blend of 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, the aromas coming from the glass after pouring the 2017 Quartet are delicate yet exuberant. Floral notes and red fruit aromatics are fresh and focused. Notes of red cherry, rose petal, black tea and bay laurel are among the first scents noted. The color of the wine is dark black-purple with a red note around the rim. This opaque dark hue belies the bright energy and focus of the wine. On the palate, the wine has a remarkable intensity, though it is balanced and well proportioned. Red raspberry, baked cherry, vanilla bean and crushed stones are some of the impressions as the wine hits the palate. The flavors build into an intense, long finish with polished tannins and lingering red fruit flavors.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Red Blend Quartet is a delicious, easygoing red from Arietta. Expressive floral and savory notes add character and meld into a core of ripe red plum fruit. Cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, mint, crushed flowers and sweet spice all come together in a pliant, aromatic wine that is impeccable in its balance. This is a very pretty and expressive entry-level wine from Arietta that overdelivers."
- Item #: i_201540Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95Arrow 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: 95WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "Sinewy, earthy and full of spice, this well-made wine is lush and sumptuous, with firm, focused tannins and integrated oak. Black cherry, cinnamon and nutmeg meld on the structured, fullbodied palate, with a graceful hint of dark chocolate on the finish. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2025–2030."
Many 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_275130Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 91JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The entry-level 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon lacks the intensity and depth of the Lynch Family Vineyard, yet has attractive blackcurrants, blueberries, cedarwood, and graphite aromas, medium to full body, supple tannins, and outstanding balance. It's a beautiful wine to drink over the coming 10-15 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a little closed at this youthful stage, giving notions of black and red cherries, black plums and blackcurrants plus wafts of mossy bark and spice box. Medium-bodied, it has a good amount of uncomplicated flavors in the mouth, framed by rounded tannins and finishing spicy."
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A ripe and polished style, with cocoa-edged plum and blackberry preserve flavors carrying through a tobacco- and toast-filled finish. Drink now through 2024."
- Item #: i_277886Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 97JEB 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_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_204410Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Vinous Media: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 100JEB 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_208850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Vinous Media: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 100JEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Another perfect wine in the lineup is the 2016 St. Eden, which comes from a hillside of red volcanic soils just outside of Oakville. As with the 2015, wine doesn't get any better, and this inky hued 2016 offers up a smorgasbord of creme de cassis, blackberries, crushed rocks, toasty oak, new leather, and tobacco. Deep, full-bodied, powerful yet also incredibly elegant, it offers pleasure even today yet will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and cruise for 30 years or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "The 2016 St. Eden is a real powerhouse. In so many vintages St. Eden is a showy, voluptuous wine, but the 2016 is decidedly closed down. There is very clearly tremendous depth and intensity in the glass, along with a good bit of sensuality that starts to appear with a bit of air. The 2016 is vivid and classy, qualities that will become even more apparent over time. Today, though, the 2016 is mostly a wine of potential, and it has tons of that. Of all of the Bond 2016s, the St. Eden appears to be the most affected by bottling."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "The 2016 St. Eden has a deep garnet-purple color and gives up vivacious notes of crushed blackberries, warm plums and cassis plus hints of dried leaves, forest floor, tapenade and truffles with a touch of unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate features taut, muscular black and blue fruits, framed by firm, ripe tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long with loads of savory sparks."
- Item #: i_204440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ANTONIO 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+ROBERT 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: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94Bootleg 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" becoming brands that everyone who drinks California wine has heard of. In terms of sales this category is as hot as Cabernet Sauvignon! This particular wine is a blend of 37% Merlot, 33% Petit Sirah, and 30% Syrah.
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 Yountville, Howell Mountain, and Mt Veeder, with the balance of fruit (18%) coming from their 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!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS! "It reveals a healthy purple color as well as a terrific bouquet of sweet creme de cassis, toasted bread, Asian spices, lavender, and dried herbs. With a fabulous texture, full body, notable purity of fruit, and a rich yet graceful style on the palate, it's one seriously hedonistic yet balanced, complex red that knocks it out of the park. Drink this rocking little gem any time over the coming 4-6 years. (I wouldn't be surprised to see it keep longer.)"
- 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_208505Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is absolutely delicious. Ripe, radiant and seductive, the 2015 is going to be nearly impossible to resist young. Even so, there is plenty of structural underpinning beneath all of the fruit. Sweet floral notes develop in the glass, adding lift, but above all else, the 2015 is a wine of textural voluptuousness, all in a silky, mid-weight style that is hugely appealing."
- Item #: i_203260Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Reserve Tapestry is soft, pliant and supple, all qualities that make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Sweet red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and dried flowers are all laced together in this racy, super-expressive blend from BV. The Cabernet Sauvignon-based Tapestry is one of the hidden gems in the range."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Reserve Tapestry Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aged in a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak (60% new) for 22 months. It has a deep garnet-purple color and quite a toasty nose to begin, giving way to a beautiful perfume of roses and lilacs with a core of cassis, redcurrant jelly and blackberry tart plus a touch of cedar chest. Full, velvety and seductive, it delivers layers of perfumed red and black fruit with a very long finish. 16,637 cases produced."
- Item #: i_203120Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Blended of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot matured for 22 months in French oak, 90% new, this vintage has an alcohol level of 14.9%. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is still incredibly youthful. Sporting notions of cedar and cinnamon toast to begin, the nose opens out to beautiful notes of warm cassis, crushed red and black plums and kirsch with floral hints of roses and candied violets. Sparks of crushed rocks and cast iron pan plus a touch of dried herbs emerge with coaxing. Full-bodied, rich, bold and energetic in the mouth, the palate reveals a very firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with beautiful mineral accents. To be released in autumn 2019, 8,400 cases were made."
- Item #: i_207960Bottle Size: 750mlA proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, & Petite Sirah, this is an extroverted dry red wine that is medium-bodied and rich in flavor. The nose exhibits fig, caramelized sugar, coffee, and chocolate, while the palate brings ripe cherries, berries, dark plum together with cedar, sandalwood and coffee. Powerfully engaging, and balanced with good acidity on the long finish.