- 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_201520Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 98Arrow 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 Château 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 & 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 98 POINTS - "The 2016 Red Wine flirts with perfection and should be snatched up by savvy readers. Tasting like a great vintage of Cheval Blanc with its incredible perfume of crème de cassis, spring flowers, and forest floor, it has beautiful complexity, medium to full body, thrilling purity and elegance, and a great, great finish. This beauty is all about complexity and nuance, yet it has loads of intensity and depth, silky tannins, and the class to keep for two decades. The blend is 50% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Petit Verdot, all aged 22 months in barrel. Hats off to winemaker Jennifer Williams for this brilliant wine!"
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Jen Williams seems to have really found her stride at Arrow and Branch. The 2016s represent another major step forward. The wines are bold, racy and irresistibly delicious."
"Arrow and Branch's 2016 Red Wine is built on a core of Cabernet Franc from two sites in Coombsville. Aromatically expressive and ample, the Red Wine is superb. Red cherry, plum, espresso, grilled herbs and flowers build as this beautifully layered wine shows off its personality. The 2016 is powerful and concentrated, yet also retains quite a bit of aromatic lift that gives the wine poise and a sense of balance. It is a stunning wine in every way."
- Item #: i_201550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+Vinous Media: 94Jeb 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 - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label comes mostly from the Lewelling and Criscione Vineyard (which was planted by Tony Soter in the early 2000s), with a touch from the Dr. Crane vineyard outside of Saint Helena. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in barrel, this rocking, sexy 2016 gives up loads of black currants and black raspberry-like fruit intermixed with intriguing notes of tobacco, spice, and incense aromas and flavors. It's complex, full-bodied, elegant, and just does everything right. I'd be thrilled to drink bottles over the coming 15 years or more, and while it's not inexpensive, as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it's an incredible bottle of wine."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Jen Williams seems to have really found her stride at Arrow and Branch. The 2016s represent another major step forward. The wines are bold, racy and irresistibly delicious."
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label is dark, powerful and resonant, with tons of texture and nuance. Black cherry, plum, charcoal, menthol, chocolate and licorice infuse this sumptuous, potent Cabernet Sauvignon. All the elements are wonderfully fused together. The Black Label is a blend from two sites in St. Helena. In 2016, it is gorgeous."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lewelling, Criscione and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane vineyards, aged 20 months in 60% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives up lovely notes of crushed black cherries, blackberries and cassis with hints of plums, black pepper, cigar boxes and lavender with nuances of smoked meats. Full, firm and with beautiful texture of fine-grained tannins, it has great freshness and depth, finishing long and earthy. 200 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_208730Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 94During his annual winter trip to the Napa Valley, our domestic buyer was tasting wines atop Howell Mountain. If you know anything about the layout of the Napa Valley, Howell Mountain is an area where many of the best wines are made, including Lail, O'Shaughnessy, Lokoya, La Jota, Arkenstone, Dunn, Cimarossa...you get the point. But to make another point, there was a new label showing their wine. Now, this happens every year, but this wine...stood out. Proprietors Dave and Kathleen Decesaris have a pretty long history in the wine industry. We's like to think that they "honed in" their Napa Valley know-how while shopping at our store, but it's really all Kathleen's background. See, she was a wine educator at Freemark Abbey in the 1990's, which gave her easy access to the regions very best growers, vintners, and winemakers. As for Dave, during an impromptu day trip to Napa Valley, Dave followed the advice he came across in a randomly purchased guidebook and visited Freemark Abbey Winery. It was there that he met his soon to be wife and partner, Kathleen, who introduced him to the basics of viticulture and the concept of vineyard-designated wines. This introduction to the importance of site and mesoclimate ignited his passion to produce single vineyard, single varietal Napa Valley cabernets.
Their Howell Mountain vineyard, surrounding forest and rugged mountain scenery is reminiscentof the continuous interaction between the unique natural elements of the site and the vines. Rocky soils combined with warm days and cool night privide an ideal microclimate for Cabernet Sauvignon. Sustainably farmed by highly acclaimed viticulturist Jim Barbour (who has also farmed the properties at Hundred Acre, Kelly Fleming, and Au Sommet), the rocky, volcanic soils, excellent drainage and long growing season of this west facing Howell Montain AVA site combine to produce complex fruit featuring ripe yet age-worthy tannins, crisp acidity and alluring mountain cabernet flavors.
Celia Welch is one of North America's most significant winemakers and believes wine should speak to the unique qualities and characteristics of the vineyard. Her exceptionally talented hand has crafted some of the most notable Cabernet Sauvignons to come out of the Napa Valley, including Scarecrow, Staglin, Lindstrom, and her own Corra label
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "This is my first time tasting this new project high up on Howell Mountain with winemaker Celia Welch and WOW—what an impressive start! I asked Celia how she managed to produce a wine of such crunchiness, freshness and purity in 2017. 'It probably barely got above 90 degrees during the Labor Day heat wave up there,' she said with a smile. The longer, cooler growing season certainly shows in the finesse of these beauties. A vineyard to watch!"
"Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a slightly broody nose to begin, offering glimpses at damp earth, charcoal and underbrush scents over a core of warm cassis, blackberry pie and black raspberries with touches of pencil lead and dried Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has bold freshness and a myriad of earthy sparks, framed by ripe grainy tannins, finishing long with tons of bright, crunchy black fruit. 250 cases were made."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Showing similar to last year, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a terrific wine offering full-bodied aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, incense, and gravelly minerality. Pure, balanced, and elegant, it's a terrific wine that will keep for two decades."
- Item #: i_277464Bottle Size: 750mlSo Cavus, The Cave is a personal tribute to friends, good fortune and life. Darryl and two friends were skiing in Argentina when they took a wrong turn and found themselves on the backside of the mountain with no way out. They built "a cave" and the three friends settled in for the night not knowing what the future would bring. As good fortune would have it they were rescued 24 hours later, tired, thankful and full of joy. The experience reinforced their philosophy on drinking good wine: why wait for a "special occasion"? Celebrate life each day and always drink good wine.
- Item #: i_216815Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Slow to unfold, but does so gracefully, unveiling a tight core of dried currant, sage and herb flavors, with cedar and tobacco leaf. Shows excellent focus and structure. - " Cab Sauv,66% Merlot,29% Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.5% Best from 2014 through 2026. 2,730 cases made."
DUCKHORN 2016 "DISCUSSION" WINE & SPIRITS 95 POINTS It tastes like good benchland cabernet, with tobacco scents adding depth to the wild mulberry flavors. The tannins create tension in the wine, corralling all the tropical chocolate richness and focusing it into the layered pre-expression of a rose bud, packing scents of cherry skins and morels into a wine with years of development ahead."
- Item #: i_203340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95In reality there's just a handful of true cult wines in California, among them Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Dalla Valle, Sine Qua Non… and, of course, Eisele! In 2013 the property was purchased by Francois Pinault (who also owns Chateau Latour, a Bordeaux classified 1st growth), and the wines have not skipped a beat. In fact, they may be even better! The vineyards have been biodynamically farmed since 2000 to improve health in the vines, resulting in better wine. The Altagracia bottling of Cabernet is comprised of fruit from the eastern portion of the vineyard, planted in volcanic cobbly soils, and the vines have to dig deep to reach any groundwater. Combine this with the cooling northwestern winds that come through the Chalk Hill gap, and you produce very small berries of thick-skinned, intensely flavored grapes!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed."
- Item #: i_223580Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95+ POINTS - "From a vineyard closer to the Mayacamas Mountains and first made in 1980, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards checks in as 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It spent 27 months in 66% new French. It offers more black fruits, earth, tobacco, cedar, and gravelly minerality as well as a touch more burly, masculine style on the palate. Nevertheless, it's still beautifully balanced, has considerable elegance, and a great finish."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sycamore Vineyards gives up powerful creme de cassis, dark chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and baked plums scents with hints of lavender, camphor, pencil shavings and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with rich, black fruits plus a beautiful perfumed undercurrent, framed by finely grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing with a mineral lift. 1,989 cases were made."
- Item #: i_229080Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+Vinous Media: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville is blended of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc. It sings of blackcurrant cordial, blueberry pie and warm plums with touches of licorice, violets, cigar box and allspice. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with energetic fruit plus a firm, velvety frame and oodles of freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Ranch Vineyard is dense, powerful and voluptuous in the glass. Even with all of its abundant richness, the 2016 is rather shy at this stage, perhaps because of its relatively recent bottling. Inky blue and purplish berry fruit, licorice, menthol, plum and lavender open up nicely over time, as the 2016 starts to show some of its more gracious, understated style. There is so much to admire in the 2016, but it will be a few years before all of the elements are fully melded together. The 2016 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc, both from Oakville Ranch."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (there's 17% Cabernet Franc in the blend) was brought up in 42% new French oak. It offers a sensational bouquet of blackberries, black raspberries, cassis, graphite, and toasted spice, with some savory tobacco and herbal notes with time in the glass. It's deep, full-bodied and layered, with sweet yet present tannins. Drink this concentrated, sexy Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon any time over the coming 15-20 years."
- Item #: i_225350Bottle Size: 750MLMade by Thomas Rivers Brown (who also crafts the wines at Pulido-Walkier, Riverain, Schrader, and Outpost), the 2016 Heritage Selection is expressive and full-bodied, with baked black cherry and concentrated blackberry fruit across the palate with spicy notes of clove and cardamom. Creamy vanilla lingers through the silky long finish; complex and elegant tannins will support aging beautifully for the next 20+ years.
- Item #: i_227350Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR'S #4 WINE OF THE YEAR FOR 2019!
WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "This delivers a very tightly focused, almost piercing beam of cassis, raspberry coulis and bitter cherry fruit, scored with singed alder and iron notes. Incense and tobacco details chime in on the finish. Long and refined, with the fruit leaving a sweet and mouthwatering echo. Best from 2022 through 2038."
- Item #: i_236530Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 97+ROBERT PARKER's WINE ADVLCATE 97+ POINTS - "A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is deep garnet-purple colored and features gregarious crème de cassis, black cherry preserves and baked plums with touches of Indian spices, cigar box and charcuterie. Full, firm and decadently fruited, it has a fantastic foundation and very long, layered and expressive finish. 3,202 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain checks in as a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It offers a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, black cherries, savory herbs, bay leaf, and earth. It's medium to full-bodied, beautiful, elegant, has vibrant acidity, fine tannins, and a smoking good finish. It's another age-worthy wine from this terrific estate that needs short-term cellaring and will keep for 30+ years."
- Item #: i_211598Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92-95Wine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "A towering young wine, laden with gorgeously pure plum, boysenberry and blackberry puree flavors, showing flashes of violet and apple wood. Beautifully rendered, with power, grace and beguiling perfume throughout, revealing a long, refined structure through the finish. Best from 2021 through 2035. 1,900 cases made."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92-95 POINTS - "Deep purple-black in color, the barrel sample of 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon gives up notes of black raspberries, kirsch and roses over a core of cassis and warm blackberries plus hints of pencil lead, bay leaves and menthol. Full-bodied with a well-played frame of approachable, chewy tannins, it has plenty of black and red fruit layers with a savory finish."
- Item #: i_246810Bottle Size: 750mlIncredibly concentrated, the 2016 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is bold yet bright with a pronounced licorice finish. The intense violet hue lends well to a nose dominated by red fruit and spice. Pomegranate, sage, thyme, and rosemary blend seamlessly with a subtle mineral quality. Bottle signed by Winemaker Alberto Bianchi.
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS
- Item #: i_230480Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 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_249960Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "This tilts more toward the Cabernet Franc side of the ledger than Cabernet Sauvignon, offering a mix of steeped plum, cassis and tobacco leaf notes, along with hints of smoldering alder and warm loam. Delivers heft, but shows the cut and definition for balance. Grippy, but without the vintage's rusticity. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2032. 200 cases made."
- Item #: i_255170Bottle Size: 750MLCabernet Sauvignon was the first wine produced by Rombauer Vineyards when the winery was founded in 1980. Diamond Selection, first produced with the 1994 vintage, represents the best lots harvested each growing season. This reserve bottling comes from select vineyards in the St. Helena, Stags Leap District, Calistoga AVAs.
The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the tanks. A cold soak extracted color and flavor before primary fermentation. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. The finest lots were carefully chosen and blended to produce the Diamond Selection.
This elegantly balanced wine is deep and dark with a magenta hue. Aromas of blackberry, cassis and black cherry combine seamlessly with sweet notes of milk chocolate, vanilla and tobacco. The palate is ripe and soft, with pronounced black cherry and a hint of cocoa powder. Lush tannins and sweet, subtle oak build on the palate for a long finish.
- Item #: i_271180Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Vinous Media: 96Napa’s Spring Mountain District makes some of the most distinctive Cabernets in the Valley. The area receives a hefty amount of rain in the winter and spring, yet is exposed to ample warmth and sunshine during the growing season. Its elevation means vineyards are above the fog line, ensuring healthy grapes and its volcanic soils promote intense flavors and structured wines. Winemaker Martha McClellan is exceptionally talented, and she knows how to coax out the most from grapes, while nurturing loads of fine-grained tannins into the finished wine. She has several 100-point wines to her credit, and she is a perfect mix with Vineyard 7 & 8’s property!
This 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon experienced a cool and slow 50-60 day fermentation; twice the length of what most other vintners employ. This ensures that the grapes would give up all their flavors, aromas and textures, and adds nuance to the finished wine. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak, but the lengthy 26 months of aging keeps the oak nicely integrated with the wine. This full-bodied, rich, and powerful gem earned 97+ points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate sashays out of the glass with provocative Black Forest cake, warm blackcurrant, wild blueberries and black raspberry scents with an undercurrent of candied violets, menthol, pencil shavings and forest floor. The full-bodied palate is laden with fragrant black and blue fruits, framed by firm, finely-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as fabulous as it was from barrel. Silky, perfumed and super-finessed, the 2016 is easily the best Cabernet I have tasted here. Winemaker Martha McClellan has really backed off of the extractions here, and it shows in a Cabernet with striking purity of fruit, silky tannins and no excess heaviness from oak. This sumptuous, inviting Cabernet will drink beautifully right out of the gate."