- Item #: i_201105Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon gives up exuberant crushed blackcurrants, warm plums, wild blueberries and cloves with suggestions of violets, tilled black soil, tar, chargrill and cedar chest with a waft of unsmoked cigars. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, grainy and refreshing with incredible intensity, finishing very long and earthy."
- Item #: i_216150Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100Jeb Dunnuck: 98Finally...the much-anticipated 2016 Dominus Estate is here! One of Napa Valley's most revered Cabernet-blends is back, and will sell out quickly just like every year prior! One of the most respected wine producers in the world, Christian Moueix is on a personal quest for perfection in grape growing and winemaking. It is a journey that began in Bordeaux and continues today at Dominus Estate, where he has instilled his philosophy and inspired his team to share his values. To walk the vineyard with Christian is to witness a commitment to the land, a strong sense of purpose, and the modest soul of a man of the vines.
It is not uncommon for the Dominus Estate Cabernet-Blend to reach a near perfect score, and it has even garnered that perfect 100 point score a few times (2010, 2013, and 2015). However, this release stands on its own. Critic Lisa Perrotti-Brown (who reviews the Napa wines for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate) has even stated, "If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would." Lisa has become one of the more respected critics in the wine world, so for her to make that statement truly says something about the wine!
In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wine. Son of Jean-Pierre Moueix, the famed wine merchant and producer from Libourne, France, Moueix returned home in 1970 to manage the family vineyards, including Chateaux Petrus. His love of Napa Valley lingered, and, in 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard, and in 1985, became its sole owner. He chose the name "Dominus" or "Lord of the Estate" in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019."
JEB DUNNUCK 98+ POINTS - "Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It's more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years."
- Item #: i_250400Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-100Vinous Media: 94-97Jeb Dunnuck: 96The Insignia bottling by Joseph Phelps has always been at the top of the critic's list since day one. Moreover, it is a staple of any fine restaurant or resort. It routinely receives lofty scores, and the 2002 was even given the honor of becoming Wine Spectator's Top Wine of the Year! With the winery moving more and more towards sustainable farming, the grapes become healthier, and the wine goes from strength to strength!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-100 POINTS - "A barrel sample made up of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and is a little reticent at this still nascent stage (to be bottled in January 2019), opening out to reveal chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of underbrush, cedar chest and bouquet garni plus a hint of grilled meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate springs forth with exciting energy, offering loads of red and black fruit layers and compelling herbal sparks, featuring a firm, fine-grained backbone and bags of freshness lifting the finish. 13,500 cases are expected to be made."
JEB DUNNUCK 96-98 POINTS - "Not yet bottled, the 2016 Insignia should match – or exceed – the 2015, yet it shows a slightly more vibrant, cooler, more classic character. Vibrant notes of creme de cassis, violets, crushed rocks, and lead pencil all give way to a full-bodied 2016 that has silky tannins, no hard edges, and thrilling purity of fruit. It's going to be reasonably approachable on release, yet I suspect won't hit prime time until 4-5 years after the vintage and should cruise for 2-3 decades."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2016 Insignia is fabulous. Dark and powerful in the glass, the 2016 pulses with a sense of vibrancy that is impossible to miss. Even with all of its energy, the 2016 is understated and nuanced, especially next to the vintages that surround it. Today, the 2016 is a bit less expressive than it has been in the past, and yet all of the elements are in place for it to develop into an exquisite wine."
- Item #: i_249380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 98 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; they produced what was the single best wine we had on our entire trip! Mark Pulido and Donna Walker are dedicated to the perfection of every element needed to craft exceptional single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Their winemaker who helps them in this venture is the highly sought-after Thomas Brown, who also crafts the high scoring wines at Schrader, Maybach, and Outpost. Thomas has received numerous 100-point scores from both Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator! This bottling comes from the Melanson Vineyard, a property nestled between boulders clinging stubbornly to the steep slopes of Pritchard Hill, east of Oakville, and among some of the most notable vineyards in the Napa Valley, such as Colgin.
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "From a site in the same area as Colgin and vines planted in 1998, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard offers a rocking bouquet of chocolaty black and blue fruits, truffle, charcoal embers, and earthy nuances. This full-bodied beauty has a ripe, layered, seamless texture and is perfectly balanced. It's another gem from the genius of Thomas Rivers Brown. It's also worth pointing out that the farm at this site, which has lagged in the past, is now being handled by Josh Clark, who handles the farming for Outpost and Mending Wall."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard offers a deep garnet-purple color and delicate, slightly subdued black cherries and wild sage notions to begin, soon unfurling to show its multilayered glory: cassis, kirsch, lilacs and warm plums over forest floor, truffles, grilled meats and marmite toast nuances plus a hint of cardamom. Medium to full-bodied, solidly built and beautifully taut, it is packed with layered nuances and textured by superbly ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing with great length with an invigorating lift. 210 cases were produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard is extraordinary, and perhaps the best wine I have tasted from Pulido-Walker so far. In 2016, the Melanson is remarkably polished and delineated, with tremendous class and exceptional balance. Red and purplish berry fruit and floral notes open up in the glass, but it is the wine's exceptional polish that leaves the deepest impression. Quite frankly, the 2016 redefines what might be possible here. All of the Cabernets I tasted from Melanson this year show notable improvement now that Josh Clark is overseeing the farming, but none is more compelling than Pulido-Walker's wine."
- Item #: i_254740Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "I continue to simply love the 2016s, which come close to rivaling the 2013s, albeit with a more elegant character. Another pure class release from this great estate, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that includes small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all aged 20 months in mostly new French oak. Its deep purple/plum color is followed by classic Rutherford notes of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, chocolaty herbs, licorice, and hints of truffle. It's beautifully balanced, full-bodied, and seamless on the palate, and while it's less overt and sexy than the 2015, it shows the class, balance, purity, and length that makes 2016 such a special vintage. It offers pleasure today and will offer pleasure in another 20-25 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts out of the glass with beautiful black cherry compote, warm cassis and freshly crushed blackberries scents plus touches of chargrill, violets, dark chocolate and pencil shavings and a waft of English lavender. Full-bodied, the palate features great intensity combined with fantastic freshness, textured by soft, finely grained tannins and lifted by the most gorgeous floral perfume, finishing long and layered. Beautiful wine."
- Item #: i_270240Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98Jeb Dunnuck: 98JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a different beast, yet it ratchets up the quality with its sensational perfume of black raspberries, cassis, incense, fruit cake, and spring flowers. Tor started in To Kolan in 2005 and today they pull from their six favorite blocks, around 10 acres in total. It's full-bodied, has beautiful purity and elegant, the sexy style of the vineyard, and a great finish."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Bottled in July 2018, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon is deep garnet-purple colored, with warm cassis, Black Forest cake, black raspberries and earth with a floral and spicy undercurrent with scents of roses, cinnamon stick and cedar chest. The palate is full-bodied, lively and very vibrant, with firm, grainy, ripe tannins, finishing long and mineral laced. This is a very exciting wine—polished with bags of pedigree and complexity and still so very, very delicious! 600 cases produced."
- Item #: i_271010Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98 POINTS - "A barrel sample (expected to be in barrel three years), the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is very deep purple-black in color and a little closed on the nose, giving glimpses at notes of blueberry compote, Black Forest cake and crème de cassis with a waft of camphor, pencil lead, cedar chest, black tea and underbrush plus hints of truffles and lavender. The palate is full, rich and super concentrated, with a firm frame of grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and mineral laced."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is even better. With gorgeous creme de cassis, white flowers, tobacco leaf, and graphite-laced aromatics, it's balanced, has ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. This is a killer 2016 that builds with time in the glass, has serious class, and will keep for 20 years or more."