- 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_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_201560Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96Arrow 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.
The Contursi's also work with a select few vineyards, whose owners share the same dedication to meticulous farming. Located in Oakville, Vine Hill Ranch vineyard is tucked along the wooded hills of the Mayacama Mountain Range. This premier site has been in a family for several generations and is farmed with precision by Vineyard Manager Mike Wolf. Napa Valley growers—Hopper, Whitton, Hahn, Taddei—have farmed Vine Hill Ranch since 1884, documenting their annual plantings of grapevines, plums, pears and other crops. Following the footsteps of those pioneering families, Bruce Kelham purchased the land in 1959. He was a dedicated preservationist who moved to Napa to cultivate wine grapes after playing a role in establishing the Point Reyes National Seashore. Kelham's descendants, the Phillips family, began cultivating fine wine grapes here in 1959 and, with the founding of Phillips Family Farming. The vineyard is on a sloping grade, and with its deep, loamy soils and mature vines, yield expressive dark and rich fruit flavors with beautiful energy for this single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, with the first vintage from 2017.
JEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "Coming all from the Clone 4 of Cabernet Sauvignon and a great site in Oakville, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard sports an inky purple color as well as a deep, powerful, mineral-laced bouquet that include lots of currants, leafy herbs, crushed rocks, and lead pencil shaving. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age, but it's a magical 2017 that's well worth seeking out."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch is made of 100% Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little closed to begin, opening out to notions of baked cherries, cassis and mulberries with touches of unsmoked cigars, tar, chargrill and sauteed herbs plus a waft of tapenade. Full-bodied and laden with loads of preserved cherries and savory layers, it has a sturdy frame of chunky tannins and a lively lift to the finish."
- 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_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_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_206740Bottle Size: 750mlBlackbird Vineyards has provided quietly fruit to many of Napa's finest wineries: Lail, Pride, and Viader. Mia Klein, formerly at Dalla Valle, created a vineyard-designate for her highly acclaimed 1999 Selene Merlot. Three of the top critics (Parker, Tanzer and Wine Spectator), scored their first release in the 90s. Blackbird continues to provide fruit to such winemakers as Bob Foley (Robert Foley, Hourglass).
The Blackbird wines are crafted by Aaron Pott, a winemaker who has a one-of-a-kind pedigree and produces several highly sought-after wines. The grapes for the Contrarian bottling come from Hudson Vineyard in Carneros, Stagecoach Vineyard in the Vaca Mountains, and Ballard Vineyard on Spring Mountain.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Contrarian Proprietary Red reveals notes of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and red plums with touches of red roses, black tea, tilled soil and tobacco. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers intense red and black fruit layers with plenty of earthy sparks and a grainy frame, finishing long and refreshing. 1,580 cases were made."
- Item #: i_208800Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 97ANTONIO 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_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_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_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_208030Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Coming from estate fruit on Howell Mountain and made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers a darker, more mineral-driven style compared to the Napa release. It has beautiful blackcurrant, cassis, forest floor, graphite, and tobacco leaf-like aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, beautifully polished and elegant, it's another remarkable effort from this team. As Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it's a brilliant value!"
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, is deep garnet-purple colored and a little closed, slowly giving up warm cassis, blackberry tart and mulberries with touches of spice box, pencil shavings and Marmite toast. The full-bodied palate is firm, grainy and muscular with an earthy expression and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a dense, chewy Howell Mountain wine. A blast of black cherry, plum, licorice, smoke, leather, bittersweet chocolate, spice and tobacco hit the palate. The 2017 is bold and immediate in feel, but it also has plenty of structure. I would give it a few years to soften but this is a potent, brooding wine with a bright future."
- Item #: i_208170Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 98JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Based on 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a stunning 2017 that plays with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Stunning cassis and blueberry fruit notes are interwoven with notions of white chocolate, unsmoked tobacco, forest floor, and lead pencil shavings. These all carry to the palate, where this beauty is full-bodied, deep, and concentrated, with the straight, focused style of the vineyard paired with beautiful depth and sweetness of fruit. This classic, sexy tour de force in 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has everything in the right places, no hard edges, and a great finish. Drink it any time over the coming 30 years or more."