- 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_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_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_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_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_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_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_211030Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of fruit from Oakville and Atlas Peak. These two sub-regions of the Napa Valley typically sell anywhere upwards of $60 per bottle, but this one costs less than $40!!
- Item #: i_278550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with vibrant notions of freshly crushed blackcurrants, black raspberries, warm blueberries and menthol with hints of cigar box and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with crunchy black fruits and mineral accents, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing long."
- 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_217322Bottle Size: 750MLAn enticing blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Crafted around a core of robust, mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, this Napa Valley wine embodies the power and intensity of its rugged, high-elevation terroir. The blend focuses on fruit from Duckhorn's two Howell Mountain Estate vineyards-Stout and Candlestick Ridge-yielding a wine with exceptional structure and extracted aromatics of peppermint, chocolate, bramble, cedar, soy and ginger spice. On the palate, it is lush and mouth-filling, highlighting Howell Mountain’s signature wild berry and currant flavors, alongside notes of toasted marshmallow, espresso, earth, sage and sandalwood.
- 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_203370Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 100ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color. Its nose begins a little reserved, slowly revealing a quiet intensity of freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks emerge. The medium to full-bodied palate is simply arresting, offering a a myriad floral and earth sparks amidst a black fruit core and with seamless, firm, very fine-grained tannins. Well-knit freshness brings forth layer after layer of delicate nuances on the very long, mineral-laced finish. The team at Eisele, led by Frederic Engerer (of Chateau Latour) and beautifully orchestrated by winemaker Helene Mingot, have knocked it out of the park this vintage with this singular expression that both embraces the site's heritage and reveals parts unknown."
- 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_203360Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color. Its nose begins a little reserved, slowly revealing a quiet intensity of freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks emerge. The medium to full-bodied palate is simply arresting, offering a a myriad floral and earth sparks amidst a black fruit core and with seamless, firm, very fine-grained tannins. Well-knit freshness brings forth layer after layer of delicate nuances on the very long, mineral-laced finish. The team at Eisele, led by Frederic Engerer (of Chateau Latour) and beautifully orchestrated by winemaker Helene Mingot, have knocked it out of the park this vintage with this singular expression that both embraces the site's heritage and reveals parts unknown."
- Item #: i_223200Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90The 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.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Made up of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is very deep garnet-purple in color and displays expressive notions of baked plums, warm cassis and licorice with hints of bay leaves and scorched earth. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with juicy black fruit and earthy sparks, finishing chewy."
- Item #: i_223510Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley reveals fresh blackberries, blackcurrants and black plums with hints of dark chocolate, menthol and fertile soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers delicious, crunchy black fruits and harmonious structure, finishing softly textured and spicy. 36,588 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_229100Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93All of the grapes in Gallo's Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon come from their acclaimed William Hill Estate vineyard in Southern Napa. Set above the valley floor at varying elevations, this vineyard sees diverse microclimates and basks in abundant sunlight, thanks to its southwestern exposure. Volcanic soils that are rocky, thin and nutrient-deprived stress the vines to produce smaller berries with vivid flavor and color concentration. Significant variation between day and night temperatures at this vineyard yield red Bordeaux varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon in particular - with intense fruit character and refined acidity.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley comes sashaying out of the glass with floral notes of violets and lilacs over a core of warm cassis, baked black cherries and mulberries plus touches of cedar and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is an exercise in poise with lovely fine-grained tannins and well-knit freshness supporting the bold black fruits, finishing long and fragrant. Terrific value! 485 cases were made."
- Item #: i_226715Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Founded in 2005 by third-generation Napa farmer Tom Gamble, Gamble Family Vineyards farms approximately 175 acres of prime estate vineyards from several of Napa Valley's most respected AVAs – Oakville, Yountville, Mt. Veeder, and Rutherford. Set in an isolated nook off of Highway 29 in the heart of Napa Valley's Oakville District, the winery, open to guests by invitation, has a quiet and pastoral presence. Tom Gamble's mission is to carry on the heritage of quality farming that his ancestors sowed when they came to Napa as farmers and ranchers in 1916. A family farming for over 100 years does so only through constant reinvestment in the environment and the people that support it. Knowledge and abilities evolve over time. Constant improvement means always trying new things and keeping what works. His winery and vineyards are certified Napa Green and certified by Fish Friendly Farming.
There are several Napa Cabs at the $50 price point, but very few of those stand out as being superior from the others. However, Gamble Family's 2015 Cabernet is one of those wines that really sets itself apart from the rest of the crowd! With body, flavor intensity, balance, and a lengthy finish, this is a wine that not only drinks well by itself, but it's perfectly at home with a nice cut of beef, Portobello mushrooms, or lamb. This year, the wine combines all five of the traditional varieties.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot. It has a very deep garnet-purple color and struts a flamboyant nose of crushed red and black cherries, blueberries and cassis with hints of roses, dusty soil, baking spices and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, it coats the mouth with vibrant black fruit, framed by ripe, grainy tannins and finishing long and expressive."