- Item #: i_208830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "As it often is, the 2014 St. Eden is a showy, racy wine. A rush of dark red cherry, plum, mocha, espresso and grilled herbs gives the wine its opulent, flamboyant feel. Even so the St. Eden shows the natural restraint and mid-weight structure of the year."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 St. Eden offers up expressive crème de cassis, black cherry compote and blueberry pie notes with hints of cedar chest, baking spices, menthol and pencil lead. Full-bodied, tightly packed, taut and muscular, it has a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and lovely vivacity coming through on the long, earthy finish."
- Item #: i_208710Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98+Vinous Media: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98+ POINTS - "The 2014 Vecina displays a deep garnet-purple color and has a broody, baked blueberries, cassis and anise-laced nose with suggestions of garrigue, dusty earth and bay leaves. Full-bodied, rich, spicy and powerful in the mouth, it offers a lot of latent layers and promises great, great things to come with an incredibly long, layered finish. It needs a bit of time but should cellar beautifully for a good 25 years+."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "One of the most expressive wines in this range, the 2014 Vecina is powerful, dense and explosive. Despite its obvious intensity, the 2014 has quite a bit of detail and nuance. Time in the glass unleashes the wine's natural intensity, volume and power. The huge, savory and mineral-drenched finish only adds to the wine's immeasurable beauty."
- Item #: i_204440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2014 Quella is showing beautifully. Floral and savory overtones give the wine its energy and tension. The 2014 has really come along over the last six months. Today it is vibrant and full of life, with an understated sense of power that is compelling. The 2014 has developed very nicely since I last tasted it, but it still has room to grow."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Quella is scented of blackberry preserves, fruitcake and crushed rocks with hints of cigar box, dried Provence herbs and Indian spices. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and great freshness lifting the black fruit and earth layers, finishing on a lingering mineral note."
- Item #: i_204500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+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_214170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Vinous Media: 95+ANTONIO GALLONI 95+ POINTS - "The 2014 Maya is powerful, compact and closed in on itself. That's not much of a surprise given the wine was just bottled a few months ago. Dark, powerful and intense, the 2014 offers plenty of energy, but is also holding back much of its potential at this stage. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, which is to say more Cabernet than has been the norm in recent years. There is plenty of intensity to the pomegranate, plum, red cherry and blood orange flavors, but the wine needs time to come into its own."
ROBERT PARKER 95+ POINTS - "...the 2014 Maya Proprietary Red may not be as perfect as the 2013 was, but it is a fabulous effort. Finishing at 14.6% alcohol, this wine (generally a blend of about 60% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon) has incredibly gorgeous aromatics of black and blue fruits, forest floor, violets, and an almost Graves-like, scorched earth, gravelly nuance. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied richness and terrific harmony among its structural elements such as alcohol, acidity, tannin and wood, with moderately sweet tannins in the finish. It is a good 30- to 35-year wine, as most Mayas have tended to be, and is impressive and surprisingly structured for a 2014. Forget it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 35-40 years."
- Item #: i_200452Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Winemaker Nile Zacherle crafts some of the most elegant, polished Cabernets readers will taste on Pritchard Hill. As good as the wines are, they would almost certainly be even better if the estate took a few more risks. Today, the wines are almost always outstanding, but there may be an even higher level of quality that can be achieved here."
ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Elevation 1147 has the darker, more spiced profile found in the Three Acre with the lift and freshness of the Old Vine. All the elements come together nicely in this super-expressive Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 is wonderfully dense and lush, and yet retains quite a bit of freshness."
- Item #: i_232210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata (98% Syrah and 2% Viognier) is a beautiful follow on to the sensational 2015 and has a layered, multi-dimensional, massive profile. Blackcurrants, blackberries, lavender, bacon fat, and spring flower notes all flow to a seriously rich, powerful wine that stays light and graceful, with awesome tannin quality. It's another tour de force that reminds me of the 2007. It shuts down with extended air time (I followed this bottle for two days) and while it can certainly be enjoyed today, it won't hit prime time for another 4-6 years and should keep for two decades or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata is a wine of real substance and depth. In 2016, the La Sangre is distinguished by its red fruit profile, freshness and vibrant, focused personality, all of which should allow it to age gracefully for a number of years. The 2016 is not as overt as some previous versions have been, but that is probably a very good thing for its longer term prospects. Time in the glass brings out the wine's underlying richness and pedigree."
- Item #: i_233950Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2014 Red Blend Mernet Reserve is a total knock-out. Firm, structured and vibrant, the 2014 bristles with energy. Striking mid-palate sweetness and overall depth add to the wine's unmistakable personality. Deceptive at first because of its mid-weight structure, the 2014 has more than enough pedigree to drink well for many years. The Mernet is equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate's Spring Mountain vineyard."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "This winery on Spring Mountain has been doing an impeccable job of winemaking for a number of years now, and they continue to show a Midas touch across all varieties they work with."
"Another Reserve cuvee, the equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is the 2014 Mernet Reserve. Deep opaque ruby/purple, with sweet creme de cassis and black cherry notes, some underbrush and forest floor, medium to full body, and outstanding purity and texture, it is not a big wine, but elegant, intense and authoritative. Drink it over the next 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_235900Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 93-96 POINTS - "Atlas Peak was one of hardest-hit areas in the fires of last fall. As relentless flames encircled their property, the Kongsgaards were lucky to get out alive. Through some sort of minor (or major) miracle, and the efforts of firefighters, the family home was not damaged at all. Alex Kongsgaard camped out in the caves to make sure the wines survived as well. And they did. Even today, a year later, the damage wreaked by the fires is evident in the scorched hillsides. It is so great to see the wines showing so well, because they could have very well been lost. The 2016s are brilliant, while the 2017s aren't too far behind. As I have written here before, my sense is that the wines are just a bit more vibrant than they were a few years ago."
"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is outrageously beautiful. Savory, dense and earthy with a distinctly Old World sense of structure, the 2017 is shaping up to be a real gem. In a vintage in which so many wines are opulent, Kongsgaard's Cabernet Sauvignon is unusually tannic and brooding in feel, even though the blend incorporates 20% Merlot. "
- Item #: i_275850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Vinous Media: 96+ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyards is another glorious wine in this range. Rich and inky in the glass, the 2017 offers a compelling interplay of rich fruit allied to a vertical sense of structure. Dark red fruit, spice and floral notes are pushed forward, but it is the wine's total sense of poise that is most impressive today. Unctuous and full-throttle to the core, with head-spinning intensity and exceptional balance, the 2017 Syrah is shaping up to be an absolute jewel of a wine."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96+ POINTS - "John Kongsgaard had finished harvest prior to the fires in 2017. While the Atlas Peak fire came dangerously close, the winery was spared and the vineyards received just minimal damage."
"A barrel sample, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyard offers black cherries, raspberries, crushed blackberries and tar with hints of anise and a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and packed with perfumed fruit, it has lovely rounded tannins and great freshness, finishing long."
- Item #: i_277500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93-95Vinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(raised in a combination of new and used French oak barrels, concrete tanks and amphoras) Deep brilliant ruby. An assertively perfumed bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, Moroccan spices, vanilla and smoky minerals, while a suave floral pastille accent builds in the glass. Deeply concentrated yet surprisingly lively on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry, boysenberry, spicecake and mocha flavors that unfold slowly, picking up licorice and vanilla notes on the back half. Shows outstanding clarity and thrust on a supple, strikingly long finish shaped by smooth, building tannins."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93-95 POINTS - "One of the reference point estates in Paso Robles is unquestionably Stephan Asseo's l'Aventure."
"Leading off the reds from barrel, the full-bodied 2015 Cote a Cote (60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah) has an elegant, cool climate feel (which can be common in the vintage) as well as pretty, elegant notes of violets, raspberries, peppery herbs and black cherries. The final blend will be a mix of roughly 60% barrels and 40% in concrete and amphora, and it should have a decade of longevity."
- Item #: i_249330Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 96 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, and the first of their three single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. That wine was the single best wine we had on our entire trip!
Pulido-Walker is dedicated to the perfection of every element needed to craft exceptional single-vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon. Proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker grew up in pharmacy families, and this early common experience is integral to the Pulido-Walker philosophy. Their scientific backgrounds make Mark and Donna precise, inquisitive, and detailed; they know that perseverance and attentive observation yield results worth waiting for. Few people have the commitment or the endurance—never mind the conviction of their principles—to completely reframe the experiment mid-stream.
Their winemaker is the highly sought-after Thomas Brown, who also crafts the high scoring and incredible wines at Schrader, Maybach, Outpost, and others. He has been in Napa since 1997, where he began his career at Turley Cellars and now makes wines for select premium labels. Over the last decade, Thomas has received not just one but eight 100-point Wine Advocate Parker scores to go along with two 100-point awards from Wine Spectator. Beyond generosity and roundness in tannins, his wines have few common traits and are very individual. Pulido~Walker's Cabernet Sauvignons promise to be among his most distinctive.
"What separates the best valley floor sites from good valley floor sites is their ability to drain," explains winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Panek Vineyard blankets a rocky, gently sloping knoll in the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountains along the old Napa River bed wash. The loamy soil, with its highly compacted alluvial deposits of gravel, provides optimal drainage. The valley basin is also more temperate than the hillsides surrounding St. Helena, making it ideal for slower ripening and full development of flavors. These elements coalesce in low yields of reliably superb fruit.
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard comes from a site in St. Helena and offers a darker, savory style as well as plenty of blue fruits, violets, tobacco, and damp earth. With bright acidity, a silky, elegant texture, and terrific purity, it's a more vibrant, juicier, fresher wine than the Melanson Vineyard. Give bottle 2-4 years and drink over the following two decades."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard is gorgeous. Bright red cherry, sweet tobacco, mint and rose petal notes give the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard a level of brilliance that sets it apart from most other Cabernets being made off this site. Plush, elegant and sensual to its core, the 2016 is a winner from Pulido-Walker and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown."
- Item #: i_262750Bottle Size: 375mlWine Advocate: 96+Vinous Media: 96**Please note, this is a half sized bottleROBERT PARKER 96+ POINTS - "This first-growth estate in St. Helena has produced a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon that is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It is certainly one of the wines of the vintage. Gorgeously opaque purple, it offers up notes of spring flowers, blueberries, blackcurrants, some baking spice and graphite. It is full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with layers of fruit. The wine builds and builds on the palate, with a great finish of 45+ seconds. This is a sensational 2014 to drink over the next 20+ years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "Spottswoode 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is striking. Black cherry, plum, graphite, spice and menthol are some of the signatures. Intensely mineral and savory, the 2014 comes across as a slightly restrained version of the 2013. The flavor and tannin profiles are both quite similar, but the 2014 is a bit smaller-scaled in all of its dimensions. That is not a bad thing, as the 2014 will be ready to drink sooner. This is an impressive showing."
- Item #: i_265200Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Vinous Media: 96It was nearly 40 years ago when Stags Leap Wine Cellars won the famed Paris Tasting of 1976 and help to skyrocket Napa Valley Cabernets to stardom across the world! Flash forward to today, and you will find that this "blue chip" producer is not resting on its laurels. No, they are still pushing to put every little bit of complexity, nuance, and finesse into their Cabernet Sauvignons that they possibly can. Combine this with Napa's highly-praised and eagerly-anticipated 2013 vintage, and you've got some amazing wines!
The signature style for Stags Leap Wine Cellars has often been described as "an iron fist in a velvet glove," a reference to the artful balance-between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure—that yields wines of exceptional beauty and long life. Achieving that style requires a level of attention to detail found only among the world's most dedicated wine producers. In addition, Stags Leap picks in small lots to maintain the identity of the vineyards, age the wine exclusively in French oak, and their vineyard team works carefully on a vine-by-vine basis, rather than the more typical agricultural approach where farming decisions are made on a field basis. In addition, Stags Leap Wine Cellars focuses on sustainable farming, even receiving "Napa Green Certified Land" certification for their three estate vineyards, and "Napa Green Certified Winery" for the winery. Napa Green is the wine industry's most comprehensive "best practices" in land-use and wine production.
ROBERT PARKER 99 POINTS - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 ratchets up the level of complexity, richness and density. Magnificent floral notes intermix with blueberry, blackberry and cassis, and there is no hint of new oak. A full-bodied opulence on the palate, great purity and personality make for a prodigious example of Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 30+ years. Kudos to Stags Leap Wine Cellars."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "New owner Chateau Ste. Michelle, along with minority partner Antinori, has done a magnificent job with these 2013s. In fact, the wines are so brilliant and such a significant departure from the past that I tasted through the range twice. New winemaker Marcus Notaro has introduced a more contemporary, fruit-driven style at Stag's Leap. More importantly, these 2013s show none of the flaws that marred some wines in the past. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see where things go, but one thing is clear; the three flagship Cabernets are all fabulous."
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CASK 23 is another total knock-out from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Sculpted and nuanced, the 2013 presents a striking melange of typical Stags Leap notes. Violets, lavender, mint, cloves, graphite and dark spice are some of the signatures in a Cabernet that achieves a compelling balance of power, finesse and overall intensity. This tightly coiled Cabernet is going to need a few years to fully come together, but it is terrific and a great example of what Stags Leap Cabernets are all about."
- Item #: i_268610Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% of them new) Brilliant red. A suave, expansive bouquet evokes fresh red berries, potpourri, incense and smoky minerals. Sappy, alluringly sweet and light on its feet, offering intense raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that are braced by a suggestion of bitter blood orange. Plays power off delicacy with a sure hand, showing no excess weight but displaying abundant red fruit character. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to a strikingly long, smooth finish that leaves a sexy rose pastille note behind."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard is certainly one of the gems in the vintage. Black cherries, underbrush, crushed violets, ample spice and tons of floral qualities all emerge from this beautifully textured, seamless, silky beauty that has building tannin, impressive mid-palate density, integrated acidity and notable length. Aged 18 months in 35% new French oak, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard offers up expressive black cherries, mulberries and black raspberry notes with suggestions of violets, baking spices, fertile loam and lavender. Medium-bodied, with a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins and well-integrated freshness, it gives plenty of earthy layers and great length."
- Item #: i_287830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 95ROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS - "I had the privilege to taste this new estate vineyard wine from Christian Moueix several months before the 2012 would be released. Moueix purchased the old Schmidt Ranch, which is just to the north of his iconic Napanook vineyard. The AVA is different, as he is on the southern border of the Oakville appellation. This is pure valley floor soil with great drainage, just to the south of Martha's Vineyard and the famous To Kalon of both Mondavi and Andy Beckstoffer. Several vintages have been made, but not yet released. The first official release is the 2012. This is a completely different style of wine than those produced at Dominus. While the property is much smaller (40 acres vs. the very large Napanook vineyard), a similar elevage is employed, with 40% to 50% new French oak, and bottling after the wine spends 20 months in wood. Moueix told me that the site, even though it is so close to Napanook, is warmer in the summer by several degrees and colder in the winter, Additionally, the soils are deeper. What Moueix has done is produce a wine that is in complete contrast to Dominus. The wines of Dominus are known for their silky complexity, and even though there is virtually no Merlot in any of the top vintages, they always have an almost Pomerol-like lushness and opulence. Ulysses, on the other hand, is a Napa version of a first or second growth Pauillac. The crème de cassis, the licorice, the purity and the graphite notes are present in all three of these vintages, just in varying degrees."
"The 2013 Ulysses is absolutely mind-boggling, as so many wines from this vintage are. Gorgeous blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with the telltale cassis and floral notes, jump from the glass. Again, this is Pauillac-like, with some cedar wood and subtle barrique smells. Again produced nearly all from Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, rich and long, with slightly sweeter tannins than the 2012. Production in 2013 was 960 cases, and Moueix told me that the entire growing season averaged about two and half weeks ahead of schedule from bloom break to harvest. This is a prodigious effort and will certainly stand as the great Ulysses of the first trio to be released. I suspect it will be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30 or more, given the Moueix track record."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95+ POINTS - "These are the first wines from Christian Moueix's property in Oakville. In 2008 Moueix bought the Schmidt Ranch, which lies on the southeastern edge of Oakville, next to Vine Hill Ranch and Missouri Hopper. From what I have gathered, the Schmidt Ranch was once considered part of the Missouri Hopper vineyard. More recently, the fruit had gone to Swanson. The Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon is made at Dominus (there is no winery on the property) by Tod Mostero and the team at Dominus. The wines I have tasted so far reveal the distinctly ferrous, savory and tobacco notes that are typical of this sector of Napa Valley, with less of an emphasis on fruit. Compared to Dominus, Ulysses is a warmer site, so the tannins here tend to be a bit creamier than those at Dominus. These three wines certainly point to a very bright future."
"Gravel, smoke, graphite, savory herbs, tobacco and iron are some of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. A typical wine from the eastern sector of Oakville on the border with Yountville, the 2013 is loaded with feral, savory notes, while the expression of blue/blackish fruit lies a bit more in the background. In 2013, the main signature is an expression of structure that is both vertical but also incredibly insistent through to the finish. In other words, this is a super-classic 2013 built for the cellar."