- Item #: i_254620Bottle Size: 750MLRidge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.
A blend of 68% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, and 2% Alicante Bouschet, the wine had a dark ruby color and aromas of ripe black cherries, plum, sweet oak, mint, and gravel earth. Rich bramble fruit entry, round and supple tannins, refreshing acidity, and layered complex fruits in a long finish.
- Item #: i_242830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To Kalon Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, powerful and voluptuous, the 2015 oozes with class from the very first taste. The flavors are deep, dark and boldly sketched in this sumptuous, beautifully resonant Cabernet. The tannins will need time to soften, but I can't imagine readers opening bottles anytime soon. The 2015 Reserve is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Robert Mondavi Winery."
ROBERT PARKER 96+ POINTS - "Composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Reserve features a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully expressive nose of creme de cassis, preserved plums and black forest cake with hints of cigar boxes, aniseed, dark chocolate and forest floor. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated in the mouth, the ripe, opulent black fruit is well supported by velvety tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and spicy."
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To Kalon Vineyard is about as perfumed, upfront and sexy as they come. Sporting a ruby/plum color and a terrific bouquet of black raspberries, cedary spice, toasty oak, flowers and incense, it hits the palate with loads of sweet fruit, an undeniable opulence, ripe tannin and a great finish. It's an approachable 2015 that's going to evolve gracefully for another two decades."
- 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_270380Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 95+ROBERT PARKER 95+ POINTS = "Tor Kenward is using his vast experience in the wine industry and impressive palate to find exceptional terroirs and produce fascinating wines that merit serious attention. His winemaking guru is Jeff Ames, who makes his own wines under the Rudius label."
"The 2014 Proprietary Red from Oakville is 44% Cabernet Franc, 44% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a fabulous wine and a creative blend from Kenward. With a fabulous nose of forest floor, white flowers, licorice, incense, blackcurrant and blueberry fruit, this deep, sumptuous, full-bodied wine has fabulous intensity, low acidity and finely grained, integrated tannins. There is not much of it, but it is a beauty. It can be drunk now or cellared for another two decades."
- 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."
- Item #: i_271000Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard south of Pritchard Hill overlooking Oakville Cross Road, aged for 30 months in 100% new French oak. Very deep purple-black in color, it sings of fragrant blackcurrants, wild blueberries and black cherries with touches of Indian spices, menthol, chocolate box and violets plus a touch of smoked meats. The palate is full, rich, concentrated and seductive, with a firm yet velvety structure and seamless freshness, finishing long and spicy."
JEB DUNNUCK 94-96 POINTS - "Tasted out of barrel, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate sports an inky color as well as terrific notes of creme de cassis, smoked herbs, licorice, scorched earth, and spice. Full-bodied, opulent, and concentrated with a terrific texture, it's going to age beautifully as well."
- Item #: i_270700Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+ROBERT PARKER 97+ POINTS - "This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan's choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jackson's holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley."
"The 2014 La Joie has a spicy black purple color and a big, sweet kiss of camphor, black truffle, pen ink, blackcurrants and unsmoked cigar tobacco, followed by layers of fruit and glycerin in an opulent, beautifully savory, pure and multidimensional wine. The final blend Seillan produced in 2014 was 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This is a compellingly great effort once again. It should be given 2-5 years of bottle age, then drunk over the following three decades."
- Item #: i_270980Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER 98 POINTS - "This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan's choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jackson's holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley."
"The 2014 Le Desir (53% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec) has an inky purple color and a sweet kiss of chocolate, black truffle, forest floor, black raspberry and black currants. Opulent, but again structured and super-dense and pure, this is another massively concentrated wine meant for the long haul (and for our grandchildren). Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 35-40 years. Remarkably, Pierre Seillan told me that 2014, while a drought year, was not actually that hot in the micro-terroirs he was working, but in terms of quality, it turned out to be the most surprisingly positive vintage he’s ever witnessed."
- Item #: i_271100Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 98Proprietors Chuck & Anne McMinn and their impressive team of winemaker/consultant Philippe Melka and viticulturalist David Abreu have turned Vineyard 29 into one of Napa Valley's brightest stars. Currently there are two, small production, estate Cabernet Sauvignons which come from the Aida Vineyard (situated between St. Helena and Calistoga) and Vineyard 29 (St. Helena) and a 3,000 or so case bottling called Cru which offers an excellent quality to price ratio for Napa Valley Cabernet.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "The deep purple-black colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Aida Estate Vineyard comes strutting out of the glass like a total rock star, giving up flamboyant notes of warm cassis, blueberry compote and preserved plums with exciting sparks of kirsch, red roses, oolong tea, star anise and cigar box plus a touch of underbrush. Full-bodied, rich, bold and wonderfully decadent in the mouth, it fills the palate with black fruit preserves and red berry layers, supported by a firm, grainy line and finishing very long."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "Proprietor Chuck McMinn and longtime winemaker Keith Emerson turned out a gorgeous set of 2016s. As I wrote last year, the Vineyard 29 wines are a bit more energetic than they were just a few years ago, but remain very much bold and racy in style. The two 2017s I tasted point to another promising vintage at Vineyard 29."
"A powerful, explosive wine, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Aida Estate possesses tremendous intensity in all of its dimensions. Super-ripe black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, scorched earth, leather, licorice and menthol all run through this potent, inky Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are present and quite potent, but also very nicely integrated. The Aida is mostly Clone 337 Cabernet, with dollops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot."