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WA 90

The peppery, herbal, black cherry and smoked earth-scented 2014 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is rich, textured and balanced on the palate, with bright acidity and a clean, gulpable style that keeps you coming back to the glass. It has excellent complexity, plenty of fruit and will drink nicely for 4-5 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2016)
V 91

The 2011 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented boasts gorgeous textural depth and volume. Varietal notes flesh out in a wine that shows tons of Clos Pepe character in its brightness, but with an additional layer of complexity from the fermentation in barrel. This is the first Clos Pepe Chardonnay to see a touch of new oak, 5% in this vintage. The flavors are a little broader than in the Hommage, but the style is quintessentially Clos Pepe and 2011.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
WA 92, WS 91, WE 91

The 2013 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard is a smoking white from the Santa Maria Valley that was brought up in 15% new 400-liter French oak barrels. Full, bodied, rich and beautifully textured, with lots of buttered apple, melon, spice and creamy notes, it stays crisp and clean on the finish. Drink this full-flavored, beautifully made Chardonnay over the coming 4-5 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
WA 91

The 2014 Chardonnay No. 81 is scented of ripe apples and peaches with hints of cedar, baking bread, marzipan and ginger. Medium to full-bodied and silken textured, it offers a great concentration of clean, ripe stone fruit flavors with some savory characters coming thorough on the long finish.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2017)
The Stasis Chardonnay shows intense flavor, and abundant honeyed grapefruit, tangerine and other tropical fruit characteristics. Pure, long, and refreshing, this terrific Chardonnay displays attractive notes of persimmon, straw, medium to full body, and nice leesy, brioche flavors with a hint of hazelnuts and brown sugar. It is an attractive, big, authoritatively flavored Chardonnay to drink over the next 3-4 years.
Medium ruby-purple colored, the Stasis Pinot Noir has a meaty / earthy nose with an undercurrent of black olives, pomegranate, black raspberries and plum, plus hints of spice box and forest floor. The medium bodied palate is fruitier than the nose, with crisp acidity and a rich level of velvety tannins, finishing long. Approachable now, it should drink to 2018.
WS 88

Displays a charming savory side that commingles with dusty berry, gravel and brick notes. Supple in texture until the very end, where the tannins give the flavors traction. Drink now through 2024.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Aug, 2016)
WS 91

Starts trim and focused, and then the fruit accelerates and expands, with a burst of spicy raspberry, fresh earth, wilted rose and black licorice. The texture smooths out, but this is appealing for the zesty personality and fine-grained tannins. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (2016)
WE 92

From a range of vineyards including Cole and Rodgers Creek, this blend is thick and soft, highlighted in charcuterie, black licorice and tar aromas. Birch and leather add more savory personality, as the nose continues to suggest the aromatic landscape of an Italian deli. It's cofermented with a small percentage of Viognier.


- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
This wine is filled with aromas of black cherries coupled with forest floor, subtle earthiness, loam, and notes of damp redwoods. On the palate the wine is rich and velvety with lingering hints of sage, plum and allspice. This Pinot Noir shows the cool season but with depth and intensity. This wine will age with grace for 5-10 years.
Based on Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a blend of the five classic Bordeaux varieties. The official alcohol is relatively modest, and yet the wine has superripe black currant and cassis notes that veer into chocolate-covered raisins. It’s soft in tannins, but the acidity is brisk and balancing. Should age until at least 2020, but you can drink it now.
WS 93, WA 92

Plump fruit meets lively acidity and good structure. Floral cherry, river stone and spiced cinnamon aromas open to rich, sleekly complex raspberry and tarragon flavors. Drink now through 2026.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Spectator (May, 2017)
WE 93

Rich sugar-apple and pear tart provide warmth and decadence to this wine. Despite its voluptuous nature, the wine is also layered and complex in intriguingly satisfying ways. A touch of ripe peach and salty pretzel figure into the mix quietly, yet harmoniously.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Nov, 2016)
WE 92

Medium in build and high in minerality, this fruity, dark-cherry wine is tethered by sizable oak and tannin. It finds its balance midway through, before offering a substantial finish.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
WE 93, WA 92

The 2014 Chardonnay Double L Vineyard is a cellar selection from their estate vineyard and incorporates eight different clones. Brought up in 30% new French oak, it's a rich, textured and concentrated beauty that has terrific purity and freshness in its orchard fruits, toasty oak and baked apple aromas and flavors. It has a Montrachet-like vibe and will drink well for 4-5 years at a minimum.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Sept, 2016)
WA 92

Another savory, peppery effort, the 2012 Pinot Noir Rancho la Vina Vineyard has a solid core of black raspberry and cassis-scented fruit to go with plenty of sous bois, wild herbs and tapenade on the nose. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and graceful on the palate, it has polished tannin, nicely integrated acidity and a great finish. Like the Las Hermanas, it has plenty of stem influence, yet has everything in the right proportions, lots of charm, and is a joy to drink. Fermented with 70% stems and aged 20 months in 30% new French oak, drink it anytime over the coming 5-7 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
V 92

Lail's 2014 Blueprint (Sauvignon Blanc) is crisp, delineated and absolutely delicious. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint and white pepper are some of the signatures. Drink this bright, expressive, distinctive Sauvignon over the next few years. The Blueprint was fermented in barrel and aged in tank.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Macauley magically combines the texture of a Napa Cabernet, with the hedonistic pleasures of Zinfandel. The heady aromatics are loaded with black cherry, pipe tobacco, briar, and subtle earthiness. The palate is ultra-rich, boasting pure black fruit, tons of spices, and dark chocolate. This alluring wine shows ample power and culminates in what is easily a 45 second finish. Enjoy this head-turner for the next 6-7 years.
WE 91

Softly floral and brightly spicy, this wine rocks in red cherry and tangy citrus, sure to please a broad range of palates in its approachable elegance and restraint. Toasted vanilla oak rounds out the finish.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WS 92

A graceful, elegant style that impresses with nuance and finesse, offering subtle smoky, toasty oak and leesy, yeasty notes that add dimension to the fig and apricot flavors. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2017)
WS 91, WE 91

Sleek and sassy, with floral raspberry and pepper aromas and elegantly layered flavors of cherry, cinnamon and fresh anise. Drink now through 2021.

- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator (April, 2015)
WA 91

The 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers aromas of honey-drizzled peaches, poached pears, musk melon and butterscotch. Medium to full-bodied with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and plenty of butter-laced stone fruit flavors on offer, it has great harmony and persistence.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2017)
WA 96

The 2015 Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard is largely from three clones – the old Wente clone of Chardonnay, the Sees and Rued selections. This wine displays plenty of wet gravel and crushed rock along with pineapple, white peach and marmalade. It is a deep, precise, exuberant and concentrated wine to drink over the next 7-10 years.

- Robert Parker , Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WA 92+, WE 92

Another terrific wine from this estate is the 2014 Lucienne Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard. Fresh, focused and vibrant, with nicely integrated acidity giving plenty of lift to notes of black cherries, sappy herbs and spring flowers, it has fine grained tannin, excellent concentration and a great finish. It will be better in a year or two (which is a rarity in 2014) and keep through 2024.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Sept, 2016)
WE 92, WS 91

Baked black cherry, rare roast beef and light sage aromas show on the dynamic, earthy nose of this bottling by Winemaker Paul Clifton. Garrigue is prominent on the tip of the sip, with strong but not overripe black cherry and plum flavors. These lead into forest floor, juniper, pine needle and mulling spice on the finish.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2017)
WA 90+

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is scented of baked cherries, black currant cordial and dark chocolate with hints of bay leaves, cedar and cloves. Full-bodied with a solid structure of firm, chewy tannins and uplifting acidity, the palate provides a great core of black berry and earth flavors, finishing long with an herbal lift.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (April, 2017)
An elixir of Zinfandel, Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Counoise, the fruit was sourced from two vineyards, planted in 1918 and 1933. Aged 16 months in 30% new-ish French oak, this is unlike any Zinfandel blend you’ve ever had before. Jason purposefully harvested the fruit on the earlier side, producing a wine with more acidic structure than what you would typically find with a Zin. While the wine is dense with purple and black fruit, there is an undercurrent of savory herbs and minerality that gives it lift, making this one complex field blend.
WE 89

There's a lot of rust and blood aromas on the nose of this wine, with pencil lead and black slate keeping up that mineral-driven sensibility. The flavors are light and earthy, with juniper laced across a strawberry-blossom core, showing a touch of black olive and crushed sage as well.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
WE 88

Richly intense, this wine wraps thick textures of caramel and toffee around tropical mango. The full body celebrates ripeness while finding enough restraint.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2016)
WA 90

An excellent value is undoubtedly the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot. For $55.00 one rarely finds this level of quality in Napa. The wine has a dense purple color, a good sweet kiss of crème de cassis, blackberry and licorice. Graphite makes an appearance in this medium to full-bodied, delicious wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WS 90

Offers a dense core of minerally tannins, framed by rich black currant fruit and marked with accents of grilled herb, olive and spice. Best from 2015 through 2020.

- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2013)

WA 90

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mario's (14.8% alcohol) shows soft tannins in an up-front, forward dramatic style in keeping with this vintage. The wine has medium to full body, low acidity and loads of black and red currant fruit. Drink it over the next 8-10 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, (Dec, 2015)
WS 90

There's much to admire in this rich, savory, layered and well-fruited effort, featuring bold dark berry, anise, mocha and jazzy oak flavors. Deep and persistent. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2016)
A bright, clear garnet in the glass, this vintage opens with beautiful red, ripe fruit aromas: pomegranate and red apple skin intertwine with cardamom and earthy, forest floor notes. On the palate, the red fruit tones lengthen into cherry and cranberry, joined by flavors of cola, baking spice and just a touch of pencil shaving on the structured mid palate. There is a nice weight to the textured, black-tea scented finish. Enjoy upon release or cellar through 2020.
San Francisco legend tells of a French restaurant in the gold rush days of the city named Le Poulet d'Or. Though beloved by the patrons come down from the gold fields, many had a hard time pronouncing the unfamiliar language of the restaurant's name. Some began to simply call it Old Poodle Dog and soon that's what it became. Our wine is an homage to that spirit of our favorite city that learns from the traditions of others and creates something new and delicious from it.

2/3 Coombsville fruit, rest Yountville Cross Road and Diamond Mountain. Nose: cinnamon dusted black cherries, cocoa powder, tar and wheat toast. Taste black currants, more black cherries, pie spice, tobacco and mocha. Big, youthful finish of both flavor and tannins. A “serious” Napa Cab for a not-so-serious price. 8% combined Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot.
WS 91

A supple, graceful style, deceptively elegant and understated, with crushed rock and mineral supporting crushed raspberry and black cherry, ending with a dash of anise. Drink now through 2023. 690 cases made.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2012)
Dark garnet in color, the wine opens with a combination of raspberry fruit, spice, cinnamon with a hint of clove. On the pallet the clove leads into a blast of bing cherry, raspberry, spice and hints of cola. This wine has bright acidity and great balance that leads to a long cherry fruit finish. This wine also has enough tannins to allow to age well. Best from 2013 through 2020.
WS 92

Dark-hued, rich and spicy, with an enticing core of mocha-laced blackberry, cherry, spice and floral scents. Ends as it begins, bold and rich. Drink now through 2026.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)

WS 92

Delightfully rich and expressive, with tiers of dark blackberry, mocha, licorice and cherry. Broad and lingering on the deep and persistent finish. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
WE 91

A sizable percentage of Merlot is blended in here, as well as much smaller amounts of Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Malbec. Together, they work, offering a lushness of blackberry jam and chocolate in a medium-bodied package that's smooth, with just the slightest tension of tannin and tobacco.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2016)
WA 90, WS 90

Another rich, honeyed style of wine fermented and aged in 100% new French oak is the 2013 Chardonnay Gamble Ranch. This has a light gold, greenish-hued color and plenty of white peach, honeysuckle and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, with outstanding purity, richness and length, it should keep nicely for 3-4 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
From the outstanding 2012 vintage, this is a big, rich Napa Valley Cabernet with dark fruit and spice aromas and a hearty core of currant and black cherry flavors. The wine has excellent balance, soft tannins and a long finish.
WE 91

A classic Cab blended with smaller handfuls of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this 2011 is balanced and supple in plum, cassis and minty chocolate. The oak is accented in pretty ways by clove, sage and cardamom spice. Structured and soft, the finish is lengthy and the wine perfectly capable of waiting until 2019–2021 in a cellar.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Nov, 2014)
JS 93

Aromas of licorice and tar with black currants. Full body, round and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Gorgeous wine. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (July, 2015)
WE 93, WS 92

From a cool spot planted within classic Goldridge soils, this wine opens with smoky graham cracker and soft red and blue berry fruit. Black tea and clove speak to its site, providing intriguingly exotic and savory undertones that meld well with the fruit and oak. Still young, the wine needs to open for full effect.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2015)
WE 90

Plum jam and cranberry rise aromatically from the glass, with pretty accents of violet and cedar. Notes of baked bread add a comforting notion, while soft, sticky tannins combine with toasted oak and caramel on the midpalate and finish. There’s a boldness to the structure; drink through 2020.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2016)
WA 93-95

Another blockbuster is Tensley's 2014 Syrah Colson Canyon. Yields were down close to 40% for this vineyard in 2014. The only wine to see new oak, it spends roughly 11-16 months in 40% new French oak prior to bottling. It offers incredible notes of graphite, olive tapenade, white pepper and decadent levels of black raspberry that flow beautifully to a full-bodied Syrah that has a huge mid-palate, plenty of tannin and a monster finish. It should have 10-12 years or longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
WE 91

A dark, rich color imparts a hearty feel to this wine, which features velvety tannins around integrated oak. Concentrated, yet finessed, it sparks in cedar, dried herb and blackberry-infused chocolate.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (June, 2016)
WE 90

This is 100% varietal and mostly from the producer's Spring Mountain District estate, with the remaining grapes, 28%, from Pope Valley. Heavy and spicy on the entry, it offers a striking combination of black pepper and mountainous sage. Drink now through 2020.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (July, 2016)
WE 93

The producer's flagship wine, this is sourced from several Green Valley sites, including Amber Ridge and Manna. Both contribute a full-bodied wealth of packed-earth flavor in a generously layered, rich explosion of dark cherry, plum and pomegranate. Along the way, streaks of citrus and black tea provide exotic interludes.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast Dec, 2016)
WE 94

A full-bodied, complex and supple-textured wine, this offers plump, ripe black-cherry aromas shaded by hints of forest floor and sautéed mushrooms, along with mild plum and cherry flavors. While soft and soothing on the palate, a fine layer of tannins wraps it up and keeps it appetizing.

- Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2016)
WA 90

The 2015 Chardonnay Ryo-fu gives toasty oak, honey-nut and butterscotch notes over a guava, honeydew melon and pineapple scented core. Medium-bodied, it offers mouth-filling tropical fruit and oak inspired flavors with a lively line of acid and good length. It is a little old-school, yet nicely done.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (April, 2017)
Offers a core of rich red and dark berry flavors, shaded by dusty, cedary oak, with a mix of black and red licorice creeping into the mix. Drink now through 2021.
WE 94

From a selection of vineyards influenced heavily by fog, this wine shines in fleshy, expansive stone fruit and brightly integrated flavors of apple and pear. With a focused, velvety and juicy texture, it retains plenty of balance against a backdrop of elegant richness.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2017)
WA 90-92+

A barrel sample of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve looks very promising. An exuberant, boisterous display of creme de cassis, licorice and new oak is followed by a seamlessly constructed, full-bodied, rich wine with loads of black fruits. The acidity provides freshness, the tannins are ripe and well-integrated, and the wood component is nearly concealed by the extravagant quantities of fruit. This winner should drink well for 15-20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2013)
This is the second label from the uber sensational winery known as Palmaz vineyards. This Cabernet is a genuine Napa Valley classic with structure and style worthy of its famous heritage. After 86 years abandoned, the Palmaz family resurrected this historic wine. The label design was taken from a rubbing of the 1889 barrel brander. This wine has super silky tannins and bold, delicious fruit in the blackberry and cassis families. An excellent value for the money.
JS 93

Classic producer makes a beautiful red. Bright aromas of blueberries, raspberries and black licorice. Full-bodied, firm and silky. Wet earth, bark and mineral undertones.

- James Suckling Jan, 2016)
WA 94, WE 93

My favorite of the Sta. Rita Hills releases, the 2013 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard offers sensational purity and elegance in its darker berry fruits, crushed flowers, underbrush and hints of mint. Seamless, silky and refined, it still has plenty of fruit and texture, and shows terrific focus on the finish. I'm a fan and this bottle drank beautifully over the three days I had the bottle open. It will have a decade or more of overall longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2015)
WE 93

This cellar-worthy treasure has attention-grabbing spice, leather and smoky oak aromas. Ripe fruit flavors are heavily shaded with undeniably delicious accents of cedar and chocolate. It is bold in flavor, full in body and quite tannic in texture. Hold until at least 2018; the wine should improve even more after that.

- Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2015)
Rockbreak comes from a rock-strewn site in the windy southern area of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Native yeast fermentation, 15% "newer" barrels, and "natural acids," Kesner is careful to note. According to the winery, the tasting notes are almost identical to the 2010, on account of this vineyard's remarkable consistency: "Delicate essences of fleshy white peach and citrus rind and wet rocks dominate the nose. A wonderfully full yet crisply balanced body, well buttressed by vibrant acids that lead to the striking, lingering finish."
WA 91

The 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Family Reserve Generations honors four generations of Mondavis who have been the backbone of the Charles Krug Winery. Composed of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, this beauty reveals lots of blueberry, mulberry and blue fruits, a dense ruby/purple color, sweet tannins, and a medium to full-bodied, elegant yet substantial style. With no hard edges, this seamless stunner is a top example of not only 2012, but of Charles Krug’s resurgence in the marketplace as a serious player. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (July, 2014)
V 96

The 2014 Chardonnay is brilliant. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, almonds and smoke are all beautifully delineated in this transparent, super-finessed Chardonnay built on total finesse. The decision to pick a touch earlier plus the blocked malo style result in a focused, energetic Chardonnay that hits all the right notes.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Lifted red fruit with no sweetness, and conifer accents with light spice and hints of graphite, Radio Coteau’s La Neblina Pinot carries pleasant depth of character with good acidity, judicious tannin, and lots of length. Delicious and interesting.
V 94

Another highlight in this range, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Star Lane Vineyard is absolutely delicious. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, menthol and new leather are front and center. The 2013 is a beautiful wine that reconciles bold, racy fruit with the more earthy/savory style that is typical of this site in Happy Canyon.

- Vinous
WA 93

A blend of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon (76%) and Merlot (12%) with some Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, the 2012 Cyrus has a deep garnet color and slowly evolving nose of crème de cassis, plum preserves and cedar box with hints of underbrush, pencil lead, cloves and charcoal, plus a waft of bay leaves. The medium-bodied palate delivers tons of muscular fruit with a firm frame of grainy tannins and lively acid, finishing long with plenty of berry preserves, herb and earth layers.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (April, 2017)
The 2014 Medina Vineyard Chardonnay is a very refreshing wine with gorgeous, floral aromas leading to bright flavors of lemon-lime, tangerine, honeysuckle and Muscat on the palate. Spicy oak complements these flavors, while a backbone of vibrant acidity becomes refreshingly dry on the finish.
WE 93, WS 93, V 93

This marquee estate site supplies yet another gorgeous vintage of this powerful white, which opens with a crisp aroma of orange blossom. It follows in to the full-bodied palate, alongside layers of pear, pineapple and melon, all kept fresh by juicy acidity amid bites of oak and baking spice.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
Kistler's winemaker, Jason Kesner, makes one of the best 2011 California Chardonnays, period. Labelled under his own name, Kesner’s Alder Springs is pure genius in the glass and a wonderfully crafted wine. I might have to give this wine the nod as my top Chardonnay of the vintage! Kesner’s Alder Springs is simply majestic and glorious with layers of fruit and minerals; complex, lively and elegant, the nose starts off with wet stones, white flowers, brioche and citrus fruits leading to a vivid palate that balances lively acidity with creamy richness.
The aromatic profile is loaded with stone fruit, honeysuckle, lemon zest and graphite, while the palate unfolds with mouthwatering, juicy flavors of peach pit, citrus oil, lemon curd and baked apple. The lively finish is creamy, tart and spicy, with hints of tangy lime and lemongrass.
Tunning perfume of fresh picked dark red and black raspberry, crushed blueberries, bled pomegranate and violets.The slightest hint of briar patch and redwood forest floor, both of which will develop with time. A strong sense of purity and focus. Silken and full in the mouth, speaking now of primary fruit with bold, structural acids that will ensure its life in the cellar for years to come. A wonderfully balanced, structured wine with an elegant, lasting finish.
V 90-92

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon jumps from the glass with sweet tobacco, incense, mint, red cherries and savory herbs. Plush and immediate, yet with lovely aromatic intensity, the 2012 is a highly attractive and very complete Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink well for the next decade or so.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Dec, 2014)
V 90-93, WA 92

Expressive floral and spice notes open up first in the 2014 Merlot. Fresh, nuanced and energetic in the style of the year, the 2014 is a highly representative wine for the vintage. The 2014 is not quite as generous as the 2013, but it offers a touch more vibrancy today, not to mention considerable potential.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2015)
WS 93, V 90-93

Defined by juicy plum, raspberry, cherry and blueberry flavors, this offers an enticing berry medley, joined by red licorice, dusty earth and minerally notes, achieving a measure of elegance and finesse. Young and gaining, this has a promising future. Drink now through 2023.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2017)
WA 88

This big, fat, juicy Merlot (15.1% alcohol) is luscious, pure and ripe. It has a dense ruby/purple color and is plump, not terribly complicated, but savory and fleshy. Drink it over the next 8-10 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)

Our 2014 Estate Red is soft and rich with a fragrant bouquet of black cherry, black tea and lavender. The palate is plush and round, offering flavors of black currants, tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and leather. As the flavors fan out across the palate, a distinct oak nuance intermingles seamlessly with supple tannins on the long finish. This wine is appealing in its youth, but will also age beautifully over the next 10 years.
WE 93, WA 90

An outstanding effort, the 2012 Pinot Noir La Rinconada Vineyard has more spice, pepper, crushed rock and dark fruit to go with a pretty, elegant and lightly textured style on the palate. While it's slightly mid-weight through the middle, it has a great texture and fine tannin on the finish. Mostly destemmed and aged 15 months in 50% new French oak, from several hillside blocks in the vineyard, drink it over the coming 3-5 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
V 93-95

Failla's 2014 Chardonnay Chuy, from a dry-farmed site planted in 1964, is one of the most overt wines in this range. Orange jam, marmalade, smoke, dried flowers and honeyed notes meld together in an oily, viscous Chardonnay loaded with class and personality.

The Chuy Vineyard is located on the Sonoma side of Mount Veeder. Rarely are the wines here anything less than compelling. My tasting at Failla was one of the highlights of the two weeks I spent in Sonoma earlier this year. Ehren Jordan's 2014s are superb across the board. The wines are made in a mid-weight style that balances forward fruit with the aromatics and phenolics that these cooler sites tend to confer on their own... Essentially, the Failla wines truly capture an ideal of what the often-overused term 'balance' is all about. Most of the 2014s were in bottle when I stopped by but a few wines were scheduled to be bottled shortly thereafter. Those wines are scored in brackets. Never one to mince words, Jordan describes 2013 as the biggest crop California has ever seen. Yields were down by around 30% in 2014, which is one of the reasons these wines are so much stronger than the 2013s across the board. Simply put, 2014 is one of the most impressive vintages I have tasted at Failla.


- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Jan, 2016)
WE 92, WS 91

There is a healthy dose of 22% Petit Verdot in this bold, juicy wine, rich in wild raspberry and cassis aromas and flavors. Graphite and chocolate fill out the dense, integrated midpalate, complemented by tangy acidity that provides structure and a hint of grace.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2017)
WE 91, WS 91, WA 90

Dark and brooding, with bold licorice and wild berry aromas and burly, layered flavors of blackberry, smoky cracked pepper and dark Asian spice. The tannins firm up on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2024.

- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2015)
WA 92

Showing lots of savory herbs, dusty earth, spice and darker currant and blackberry-like fruit, it's medium-bodied, nicely textured and structured on the palate, with plenty of mid-palate depth. Given its recent bottling, I suspect it will be better this time next year and have 4-5 years of prime drinking. It was completely de-stemmed and aged 16 months in 50% new French oak.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2015)
WA 95

The silky and finesse-oriented 2014 Pinot Noir Terraces (60% de-stemmed and aged 14 months in neutral oak) offers tons of dried flowers, spice, red currants and sweet cherry fruit in a medium-bodied, nicely textured and polished style. Like the Indigene, it has no shortage of building tannin, but is impeccably balanced. This is a beautiful wine that will be better in another year and will have a decade of longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (July, 2016)
WE 91

Bittersweet at first, with sizable tannins, this Cab also contains 13.8% Petit Verdot. Red and black berries give it a juicy palate atop dusty, chalky tannins and a richness of leather and clove on the finish.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2016)
WS 94

Big and rich, with firm, structured tannins that are powerful and edgy, framing the core of blackberry, black cherry, plum and espresso flavors. An impressive effort. Best from 2019 through 2029.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (2017)
WA 92, WS 92

The three Syrahs that DuMOL makes go from a small production of the Jack Robert’s Run (250 cases) to just over 1,000 cases of the Russian River cuvée. The 2013 Syrah Russian River is fermented with about 30% whole clusters and displays notes of bacon fat, charcuterie, ground pepper, blackberry and cassis. A lovely, supple lushness and good purity make for a long, heady, rich Syrah to drink over the next 7-8 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2016)
WA 93, WE 92, V 91

Fermented and aged in 75% new French oak, the 2012 Pinot Noir Estate from Mount Eden has a lot of peppery spice and underbrush characteristics to go with a core of sour cherry and currant fruits on the nose. Medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured, and balanced with bright acidity, it starts out subtle, yet really stretches out nicely on the finish. It also blossoms with time in the glass. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy bottles through 2027.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WA 90

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, shows much sweeter tannins, a dense purple color, loads of crème de cassis and vanilla, a medium to full body, attractive opulence, purity and length. This is outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 12-15 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WE 91, WS 90

Golden-honey colored, this wine has toasty toffee oak and full-bodied richness, with a stark layering of citrus and baked apple. Concentrated and thick, it shows its youth and should benefit with time in both the glass and in the bottle.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2017)
This Cabernet is sustainably farmed and produced from a blend of our best hillside blocks on Olive Hill Estate. A ripe and masculine Cabernet Sauvignon, with generous amounts of black fruit, cassis and espresso with dark earthy undertones of forest floor and briar. An enticing bouquet of cigar box, cloves and cedar all wrapped with subtle hints of mocha and anise leading to a rich palate of warm caramel, complex yet firm tannins and a long lasting finish.
The 2014 Bear Flat Merlot combines the berry fruits from a warm region with the savory notes of a cooler growing area. The wine opens with aromas of plum, spice, and forest floor. Juicy fruit flavors pop upon entry and are followed by layered notes of cedar, fine herbs, and black olive. The texture is full, yet so smooth and beautifully balanced that the lingering fruit leaves you yearning for the next sip.
JS 94, WA 93+

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity has an inky purple color that is much more saturated than its two predecessors. This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc aged 18 months in 80% new French oak. This is a richer style of wine with much greater density, power and intensity. Opaque to the rim with more tannin, extract and muscle, this is more of a long-term proposition, so I'd suggest giving it 2-4 years of bottle age, and drinking it over the following 20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
V 92, IWC 91

The 2009 Pinot Noir is gorgeous. Bright red fruit, flowers, licorice and spices are some of the notes that emerge from this mid-weight, striking Pinot. Though at times a touch closed this shows marvelous mid-palate presence and a long finish that resonates beautifully. There is a reticence from the cool growing season that is totally alluring, as the wine is only showing a part of its ultimate potential at this stage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Aug, 2011)
WA 91+

Red currants, dried rose petals, cured meats and savory herbs all emerge from the 2014 Pinot Noir Block M, which is medium-bodied, elegant and supple on the palate, yet has a solid kick of savory tannin that gives me pause. There's lots of tannin here, and it needs 2-3 years of cellaring to come together.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (July, 2016)
WE 93

There’s a surprising element of power to this Pinot Noir. Intense in dark cherry cola, clove and nutmeg, it offers a pronounced finish of wintery cardamom and caramel. The body is medium weight and the tannins smooth and silky.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)
WS 90

Rich without being weighty, offering a subtle presentation of green apple, melon, citrus and cedary nutmeg flavors, with the wood most prominent on the finish. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (July, 2016)
WS 90

Pure and focused on fresh citrus, with touches of lemon, blood orange and citrus blossom, maintaining a core zestiness through the persistent finish. Drink now.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (July, 2016)
JS 93, WS 93

This combines power with finesse and grace, with an extracted core of dark berry, loamy earth and crushed rock amid the dried herb and cedar notes. Smooth early on, yet gains tannic traction. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2028.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (July, 2016)
WA 90

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Yao Ming is a blend of 95.33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. This has an outstanding aromatic profile of cedar wood, blackcurrants, licorice and forest notes followed by a supple-textured, medium to full-bodied, round, juicy wine that can be drink now or cellared for 10-15 years. This is well-made, clean, pure and well-balanced.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 93

From the producer's iconic and historic vineyard comes this classic bottling, with red cherries, crushed brick, anise, tart plum skin, candied rose water and even a touch of tobacco on the nose. It's crisp and fresh on the sip, where more flavors of red cherry and anise meet with thyme and bay leaf.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast(Oct, 2016)
JS 94

Aromas of berries, stones and light coffee follow through to a medium to full body, integrated tannins and a chocolate, walnut and berry aftertaste. Linear and focused. Nice tension. Better than 2013. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (Jan, 2017)
Rich and dramatic, packed with red and black currant, and sandalwood flavors. A complex wine with rich flavors of black currants, allspice and a hint of clove. The wine is full bodied, with velvety texture, smooth tannins and an extensive finish. The wines beautiful balance will allow this wine to age for more than ten years.

WS 90, WA 90

Sleek, jazzy, mocha-infused oak adds a wonderful touch to this firm, dense and chewy effort. The vivid dark berry and licorice notes join loamy earth and dried underbrush details to round out the flavor profile, never straying from the tannic theme. Best from 2019 through 2028. 825 cases made.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2016)
JS 93

Black currants with sweet tobacco as well as espresso undertones dominate the nose of this Bordeaux blend. On the palate, this wine shows concentration, plenty of tannins and a finish with lots of dark fruits. A blend of 65% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 9% malbec with the balance of cab franc and petit verdot.

- James Suckling
V 91

Silky tannins and expressive, perfumed aromatics are some of the signatures of the 2013 Pinot Noir Far Coast Vineyard. Bright red stone fruits, blood orange, raspberry and savory/floral notes are all nicely lifted in the glass. The personality of this cool site near Annapolis comes through in spades.

- Vinous (Jan, 2015)
V 91

Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon are laced together in the 2013 Pinot Noir Marin County. This floral, savory, mid-weight Pinot is an excellent choice for drinking over the next few years.

- Vinous (Jan, 2015)
WA 95, V 92-94

One of the bright shining stars in California winedom, their Chardonnays are clearly Burgundian, but with sensational purity and ripeness.The 2013 Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard (572 cases produced) is fashioned from a specific block of vines that Don Hartford farms in the well-known Durell Vineyard. Fermented with indigenous yeast, it exhibits lots of white peach, orange blossom, pear and honeysuckle notes in its medium to full-bodied, gorgeously pure, textured personality. With terrific acidity as well as focus, it should drink well for 10+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
WA 93, JS 92

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has the essence of cassis, graphite, spice box, gorgeous purity, full-bodied opulence and a long, rich finish with nothing out of place. There’s background oak, but overall, it’s the fruit that dominates and this wine has lots of it, building a nice skyscraper-like mouthfeel. This is a super Cabernet Sauvignon from Macauley. Drink it over the next decade or more.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WA 91

The 2013 Chardonnay Mountain Estate Vineyard shows slightly crisper acids, a more close-to-the-vest style, with notes of white currants, quince, wet stones and a touch of white peach. The wine is medium-bodied and seems to offer up loads of fruit, but in a zestier, slightly less dramatic style than its 2012 counterpart. It could be only a question of being a year younger.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, (Oct, 2015)
WA 92

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon shows lots of Pauillac-like crème de cassis, cedar wood, forest floor and fruitcake. There’s a touch of white chocolate, a nice influence of spicy and the wine is full-bodied, fleshy and opulent. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (July, 2014)
WA 91

The 2014 Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters emanates from another Anderson Valley site and is sourced from four separate clones – Dijon clones 115, 666, 777 and the Pommard selection. This wine displays notes of baked apple skins, pomegranate, black cherry and a hint of raspberry, with some floral notes as well as forest floor. It is rich, ripe, medium to full-bodied, and best drunk over the next 5-7 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WA 94

The 2014 Pinot Noir Muldune Trail comes from a vineyard at the southern end of the Anderson Valley planted at an elevation of 1,600 feet. Again unfined and unfiltered, this has a dense ruby/plum color that is more saturated than its two predecessors and notes of fresh herbs intermixed with wet gravel, blueberry, raspberry and pomegranate. It is medium-bodied, long, rich, and made from Dijon clones 115 and 777. This is a broad, savory, impressive Pinot Noir to drink over the next decade.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WA 94, WE 93

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot) is beautiful. Giving up lots of black and blue fruits, tobacco leaf, sweet oak and graphite, this fabulous Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet is medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and focused, with fine tannin and impeccable balance. It shows its class on the lengthy finish as well. It's a baby and needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will have more than two decades of overall longevity.

Located on the warmer, eastern/northern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Eden Vineyards is one of the most historic estates in California. In addition, their wines have one of the longest track records in the region for aging beautifully. Originally planted in 1945, the estate covers roughly 40 acres today and Jeffrey Patterson makes the wines. Under their Mount Eden label, they release three Chardonnays, a single Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Their Domaine Eden label is focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from a vineyard lying just to the south of the estate, and also includes Bordeaux varieties from throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WE 93

From Josh Jensen's 4.4-acre vineyard, this bottling offers black plum and mulberry aromas laced with crushed gravel and lavender notes. There is a powerful minty character to the palate, which helps enliven the hearty ripe cranberry and hibiscus elements. A thought-provoking and earthy wine.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2017)
27% Merlot, 27% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, 5% Petite Verdot. This is a deep, dark wine that brims with layered aromas of black fruits, crushed rock, violets, earth and black spice. Lush and intricate, each sip reveals more and more of this complex blend. Flavors boom long across the mid-palate, framed by well-integrated oak and ample tannins. The finish is long with hints of black spice, turned earth and mocha.
V 93-95, WA 91-94

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve exhibits classic crème de cassis, graphite and spice box notes as well as terrific purity, plenty of depth and ripeness, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. In the past, this cuvée has been highly successful as well as very ageworthy. The 2012 is another beauty. Juicy and filled with cassis fruit, it is still primary, but promises to keep for two decades or more.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WE 95, WS 92, WA 92+

Co-fermented with 10% Viognier, the 2013 Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard has a medium garnet color and notes of jasmine and lavender over a black pepper and tar cor, with fruit notes of blackberries and black raspberries. The medium-bodied palate is earthy/savory in character, with a solid frame of chewy tannins and plenty of spice layers on the finish.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (March, 2017)
WA 92+

The single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest elevation (400-1000 feet) is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Ridge. It displays blacker fruit, loads of plums, blueberry and blackberry, a deep, full-bodied, mouthfeel, rich, concentrated, moderately high tannin, a nice minerality and plenty of black fruits. These are all well-built and potentially very long-lived wines of 25-30 or more years. This wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WA 94

A famous wine from the early days of The Wine Advocate, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander’s Crown Single Vineyard comes from a lower elevation of 250 to 360 feet. The wine displays broad, sweet crème de cassis, black cherry and blueberry fruit, some licorice, graphite, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and outstanding length and purity. This is a beauty, and makes me think back to the great 1974, which was the first one I remember tasting.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WE 91

From the owners of another marquee vineyard nearby, Sun Chase, this wine is expressive and expansive on the palate, dark red-purple in color, thick and dense on the palate. Blackberry, black plum and black pepper rise to the fore, built along a continuum of earthy forest floor. Tannin and oak are interwoven well, before a soft finish.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2015)
JS 91, WA 90

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexis (1,572 cases made) offers abundant aromas of crème de cassis, licorice and spice, medium to full body, round tannins, decent acidity and good balance as well as depth. Approachable, it should continue to evolve nicely for a dozen years or more. This is the best set of bottled wines I have seen from Swanson in a number of years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WE 92, JS 92, WA 91

Another of the producer's 100% varietal wines, this comes from two head-turning sites: Broken Rock Ranch at the foot of Atlas Peak, and Beckstoffer Las Piedras. The two marry well, offering sizable tannin and power atop complex layers of leather, cedar, pencil lead and coffee. Soft, integrated oak makes the wine enjoyable now, while its structure suggests further time in bottle, too. Drink now through 2021.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (June, 2016)
WA 92

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Blueprint hails from six separate sources in Napa Valley and is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. The wine has an opaque purple color and notes of graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as touches of white chocolate, underbrush and licorice. It is medium to full-bodied, with terrific purity and a supple, fruit-forward, luscious style that is characteristic of this endearing vintage. Anticipated maturity: now-2032.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
V 95, WA 92

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. This is the finest and most complete set of wines I can remember tasting from Arietta. Proprietor Fritz Hatton and winemaker Andy Erickson seem to have reached a new level of quality with the 2012s and 2013s, both of which are brilliant. This is a fabulous showing from top to bottom.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2014)
V 92

With the generous 2013 vintage Eric Sussman decided to include 19% whole clusters to add structure and definition to the Alberigi pinot. Red and blue fruits exude from the glass, the abundant acidity raising the fruit notes higher. Well rounded and balanced with a savory, silky quality on the palate. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Deep garnet core. is wine is deceptively elegant and complex with aromas of rhubarb, Bing cherry, pomegranate and bloodorange mingling with talc, white pepper and redwood spice. On the palate are darker berry fruits with orange zest and savorynotes. Well-integrated silky tannins and brilliant acidity, this wine unfolds in the glass with layers and nuance. Made with 100% Pinot Noir.
JS 93, WE 91

This is an inaugural release of this variety from the Mount George Vineyard in cool Coombsville, granted AVA status in 2011. Juicy and soft in blackberry and stone fruit, the wine is cradled by generous tannins and herbal tones. Full bodied, its sinewy structure suggests it would benefit from more time in bottle; cellar through 2022.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2016)
WE 92

This is one of the most successful Syrah-Cabernet Franc blends in California. The Syrah brings blueberry and bacon flavors, and the Cabernet provides the black currant note and the tannic backbone. It’s already delicious to drink, but allow it to breathe in a decanter for one or two hours.

- Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2013)
WA 92+

Dense ruby/purple with a restrained but promising bouquet of cassis,tobacco leaf,subtle oak,this full-bodied wine is very youthful,dense,and extremely promising. Always one the winery's classics this should be at its best between 2018 and 2035.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 88

The 2012 Tribute Estate Proprietary Red (from a biodynamically-farmed vineyard) is a blend of Bordeaux varietals. Its deep plum/ruby color is followed by sweet notes of cassis, black cherries and subtle oak, medium body, and good opulence as well as roundness. This consumer-friendly, lush red possesses good purity and character. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
V 91, IWC 91

Exuberant and youthful, the 2010 Cameron has generous aromas of milk chocolate, bing cherry, raspberry and hazelnut oak spice. The palate is supple and smooth with finely integrated tannin, opulent flavors of plum and cherry. Classic Cameron Vineyard at its finest, just beautiful and eminently drinkable.
WA 93

The proprietary red, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 17% Cabernet Franc, is the 2012 Perry’s Blend. This was aged almost 30 months in 50% new French oak and 50% second-year barrels. Gorgeous aromatics of unsmoked cigar tobacco, spring flowers, black and red currants, a touch of raspberry and blueberry are followed by a sexy, delicious, lush, medium to full-bodied wine with beautiful balance, purity, and overall texture. This is hard to ignore, but then again, it is another very showy 2012. This wine should continue to drink well for 12-15 years at the minimum, but who has such patience?

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WS 94, WA 93

From a famous terroir comes the 2013 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard, which was planted in 1972 and possesses some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in Northern California. Shows amazing vibrancy and purity of flavor, brimming with juicy, lemon-scented green apple, white peach and tangerine notes, enlivened by zesty acidity and a long, persistent aftertaste that maintains focus and depth. Drink now through 2020.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (June, 2016)
WA 94, WE 94

Wow, the inky opaque colored 2014 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard is a sensational Pinot Noir. Giving up tons of black raspberry, cassis, toasty oak, crushed violets and campfire aromas and flavors, this youthful, even backwards effort has fabulous richness and depth, a layered texture and ripe tannin that emerges on the finish. This is a big, rich Pinot Noir that should benefit from short term cellaring and have a decade or more of longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2016)
This vineyard border the southernmost part of the Rutherford appellation, yielding a wine that exhibits characteristics from both Rutherford and Oakville. The 2012 Quicksilver Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon offers alluring aromas of cherry and cedar. On the palate, flavors of cherry and raspberry fruits combine with a dusty, earthy quality that comes from the Rutherford AVA. Additional notes of Chocolate and spice harmonize with these flavors, carried on board, coating tannis reminiscent of Oakville.
WA 94+, WE 94

The 2014 Pinot Noir Meredith Estate has a medium ruby-purple color and gorgeous fragrance of red roses, lavender and fallen leaves over a core of crushed cranberries, mulberries and raspberry tart plus a touch of allspice. The medium-bodied palate is taut, youthful and finely structured, with the ripe, very fine grained tannins beautifully framing the multilayered berry and earth flavors, finishing long with loads of freshness and expressiveness.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (April, 2017)

WE 94

Baked bread and lavender jump out on the nose of this perennially delicious wine, which in this vintage shines in red fruit with a crisp citrus undertone. Elegant and graceful, it offers moderate tannins that will withstand aging, finishing in spicy nutmeg and wild vanilla. Drink now through 2023.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2016)
WA 95+

Stags’ Leap has always had a great reputation for its Petite Sirahs. A prodigious Petite Sirah, their 2012 Petite Sirah Estate Ne Cede Malis is a blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Mixed Blacks aged 12 months in 25% new American oak. There are 900 cases of this massive, blockbuster, full-throttle wine from some of the oldest vines on the estate. (One parcel of Petite Sirah was planted in 1929.) Opaque purple, with notes of pen ink, graphite, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, an amazingly concentrated, full-bodied mouthfeel, and stunning purity and depth, this is a wine for 30-40 years of cellaring. It is a killer effort.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WE 94, JS 93, WA 91+

This wine, from the producer's estate vineyard on Atlas Peak, relies on the addition of nearly 15% Petit Verdot, which provides additional prettiness and power. Well structured and in balance, it imparts cedar, dried herb and pencil shavings, as firm tannins and subtle oak play background roles. It's defined by cool-climate restraint and grace. Drink from 2022–2027.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2017)
WA 93

The 2013 Upper Barn, a vineyard that Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer made famous, spends 11 months in 49% new French oak and is fermented with indigenous yeasts. This is all Old Wente clone material, planted in 1982, so it’s among the older Chardonnay vineyards in Northern California. This wine always seems to have great acidity and loads of orange blossom, marmalade, honeysuckle and lemon blossom characteristics. The 2013 Upper Barn Vineyard (963 cases) is a beauty and certainly one of my favorites of this group.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, (April 2013)
WA 95, V 94

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall Vineyard, which sees 57% new French oak for 20 months, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a deep, opaque purple color and notes of charcoal, créme de cassis, graphite and white chocolate. It is full-bodied, multilayered, very deep, impressive and long.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
The Quicksilver Vineyard lies on the western Rutherford bench, in the acclaimed winegrowing area on Bella Oaks Lane. The soils are predominantly well-drained loams that produce vines of moderate size. These older vines were planted to the California sprawl system, with wider spacing and a divided canopy, giving great exposure to the fruit. Minimal irrigation is needed to obtain maximum fruit potential from this vineyard.
The 2013 Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has gorgeous floral aromas mixed with blueberry fruits. Rich, pie-like flavors of plum and blueberry fruits, nutmeg, vanilla, cedar and stone make this wine alluring. Velvety tannins cleanse the palate and broaden the wine’s depth of character, leading into a long, succulent finish.
WA 94-96

The 2013 Chardonnay Ma Douce displays floral notes intermixed with notions of tangerines, nectarines, bees wax and honeysuckle. Full-bodied and rich, but more subtle than its 2012 counterpart, this beauty was made from the Old Wente clone of Chardonnay. Drink now-2023.

Run, don’t walk – take your checkbook or credit card out and splurge for the Luc Morlet Wine Express. Morlet, who comes from a family of winemakers in Champagne and consults at the Peter Michael Winery where his brother Nicolas is in charge of the winemaking, has his own operation on Route 29 north of St. Helena. His Napa cuvées were reviewed in Issue #215. His Sonoma offerings are remarkable wines that are about as good as wines made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah can be. Morlet is not only a fabulous winemaking talent, he knows how to bring the French savoir faire of complexity, elegance and precision to the ripe, concentrated, intense fruit of California.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WA 91

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Bartolucci Vineyard from St. Helena is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new French oak. The wine has a dense ruby/purple color, sweet, pure black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, medium to full body, supple tannins and complexity as well as elegance. This is a beauty and probably one of the strongest of Cabernet Sauvignons I have tasted from Honig. Drink now-2032.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)

WA 94

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley has a dense opaque purple color, a kiss of blackberry and cassis fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel with ripe tannin and a long finish. It is very Caymus in its immediate accessibility, but has plenty of staying power and depth. This is lush, full, intense and pure. Drink it over the next 15 or so years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
JS 93

This is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a deep, intense color and a distinct fruit center that begins with black cherry, violet and currant aromas. It is well balanced, elegant and sleek on the palate, delivering very long berry and cherry flavors through to the finish. The underlying tannin structure, complexity and ample fruit guarantees rewards to the patient collector over the next 12 or so years.

- James Suckling
Essence of cassis, herb and green and black olive blend together so exquisitely that this might be our best vintage for this vineyard to date. The wine offers deep flavor and a round and generous texture, making it seamless from start to finish.
The Nth Degree label by Wente Vineyards are small-production, handcrafted and terroir-driven wines. Small amounts of Syrah and Cab Franc were added to this wine, adding dark fruit aromas and flavors and acidity. Hints of earthy loam and oak spice frame the wine, which needs a bit of air right now, but is drinking nicely.
WA 93

The 2013 Gandona Vineyards Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, is a lighter style of wine and their biggest cuvée (just under 750 cases). This wine is on a fast evolutionary track, with complex notes of cedar wood, licorice, blackcurrants and tobacco leaf, all from a medium-bodied wine with light tannin, luscious fruit and a delicious, supple mouthfeel. Drink it over the next decade.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WA 92

Carter makes his 2014 Proprietary Red Hossfeld Coliseum, which is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, from a relatively obscure vineyard back on Soda Canyon Road in Southern Napa Valley. This wine is big, chewy, chocolaty and mocha-infused wine with black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, loads of texture, lushness and a heady, chewy finish. It is sexy wine and there are 193 cases of it. Drink it over the next decade.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 89

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Crossfire from Rutherford is one of the stronger wines. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon shows crème de cassis, licorice, blacker fruits, good integration of wood, acidity and tannin, medium to full body and a relatively long finish. It is drinkable now and should continue to evolve nicely for another 10-12 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WS 92

Hides tannic muscle amid a dense, supple core of anise, black licorice, dusty herb and cedar flavors. A style well-suited for hearty fare and a long decant. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2026.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Aug, 2016)
WE 94, WA 93, WS 92

This beautiful wine includes 9% Cabernet Franc that gives a lift of floral violet and grainy cedar. Classic all around in its etchings of coconut shavings, graphite, spice and dust, the fruit is additionally savory in bright red currant and a crunch of cassis, with an underpinning of soft, succulent blackberry.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
V 90

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Coach Insignia is pretty, open and expressive. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and leather are all laced together nicely in the glass. The 2012 has developed very well since I last tasted it, but it remains decidedly medium in body and feminine in style. This is the most accessible of the Fisher 2012s.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Dec, 2014)
JS 92

Very pretty balance and refinement with black currant, leather and hints of toasted oak. Full body, delicate tannins and a savory finish. This makes you want to drink it.

- James Suckling (Jan, 2016)
WA 95

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder comes from a vineyard once owned by the late Robin Williams called Pym Rae (now owned by the Tesseron family from Bordeaux) that sits at an elevation of 1,800 feet. Blueberry, blackberry and cassis are all present in this full-bodied wine that displays the high-elevation bluer fruits that Mt. Veeder can provide. There is a floweriness and full-bodied richness, big extract, but great balance and no rusticity. This beauty should drink well for at least 25-30 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 96

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the estate in Spring Mountain Vineyards is the thirty-sixth vintage for the Robert Keenan Winery. This wine has 7% Cabernet Franc added into the blend and 700 cases were produced. A blockbuster wine for sure, with an inky/purple color, sweet crème de cassis, graphite, chocolate a hint of charcoal and burning embers – almost as if it wanted to behave like a Graves from Bordeaux. This is full-bodied, very rich, powerful and still moderately tannic. It’s a baby for sure, but what an impressive one. This wine needs a good 3-4 years of bottle age and should keep well for 25-30 years at the minimum.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
JS 93

Translated as “Morning Dew”, Asatsuyu is the only Sauvignon Blanc made by Heidi Barrett and the only white wine from Kenzo Estate. Its purity is the result of ideal ripeness and gentle winemaking. Crisp, rich and complex, true Sauvignon Blanc varietal character is on display in the Asatsuyu. Perfumes of citrus and peach segue to ripe flavors of honeydew, melon and guava. Thirst quenching acidity is framed by hints of minerality and soft undertones of sweet oak.
JS 94, WA 92

Another winner, and a big, juicy style of wine (which seems to be Craig Becker’s Midas touch) is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine, which sees some new oak, is a powerhouse with rich, concentrated blackberry and cassis fruit, some dusty, loamy soil notes, real succulence and a fleshy, opulent mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WE 91

This wine is all bramble and brawn. High-octane in power and ripeness, it has a juicy core of mocha-laced blackberry fruit. Pencil shavings and gravel notes add a tease of minerality amongst all that richness.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
The Prisoner was created and inspired by the drinkable "mixed blacks" first made by the Italian immigrants who originally settled in the Napa Valley. Launched in 2003, The Prisoner soon became the most recognized innovative and unique Napa Valley Red Wine blend, leading the resurgence of blends by incorporating Zinfandel with the unlikely "mix" of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Charbono. Features enticing aromas of Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and roasted fig. Persistent flavors of ripe raspberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, and vanilla linger harmoniously, for a smooth and luscious finish.
WE 93

This celebration of legendary Jerry Lohr's 80th birthday is a winner on all fronts. A zesty, uplifting nose of blackberry, cola, licorice, leather and clay leads into a cohesively woven palate of soy, shiitake dust, roast beef and dark chocolate. The acidity is well-measured, the tannins are chalky and grippy and it's powerful without being flashy.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast (June, 2017)
JS 93, WE 91

This is the winery’s reserve-level 100% Cab, given the utmost care and attention. It opens shyly in cedar and blackberry before offering a luscious palate of tangy leather, dry, firm tannins and a peppery finish. From grapes designated as their own Heritage Clone, UCD 30, it beautifully expresses the appellation and should cellar well through 2020.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (June, 2015)
The finished wine—57% Cabernet Sauvignon; 31% Merlot; and 12% Petit Verdot-- is quite complex. Yet it still offers the same lush richness so apparent in the ripe grapes as well as previous vintages of Covenant Cabernet. Kosher for Passover.
This wine opens with plum, black cherry, herb, and earth aromas. While this Cabernet Sauvignon offers incredible juicy fruits, it is the well-integrated tobacco leaf, bay leaf, anise, and oak spice that make it compelling. Enhanced by a vibrant acidity, the texture of this wine is smooth and velvety, providing a long and juicy finish.
WS 91

Exhibits complex aromas of ripe berry, roasted coffee, dried herb and cedary cigar box, holding focus and gaining length and persistence. Drink now through 2022.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2014)
WA 92+

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot and 3% Syrah, shows a dense ruby/purple color, super concentration, chocolate, a touch of oak and a medium to full-bodied impressively concentrated style.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 93+

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Branding Iron Oakville is from an Oakville vineyard. Notes of Christmas fruitcake, sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, some licorice and spice box are all present in this dense purple-colored wine. It is full-bodied, impressively endowed, with moderately high tannin. This wine will benefit from another 2-4 years of cellaring and should drink well for another 20-25 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
Offers gorgeous raspberry and black cherry aromas, leading to a bright palate of cherry flavors melded with chocolate, floral notes and a hint of Rutherford dust. The velvety, coating tannins are in perfect harmony with the fruit. Richness persists from the entry to the seductive, lingering finish.
WA 95, JS 93

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hayne Vineyard, which like its siblings is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, comes from the base of the Mayacamas Mountains in St. Helena. Easily the blackest and most saturated in color of the Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignons, the wine is rich and concentrated, with loads of blueberry and blackberry fruit, some licorice, graphite, and a full-bodied, opulent mouthfeel. This is sensational stuff that should drink beautifully for the next 20-25 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
If you like big, rich wines then this is the Cabernet Sauvignon for you. Ample, dark fruit with hints of minerality blend harmoniously on a solid core of tannin that will continue to evolve in the barrel.
The home vineyard of Nickel & Nickel, Sullenger Vineyard is situated behind the winery in the heart of Oakville. Its 30 acres of clay loam soil are planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon and the wine is known for its rich flavor and supple tannins. The property is named after Napa Valley pioneer John C. Sullenger, who, in 1865, purchased this property and developed a farmstead in the 1880s. SullengerÕs restored Napa Valley farmstead is the home of Nickel & Nickel winery.
The 2014 Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon exudes dark berry flavors with a hint of fresh blueberry, which defines this special site. A mouthwatering entry coats the palate, while the flavor and texture are complemented by restrained oak. Ultimately, the tannins dissolve, leaving an impression of resolution and completeness.
WA 97

The 2013 Proprietary Red Vintage Reserve is the winery's rendition of the very best lots of their Bordeaux varietals blended together and presented in an artistic package. Inky purple to the rim, the wine has flawless integration of acidity, alcohol and tannin, beautiful espresso-infused blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, chocolate, full-bodied opulence, and stunning purity and length. It is special a wine with probably 25-35 years of aging potential, even though it is more accessible than the two Cabernets from Moon Mountain. This is a beauty, so kudos to Gundlach Bundschu. Drink it over the next three decades.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, (March, 2016)
WA 89

The 2014 Chardonnay Brown Ranch spends 18 months in French oak and goes through full malolactic. For that reason, the wine offers up plenty of loamy soil notes, honeysuckle, poached pear and a touch of poached citrus in a medium-bodied, attractive style. Drink it over the next 3-4 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 91

This is made in the smooth, oaky and rich style of the modern cult Cabernet. It offers lots of ripe, jammy blackberries, plus notes of sweet, intense black and red currants, dark chocolate tart, black licorice and smoky oak. The tannins are tough but structured, so give it six years in the cellar and see what happens.

- Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2013)

WA 92-94

The superb 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc) offers up aromas of forest floor, spring flowers, red and black currants and subtle oak, and a long, rich, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. This exuberant as well as precise 2012 should drink well for 10-12 years.

Despite the high quality wines emerging from Juslyn, this estate remains under most consumers’ radar. Proprietors Carolyn and Perry Butler produce mostly estate-bottled wines from their vineyard holdings. The recently released 2009s are both sensational wines. Both 2011s, which are still in barrel, are lighter-styled wines. The 2012s ratchet up things considerably as they do at most wineries when comparing them to the 2011s.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2013)
WA 93, WE 92

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has an opaque purple color and beautiful aromatics of macerated black cherries, black currants, licorice and incense. Medium to full-bodied, with zesty acids, sweet tannin and a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel, this is remarkably elegant but offers up terrific purity and personality. Drink it over the next 15-20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 91

Made from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon with a sizable addition of Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, The Discussion is lovely in spicy black pepper and clove, full bodied and softly integrated in terms of tannin and oak. A brightness of red fruit shines through, along with a distinct taste of fig.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2016)
WA 96

One of the gems in this stacked lineup is the 2013 Soul Of A Lion, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that includes 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. Aged 22 months in new French oak, this full-bodied, rich, mineral-laced and incredibly textured beauty offers up classic California notes of graphite, coffee bean, ripe black currants and chalky minerality. Drink this full-bore, pedal to the metal effort anytime over the coming 10-15 years (and I wouldn't be surprised to see it keep for longer either).

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2016)
IWC 93, WA 91

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard possesses gorgeous textural elegance and depth. Black cherries, plush, licorice, spices and flowers blossom with time in the glass as the wine opens up gradually. The 2009 boasts considerable richness and weight, not to mention terrific overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WS 90

Solidly built, with a lively, focused core and aromas of dark berry and spice mixed with sleek flavors of cherry and licorice. Drink now through 2027.

- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2016)
V 91

Roy’s 2010 Proprietary Red has a little more delineation and nuance than the 2009. Freshly cut flowers, violets, super ripe dark fruit, mocha, espresso, chocolate, plums, cassis and black currants all jump from the glass in this opulent full-bodied huge wine. Layers of fruit continue to build to the creamy, expressive finish. In 2010, the blend is 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

Proprietor Shirley Roy and her consulting winemaker Philippe Melka have a done a great job with these current and upcoming releases. One of the key attributes of Roy’s wines is their early accessibility. The 2009s have turned out just as well as I had hoped, while the 2010s – the product of tiny yields – are a touch more complex.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2012)
WA 88

The 2014 Pinot Noir Brown Ranch is made from Dijon clone 667 and 115. It is an elegant wine offering up notes of sassafras, cola, black cherry and strawberry, allspice and a touch of background oak. This medium-bodied wine is seductive and best drunk over the next 4-5 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 91

One of the iconic wineries of Napa Valley, this blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec has produced a relatively restrained and elegant 2014, with pure crème de cassis fruit, some incense, licorice and subtle background barrique. It is medium to full-bodied, with sweet tannin, plenty of charm, and a relatively velvety smooth finish with well-integrated tannins and wood. This is approachable now and should continue to evolve nicely for 15-20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)

WE 94

This hearty blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot is what put Justin on the map, and it still impresses with its elegantly woven tobacco, leather, cocoa, blueberry, and caramel aromas. It hits the palate softly, showing black cherry, baking spice, milk chocolate and faint mint notes, ending in a finish that reveals a firm tannic structure.

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
WA 94+

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has an inky blue/black color, tremendous body and richness, and really seems even stronger than the two Beckstoffer cuvées, which is hard to believe. This is intense, full-bodied, with layers of flavor and a great finish. Drink it over the next 20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WE 91

This substantially structured red blend consists of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Blackberry and black currant sway between savory and juicy personalities, with a persistent echo of milk chocolate that rises on the finish. Along the way, expect black licorice and pepper. This wine can be enjoyed now or cellared through 2020.

- Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2016)
WA 95, V 94

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon, which used to be a proprietary blend and had a somewhat rustic, Italian personality, has now been put under the Inglenook Vineyard designation. Where the Cabernet Sauvignon was a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot, the Rubicon has abandoned any Italian varietals in favor of a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot. I think it’s safe to say this is potentially the best Rubicon made to date. It’s not to denigrate other vintages, but there is a finesse and elegance combined with great richness and an avoidance of any rusticity that plagued some of the other vintages – which is to be admired. At three times the price, it’s not three times the wine of the Cask Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses a dense purple color, beautiful, sweet crème de cassis notes with a floral underpinning. I don’t see any of the Rutherford dust, per se, but there is an undertone of earthiness. The wine is full-bodied, rich, potentially complex and certainly capable of lasting 20 to 30 or more years. This is a great young Rubicon that will have its peak in 5-7 years and last 25-30.

Looks like there’s completely new packaging for these wines from famous movie producer/director Francis Ford Coppola. They’ve owned Inglenook since 1975, which included the regional estate of 1,600 acres of land with several spectacular vineyards. What they call the “front vineyards” were acquired by Coppola in 1995.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WA 88+

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a somewhat smaller-framed style of wine, with a dark ruby/purple color, vanilla, hints of coffee bean and spice. It’s playing it close to the vest at present. The wine is medium-bodied with excellent concentration, but not nearly as expressive as the 2012 88 Keys. Give this another year or so of bottle age and drink over the following 15 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 96

Another big-time winner from Shirley Roy is her 450 cases of 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. This is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot with an opaque purple color and a fabulous notes of lead pencil shavings, licorice, roasted herbs, damp soil and oodles of blackberry and cassis fruit. It is long, rich, multilayered and impressively endowed. This wine was aged 27 months in new Taransaud oak, which is soaked up beautifully. Its should drink well for 30 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WS 93, V 92

A classy effort that is rich and layered, restrained and structured, showing fine tension between the dried currant, cedar, cigar box and anise flavors and the firm, fine-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2023.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (April, 2013)
JS 93

Wonderful aromas of tobacco, currant, berry and mineral. Ink and lead pencil. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Lovely texture and freshness.

- James Suckling
WA 97+

As usual, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard is a great wine (a 650-case blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Petit Verdot). This sexy, full-throttle, opaque purple-colored 2012 boasts fabulous concentration along with copious notes of pen ink, blueberries, blackberries, and hints of graphite and espresso bean. Deep, full-bodied and multidimensional, this sensational Cabernet should drink well for 20-25 years.

When I was tasting with David Ramey, he opened a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard, which I also rated 96. A truly great offering, it was just coming into drinkability at the age of 10. I think the 2012 will ultimately be better and last even longer than the 2004.

David Ramey, who is one of the veterans of high-quality winemaking on California’s North Coast, worked in France and at some of the top Napa wineries (Rudd and Dominus) before settling in Healdsburg in Sonoma Valley. He continues to make Chardonnay in a Burgundian style with full malolactic fermentation, and now produces four single-vineyard Chardonnays as well as two generic efforts from the Russian River and Sonoma Coast.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WS 94

Combines power with finesse, offering a rich core of dark berry, mocha, chocolate, dusty oak and loamy earth. Gains depth and refinement on the finish, where the flavors linger pleasantly. Drink now through 2030.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2015)
WA 92

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier is composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, all from Knight’s Valley and aged in large oak puncheons. The least expensive of the Morlet Cabernets, the open, round, light 2012 offers sweet white chocolate, blackcurrant and mineral notes in a full-bodied, opulent style. It can be consumed now and over the next 10+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WE 92, WA 91, JS 91

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville Selection (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) reveals sexy, open-knit, meaty, charcuterie and black currant aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied with silky tannins, abundant fruit, complexity and finesse, it is hard to resist at present, and should continue to evolve for 10-15 years.


- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2013)

Enticing aromas of bright citrus and melon are layered with spice, vanilla and a touch of butter. Vibrant flavors of mango and guava meld with vanilla and soft spice on the creamy, rich palate. The finish is juicy and satisfying with refreshing acidity that makes you crave another sip.
WA 92+

The prodigious 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Audentia Estate (only 300 cases produced) takes its name from the Latin “sed contra audentior ito,” which means “always push harder.” A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petite Sirah (I don’t think I’ve ever before seen this blend in Napa Valley), this blockbuster boasts an opaque purple color, layers and layers of blackberries, cassis, incense and camphor-infused fruit, a full-bodied, powerful, muscular mouthfeel and a long finish with its aging in 75% new French oak well-disguised by the wine’s extravagant richness and power. The one downside to the 2010 Audentia is that it needs 5-10 years of bottle age, after which it should age for 35-50+ years. It is a connoisseur’s choice for sure.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2013)
WS 95 | Wine Spectator 2016 Top 100: No 44

This zeroes in on a rich, hedonistic core of wild berry, blackberry, plum and currant flavors, with a graceful, elegant mouthfeel and supple, caressing tannins. The long and powerful yet refined aftertaste keeps reverberating fruit generosity while maintaining Cabernet's strength of personality. Drink now through 2030.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
WS 90

A complex, austere style, highlighting flavors of loamy earth, cedary oak, dusty berry and dried herb. Combines the strength of earthiness with a measure of structure and refinement, ending with a black licorice note. Best from 2018 through 2030.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2015)
JS 90

Lots of blackberry and cherry aromas and flavors with hints of toasted oak. Full body, round and velvety texture. Fresh finish.

- James Suckling (Jan, 2016)

WA 96

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras comes in a super-heavy engraved bottle that will challenge your shoulder joints. The wine is a stunner as well, with lots of blueberry and blackberry fruit, spring flowers, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a super intense texture and richness. This is profound Cabernet Sauvignon that can be approached now because of the vintage and personality, but promises to evolve and drink well for another 20-25 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WA 95

Of the three Beckstoffer Vineyards, it’s pretty much a joyride as to which one readers may prefer. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard of St. Helena is a knockout: a broad, opulent, round Cabernet fruitbomb with lots of cassis, incense, and blackberry. The wine is full-bodied, generously endowed with terrific purity, texture and length. This is a star and, believe it or not, it’s come in well under 15% natural alcohol. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for 15 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WS 90

Solidly built, with a lively, focused core and aromas of dark berry and spice mixed with sleek flavors of cherry and licorice. Drink now through 2027.


- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2016)
WA 95

The flagship wines include the 2014 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from three sources – the family vineyard called Molehill at a 1700-feet elevation on Howell Mountain, the Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard and Heimark Vineyard in Calistoga. A gorgeous 2014, with notes of graphite, mulberry and blackcurrant, this full-bodied, opaque purple wine offers terrific fruit purity, sweet tannin, and a long finish of a good 45+ seconds. It was aged 19 months in 75% new French oak and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are 1,064 cases, and it can be drunk now or cellared for another 25 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WA 98

Of the three Beckstoffer Vineyards, it’s pretty much a joyride as to which one readers may prefer. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane moves more toward the wet rock, blueberry, raspberry fruit spectrum, but still stays dark and foreboding, very concentrated and full-bodied. The great terroir comes through and the wine is distinctive, singular, opulent and rich. Another fabulous success from Paul Hobbs and one more showcase wine for this great vineyard. Anticipated maturity: now-2032.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
IWC 94

Dark purple. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit compote, singed plum, cola and mocha scents are complemented by notes of violet pastille and licorice. Broad, palate-coating blackberry liqueur and fruitcake flavors show striking depth and a plush, velvety texture. Decadently rich but surprisingly lively, finishing with superb power and thrust and smooth, late-arriving tannins.

- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (July, 2014)
V 92, IWC 91-93

(blended with 8% merlot and 2% each cabernet franc and malbec): Good saturated red-ruby. High-pitched aromas of cassis, licorice and menthol. Plush and rich, with complex flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, tobacco, cocoa powder and a hint of menthol. Just a hint of herbs on the back end, but here the ripe tannins arrive late, allowing this very attractive wine to express itself.

- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May, 2014)
WA 95+

Levy and McClellan's 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, which spent 26 months in new oak (mostly Taransaud), is developing at an incredibly slow rate. Its opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by beautiful aromas of roasted coffee, melted chocolate, creme de cassis, burning embers, camphor, and a hint of cedar. On the palate, the wine combines considerable substance, power, and extract with a sense of harmony as well as elegance. Black currant, blackberry, and gamy, meaty notes are also present in this full-bodied effort with an incredibly long finish. The wine is just beginning to shed some tannin and become accessible. It will benefit from another 4-5 years of bottle age, and will easily last for three decades or more.

Under their personal label, the brilliant husband and wife team of Martha McClellan and Bob Levy turn out 400 cases of a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a mountainside vineyard planted in volcanic soils at a 500-600 foot elevation. The vineyard spacing is unusually close with 2,900 vines per acre (compared with around 600 vines per acre at many other Napa Cabernet vineyards). Bob Levy has been the winemaker at Harlan Estate since its inception, and, along with owner Bill Harlan, is in the process of making Bond as prodigious as Harlan Estate. Martha McClellan is the winemaker for two Napa Valley superstar cult wineries, Blankiet and Sloan. As I have written in the past, these efforts are produced by two quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals with extraordinary resumes, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive attitude toward making world-class wines.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2008)
WA 95-97, V 93+, IWC 93

The 2008 Red Wine Napa Valley is a huge, plush wine bursting with dark fruit, smoke, ash and licorice. Today the tannins are firm and quite imposing, but the wine develops nicely in the glass, hinting at what is to come over the next handful of years. Floral notes add perfume and brightness on the finish. This is a very beautiful, brooding wine graced with considerable class and personality. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

Under their personal label, the brilliant husband and wife team of Martha McClellan and Bob Levy turn out 400 cases of a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a mountainside vineyard planted in volcanic soils at a 500-600 foot elevation. The vineyard spacing is unusually close with 2,900 vines per acre (compared with around 600 vines per acre at many other Napa Cabernet vineyards). Bob Levy has been the winemaker at Harlan Estate since its inception, and, along with owner Bill Harlan, is in the process of making Bond as prodigious as Harlan Estate. Martha McClellan is the winemaker for two Napa Valley superstar cult wineries, Blankiet and Sloan. As I have written in the past, these efforts are produced by two quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals with extraordinary resumes, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive attitude toward making world-class wines.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2013)
WA 96

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection has a dense blackish/purple color and creamy, sweet crème de cassis fruit, blackberries, a touch of graphite and vanilla, This exuberant, boisterous, in-your-face style of Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly a fruit bomb, so be warned. Full-bodied and opulent with stunning concentration and richness, the wine has no hard edges and is much in the Caymus style of terrific fruit intensity (most of it black and blue), voluptuous texture, and a stunning finish with plenty of glycerin, wood and spice. The alcohol on the label is listed at 14.8%, which seems about accurate. I have Caymus Special Selection in my cellar back to some of the historic wines made by Chuck Wagner’s father in the early 1970s, and while the style’s gotten more precocious and consumer-friendly, these wines, even the more latter-day styles, have a tendency to age beautifully. This can be drunk now, or cellared for 20+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)

WA 95, IWC 94

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon displays beautifully sweet blue and black fruits intermixed with espresso roast, smoked meats, chocolate, and scorched earth. Dense purple in color, deep, rich, broad, with plenty of tannin and concentration as well as noticeable oak, this wine is a massive Cabernet meant for long-term cellaring. I wouldn’t touch a bottle for 6 to 8 years, then watch it unfold over the following 25-30.

Under their personal label, the brilliant husband and wife team of Martha McClellan and Bob Levy turn out 400 cases of a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a mountainside vineyard planted in volcanic soils at a 500-600 foot elevation. The vineyard spacing is unusually close with 2,900 vines per acre (compared with around 600 vines per acre at many other Napa Cabernet vineyards). Bob Levy has been the winemaker at Harlan Estate since its inception, and, along with owner Bill Harlan, is in the process of making Bond as prodigious as Harlan Estate. Martha McClellan is the winemaker for two Napa Valley superstar cult wineries, Blankiet and Sloan. As I have written in the past, these efforts are produced by two quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals with extraordinary resumes, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive attitude toward making world-class wines.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2009)
WA 91

One of the iconic wineries of Napa Valley, this blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec has produced a relatively restrained and elegant 2014, with pure crème de cassis fruit, some incense, licorice and subtle background barrique. It is medium to full-bodied, with sweet tannin, plenty of charm, and a relatively velvety smooth finish with well-integrated tannins and wood. This is approachable now and should continue to evolve nicely for 15-20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)