A phenomenal buy!
The caliber of pinot noir coming out of Chile is phenomenal and the new Ritual is one of the best that also happens to sell for a song. A fantastic buy to load up on by the case.
Ritual is the realization of a dream for Agustin Huneeus, proprietor of Quintessa in Napa Valley, to produce world-class Pinot Noir in Casablanca Valley. Teaming up with legendary winemaker Paul Hobbs, this all-star team is applying the same time-honored viticulture and winemaking methods as those used in Burgundy, to produce Pinot Noir of superior quality, structure and elegance. Whyt his wine isn't 2-3 times more expensive is a mystery but one we're going to take advantage of while it lasts!
94 Points James Suckling: "A dense and wonderfully long and silky pinot with strawberry, light hazelnut, and hints of lemon peel. Full body, yet lively and wired. This gives competition to Sea Smoke pinot but at half to one-third the price. Drink now."
96+ points Parker
One of the top-rated Cabs of the 2014 vintage - limited.
96+ Points Robert Parker: "The biggest cuvée that Herold makes for Robert Kamen is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard dominated by the volcanic basalt elevation between 1,100 and 1,500 feet. It sits above the iconic Monte Rosso Vineyard, owned by Gallo. Blueberry and blackberry fruit, forest floor, dusty/loamy notes, roasted herbs and meats all jump from the glass of this opaque purple wine. It’s dense, rich and built for long-term cellaring, this wine can be approached now because it is a 2014, but likely will evolve for 25-30 or more years....
...Proprietor Robert Kamen has long used the services of Mark Herold as his winemaking consultant for his 48 acres planted in the relatively new AVA, the Moon Mountain District on the back side of the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma. This was a very impressive showing of his wines. They seem to get better each year and he’s added a couple wrinkles, including the Lava Block Cabernet Sauvignon."
New release of Heid Barrett's Oakville Cabernet!
Heidi Barrett is well-known as the original winemaker for Screaming Eagle, but Paradigm is her secret sleeper from Oakville in Napa Valley. The brilliant new Paradigm 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is gorgeous now, but the patient may see it rival the wonderful 1999 Paradigm as this winery's best Cab ever.
Winemaker Tasting Notes: "My First comment tasting this wine is "wow!" It's delicious; our flagship wine at Paradigm and it delivers. Dense, deep, ripe aromas of black berry and black cherry-like fruit layered with caramel and toastiness from a nice mix of French Oak barrels. Flavors coat the palate with matching notes in a classic Cabernet Sauvignon presentation. One of our best Cabs to date!"
New from Thomas Brown
Brand new release from winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and the owners of Outpost Winery's small-production label. Limited.
95 Points Brix26: "This wine displays an opaque deep purple hue with a dark garnet edge in the glass. Swirling aromas of pine sap, cinnamon stick, pencil lead, and warm blueberry compote emanate from the glass in deep layers. The palate experience, while deep and intricate is also decidedly bright and energetic for a wine that comes from such challenging growing conditions. Bringing together mountain and valley floor fruit, round lushness and angular architectural definition, this wine displays how different parts of the Napa Valley can contribute complimentary components that form a complete wine of intrigue, power, and depth."
91 Points Robert Parker: "The 2014 Mortar & Stone Proprietary Red is a blend of 46% Syrah, 40% Zinfandel and 14% Petite Sirah. The wine offers up notes of pepper, steak tartare, blackberry, cassis, white flowers and licorice. It is rich, medium to full-bodied, supple and juicy. Drink it over the next 5-7 years....This beautiful, new winery on the Silverado Trail just north of Meadowood Resort is owned by Frank and Kathy Dotzler, Mark Pulido and Donna Walker and Thomas Rivers Brown – a who’s who of Napa Valley for sure."
★ 95 Pts Under-the-radar
An awesome small-production Napa Cabernet you should try now. The grapes from this vineyard were sold to Caymus and Phelps for Insignia before they started bottling it themselves!
Eleadoro Hernandez and his wife, Noemi, came to the Napa Valley 1982. They moved to St Helena where Eleadoro began working with his Uncle, Fernando. Fernando introduced Eleadoro to John Caldwell shortly after John began planting his Vineyard there in the Coomsville area. He worked with John in the planting and development of these vineyards and eventually became the Vineyard manager. Shortly after leaving the Caldwell ranch, Eleadoro leased 25 acres of land in the Napa Valley on Big Ranch Road and began to plant a 6 or 7 acres a year. Today he has planted a total of 33 acres of Cabernet in that Oak Knoll area . He has sold grapes from this vineyard to world famous Caymus Vineyards and Phelps (for Insignia!). Rolando Herrera of Mi Sueno winery is his winemaker. His first vintage in 2006 he made just four barrels (99 cases.) In 2012 he produced 150 cases.
98 points - limited
Limited new release from Pine Ridge - one of the highest scoring Cabs of the 2013 vintage!
98 Points Robert Parker: "The other 2013 offered in my tasting was the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Fortis, which is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 3% Merlot. An absolutely spectacular offering from Pine Ridge and one of their all-time great Cabernet Sauvignons, this prodigious blend has an inky purple color to the rim and a gorgeous nose of charcoal, asphalt, graphite, blueberry, blackberry and cassis, while not a trace of oak seems to make it through. The wine is large-scaled, massively extracted, but not without balance. It offers layers and layers of fruit, superb richness, and a long, moderately tannic finish. This is a wine for patient connoisseurs that needs to be put away for a good 4-5 years, but it could have 30-35 years of upside potential in a cold cellar. I tasted an array of wines from Pine Ridge. My notes on some late-release 2013s are followed by a bevy of 2014s, with some in bottle and others still in barrel and awaiting bottling."
Pine Ridge has long been one of the cornerstones of Napa Valley's Stag's Leap District. Utilizing the deft hand of winemaker Michael Beaulac, their wines have gone from fantastic to incredible! With the winery's commitment to quality and innovation, a vision emerged in 2003 to produce a wine that would embody the absolute best their estate vineyards have to offer. By carefully constructing a tête de cuvee from those vineyard blocks that emerge as standouts from the vintage, regardless of appellation, Pine Ridge has created an ultra-reserve Cabernet Foris, dictated only by the philosophy of "simply the best."
94 Points - limited
CADE is Plumpjack's hot new winery on Howell Mountain. Limited.
94 points Robert Parker: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate from their Howell Mountain vineyards is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. A beauty, with mulberry, blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, graphite and spice, the wine cuts a broad swath across the palate with no hard edges. The color is a healthy, deep purple and the wine full-bodied, rich, and while drinkable now, is capable of evolving for up to 15-20 years."
94 Points Antonio Galloni: (Vinous) "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is bright, precise and nuanced. Next to the 2013, the 2014 is gracious and nicely delineated throughout. Dark red and blue fruit, flowers and spices are some of the signatures. A relatively delicate Howell Mountain Cabernet, Cade's 2014 hits all the right notes."
Brix26 Inside Scoop: PlumpJack's new winery, Cade, is up on Napa Valley's Howell Mountain and is turning out some fantastricly rich mountain Cabernets. On your next visit to the Napa Valley we recommend a visit to taste their wines from the stunning views at the winery.
Ghost Block is the latest newcomer to the Napa Valley Cult Cabernet scene - new 2014 now available.
94 Points Brix26: "The 2014 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits the typical distinctive flavors of Ghost Block and the Rock Cairn vineyard. Finesse oriented with an elegant balance and structure. Bright floral aromatics, such as rose petals and tobacco. A full-bodied cabernet that attacks with loads of dark berry fruits, cocoa and nutmeg. The palate is supported by the lasting finish of black cherries and coffee."
Nestled on a gently sloping knoll, Ghost Block vineyard is named in honor of Napa's pioneer winemakers who rest in a tiny 150 year old cemetery on the north edge of Yountville - the epicenter of Napa Valley. Graced with perfect drainage and sunny exposure, Ghost Block Vineyard is a jewel, an heirloom, passed down through a single family for over 100 years. Coveted by celebrity winemakers, the fruit from this and nearby vineyards has been the cornerstone of many of Napa's "Cult Wines". The secret is out. Production is very limited.