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."
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!"
Limited new release of one of California's hottest rosés! Red Car makes one of our favorite summer sippers.
A true vin gris in style, grapes for Red Car's 2016 rosé were whole cluster pressed and fermented bone-dry without seed or skin contact. Cool-climate, true Sonoma Coast vineyards inform the invigorating style with the with the biodynamically-farmed Bybee Vineyard contributing the majority of the fruit.
Tasting Notes: "A dashingly light shade of pale melon-pink and with an aromatic profile of tangerine oil, pink grapefruit, and bing cherries. Cool-climate West Sonoma Coast vineyards give the wine its hallmark style."
The most ageworthy of all Ridge zinfandels, the Ridge Geyserville can be magnificent when young. Special 50th Vintage Edition!
95 Points Connoissseurs Guide: "Sporting a deep mix of dark fruits that runs from cassis to blackberries along with complexing elements of cocoa and earthy spice, this year's edition of the Ridge Geyserville evokes all the accustomed richness that we have come to expect. It is a well-extracted and eminently ageworthy offering whose tannic, youthfully tight structure warrants a wait, but its astringency is never out of bounds and its insistently fruity finish is the hallmark of a wine guaranteed to repay five or more years of keeping with great dividends."
Located on the western edge of Sonoma's Alexander Valley, Geyserville was Ridge's first source of red wine grapes, other than Monte Bello Ridge. The combination of Geyserville's climate, gravelly soils, and varietal mix (zinfandel, carignane, petite sirah, alicante, mataro, etc.) imparts elegance and definition not usually associated with zinfandel. It's hard to describe a "typical" Geyserville. Each vintage is unique, distinct, extraordinary. Yet they do have elements in common, including the blackest of blackberry fruit, peppery spice, tar, cedar. The term "layered" was invented for Geyserville. And the wines change, re-inventing themselves in bottle, developing more nuance and complexity as years pass. The '73 still shines.
★ 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.
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.
★ 98+ points - Limited
Limited new release of Joseph Phelps' legendary Insignia Cabernet.
98+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2013 Insignia (their 40th vintage) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine is aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and this vintage of Insignia is certainly going to turn out to be one of the great ones. The wine offers a stunning inky blue/purple color, a gorgeous nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite, new saddle leather and barrique. The wine has fabulous concentration, a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel, and tremendous finish with moderate tannin. It’s interesting to note that the Phelps winemaking staff had been gradually reducing the amount of Merlot in this wine over recent vintages. The 2013 should hit its peak in 5-7 years and last for 35-50."
Joseph Phelps’ flagship wine, which they have been making for 36 years, is the Insignia, which boasts a remarkable track record. Phelps, always a visionary, was the first to recognize that a blend of grapes could be better than a single varietal cuvee. Phelps produces a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Backus Vineyard situated on the eastern slopes of the Oakville Corridor overlooking Screaming Eagle and Rudd Estate.
95 Points WS!
New release from Hestan Vineyards and Napa's most sough-after winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown! One of the best Cabernets of the year. Limited.
95 Points Wine Spectator: "Strikingly complex and detailed, with supple, harmonious blackberry, currant, anise, licorice and crushed rock flavors. Gains depth while holding focus and persistence. Drink now through 2032."
★ 97 Points Rober Parker
97 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2015 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from Martinelli's coolest Pinot site, is another stunner. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully expressive on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity but in a decidedly mid-weight style by Martinelli standards. Dense and compact in its center, the 2015 needs at least a few years to open up. Even today, though, it is dazzling. Early to bloom and late to ripen, Bondi Home Ranch enjoys an especially long growing season."
96 Points Robert Parker: "The cool-climate 2014 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from the Green Valley in the Russian River, is absolutely spectacular. It saw 80% new oak because it was so concentrated, and it seems to have sucked it up and only reveals just a slight wood spice to its full-bodied, beautifully textured, black raspberry and blackberry fruit. This is one of the profound 2014s and should drink well for 15-20 years...
...One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis – and rather remarkably so – only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. No doubt Helen Turley, who worked at Martinelli and mentored its winemaking team, left a profound influence on the quality of the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels, a fact that can’t be overstated. The Chardonnays all go through full malolactic fermentation and tend to see about 50% new oak. The Pinot Noirs are always 100% destemmed and largely spend no longer than ten months in about 60% new French oak...As good as 2013 is for Pinot Noir in Sonoma, 2014 actually eclipses it."
New vintage now available! One of Napa Valley's Classic Cabernets. Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine in the world twice honored as "Wine of the Year" by Wine Spectator Magazine (amongst approximately 10,000 wines). Extremely limited.previous vintage 95 Points Wine Spectator: "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."