95+ pts - best buy
New release from Paso cult producer Booker Vineyards. A fantastic value!
95+ points Robert Parker: "The barrel sample of Harvey and Harriet is made up of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 14% Petite Sirah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 75% new French oak. Deep ruby-black in color, it has a very layered nose with aromas of exotic spices, crème de cassis, blackcurrant bud, tar and tilled black soil with hints of violet, lilac, cardamom and baking spices. The medium to full-bodied palate is silky and has a great interplay of fruit and spice. It has a firm, pleasantly chalky frame and just enough freshness, finishing long with a youthful cloaking of oak spice. This is great! It deserves more time in bottle, but it's drinking wonderfully straight out of the gate."
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Named after winemaker Eric Jensen's parents, Tasted out of barrel, the Harvey and Harriet sports a deep purple color as well as a powerful bouquet of ripe black fruits, tobacco leaf, smoked earth, dark chocolate, and Asian spice. Full-bodied, ripe, and incredibly sexy on the palate, it has hints of background oak, a rounded, opulent texture, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's one serious, pleasure-bent beauty...the releases are made by Eric Jensen and there are two cuvees, the Harvey and Harriet and the flagship My Favorite Neighbor. Both are brilliant wines, and as I wrote in one of the reviews, they would cost 2-3 times their going rate if they were from Napa Valley."
Rare limited 1Liter!
Caymus 2019 Napa Cabernet Special 1 Liter bottles. Rare!
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The 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."
Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons – a “Napa Valley” and the venerable “Special Selection”. Both Cabernet bottlings have aromas and flavors which can only be achieved through “hang time” – a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in. Leaving the fruit to “hang” on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases color, and matures the tannins of the grapes. The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine’s fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices. Caymus Cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.
*please note: this is a special 1 Liter bottle. The size is between a regular 750ml bottle and a 1.5L Magnum. It's awesome.
New release of Heid Barrett's Paradigm 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 2017 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.
95 Points Decanter: "Owned and managed by the Harris family, Paradigm winery produced its first vintage in 1991 in Oakville with winemaker Heidi Barrett. A self-contained winery estate with 50 acres of vineyards, Paradigm maintains a hands-on approach to all winemaking and vineyard operations. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon consists of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, and is aged in both new and used French oak for 20 months, then aged a further 20 months in bottle before release."
Winemaker Tasting Notes: "The 2017 vintage produced delicious concentrated wines in smaller quantity than normal. This black raspberry colored Cabernet has lovely open aromatics of black cherry, berry, and plum layered with a perfect balance of new and used French Oak. Our blend uses several blocks of Cabernet, Merlot, and Cab Franc from our Estate vineyard in Oakville. The effect is one of layered complete flavors and a delicious expression of how beautiful Oakville wine can be. Flavors match the aromas. Tannins are moderate yet add a nice chewy texture and the length goes on several seconds. This is a beautiful wine that will age surely for decades but is delish now."
95 Points - exclusive
A great new discovery from the Southern Rhone! One of the top wines of the vintage.
95 Points Robert Parker: "Smart money will be chasing the Bosquets 2018 Gigondas, which is nearly as stunning as the special cuvées this year. A blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault, it boasts complex aromas of garrigue, cola, blood orange and raspberries. Full-bodied, silky-textured and long on the finish, it should drink well on release and for at least a decade thereafter...The wines emanating from this meticulously run estate must now be considered at or near the very top of the heap within Gigondas. This is an estate that needs to be on every reader’s radar!"
95 Points Decanter: "The original blended Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas is now available in two cuvées: Font des Bosquets (young vines, shorter ageing, no oak) and Réserve (older vines, 14 plots vinified separately including fruit from the top single vineyard sites, maturation in different types of oak for 18 months depending on the variety). The result is an extraordinary exercise in elegance, beautifully silky tannins and deeply vinous fruit. This is long, shapely and tapered with depth, freshness, elegance, and a seamless character. It's quite an expressive, almost showy wine, but it will be excellent when it's ready. Not as strongly characterful as each of the single vineyard expressions, but better balanced, and more quintessentially Gigondas. In organic conversion."
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Leading off the 2018s from bottle, the Domaine des Bosquets 2018 Gigondas Réserve is a mix of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah, and can be thought of as the classic cuvée of the domaine. It’s beautifully done and shows the style of the domaine in its full-bodied, rich, yet also elegant profile. Offering a mix of red and black fruits, herbes de Provence, peppery garrigue, and flowers, this beauty is flawlessly balanced, has a round, layered mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and just tons of character. Drink this little gem anytime over the coming decade."
This 26 hectare estate is one of the top Domaines in Gigondas. The winemaker here is Laurent Brechet who displays the same attention to detail and emphasis on quality as he does for the wines he makes at Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf du Pape. Located at the south west of the appelation, the ‘Lieu Dit‘ lies on exceptional sandy soils which give the Grenache its fine tannins, airy flavours and wonderful acidity which balances its power so well.
★ 95 Points
A blockbuster new Cabernet blend from Hestan Vineyards. Usually only available to mailing list members we have a small amount of this tiny production Cabernet while our allocation lasts!
98 Points - limited
One of Chile's finest wines, the Almaviva is a delicious Cabernet blend.
Almaviva is a joint venture between Concha Y Toro and the Rothschild family, begun in 1998. Like her father before her saw in the Opus One project, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild saw the potential to create a world-class claret from these own-rooted, 37 year old vines on purely alluvial soils high in the “Puente Alto” zone of the Maipo Valley.
98 Points James Suckling: "The 2019 Almaviva is such a beautifully nuanced red with tobacco, dried herbs, wet earth and currants. Some leather and rose petals, too. Full-bodied and chewy, yet refined with great polish. It’s rich and intense at the same time. Very focused center palate. Broad layers of tannin and fruit. A blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon, 19% carmenere, 6% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot. Better after 2024, but already a joy to taste."
96 Points Robert Parker: "My last Chile article questioned whether 2018 had been the best vintage of the last 20 years in the country, so I was very curious to taste the 2018 Almaviva. 2018 was a cooler year with more rain and a later budding and ripening of the grapes, especially in a cooler terroir close to the Andes, as is the case with Almaviva. The harvest was slow, as temperatures went down, further increasing the balance between freshness and ripeness of the grapes. The varietal breakdown is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Carmenère (from Peumo), 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The grapes ripened thoroughly, as the 14.9% alcohol of the final blend shows, a little higher than previous years and with similar readings of acidity. The wine feels quite complete and nicely crafted; they use all of their resources and technology to select the perfect grapes that ferment pristinely destemmed and crushed in stainless steel tanks at 25 to 28 degrees Celsius, mostly with selected yeasts. It's a solid, well-built and seamless Almaviva, with clout and balance. This is still a baby, extremely young and creamy, but it is still approachable; there are no edges, but what's remarkable is the balance and stuffing and all the necessary ingredients for a great development in bottle. This is quite different from 2016; it's a vintage with power and clout, a wine that has fruit and intensity and is balanced, without the concentration and tannins of the 2017. It’s a more complete year that combines the finesse of 2016 with more thorough ripeness. The spicy and peppery character comes through with some time in the glass."
96 Points Decanter: "Confident complexity on display here, fresh, powerful spicy notes of tobacco and grilled coffee beans alongside cool blueberry fruits. Winemaker Michel Friou has made a brilliant wine in this vintage that expands outwards through the palate. 100% new oak. Blend completed with 3% Petit Verdot."
99 Points - new release
*PRE_ORDER the new Opus One 2018 vintage now to ensure your allocation. The wine will be released October 1st 2021 for shipping*
99 Points James Suckling: "Extremely perfumed and floral with lavender, lilacs and violets to the sweet, ripe berries, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Some slate and graphite, too. It’s full-bodied, yet ever so balanced and refined, with super fine tannins that last for minutes. Fresh herbs, such as bay leaf and lemongrass highlight the dark fruit. The quality of tannin is exquisite with wonderful polish and refinement. Lasts for minutes. So wonderful to taste now, but better after 2026."
98 Points Robert Parker: "Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Opus One soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly wound layers of crunchy black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with lifted fruitiness and on a lingering mineral note....this vintage is a triumph at Opus One and a testament to the subtle changes that Silacci and his team have been conducting in the vineyards and winery over the last 15+ years. Bravo!
97 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2018 Opus One is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This deep purple-hued effort leans to lively, fresher side of the vintage but has a brilliant, utterly classic style in its crème de cassis and blue-tinged fruit as well as notes of lead pencil, candied violets, damp earth, and chocolate-like nuances. With a Pomerol-like elegance and purity, it's medium to full-bodied and has wonderful tannins, flawless balance, and a great finish. It plays in the finesse-driven end of the spectrum yet is concentrated and seamless, with serious length. It offers pleasure today but should benefit from 4-5 years in the cellar, and my money is on it evolving for 30 years or more."
The Opus One 2018 offers a harmonious aromatic balance of rich dark fruit, stems of roses and earthy forest floor. The juicy entry offers a round, silky mouthfeel with just enought acidity to complement the satin texture. This seductive wine shows flavors of black cassis, black cheerry and a hint of cocoa powder. The fine-grained, plush tannins evolve into a long, supple finish. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 1% Malbec
95 Points - limited
CADE is Plumpjack's hot new winery on Howell Mountain. Limited.
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a total knock-out. Winemaker Danielle Cyrot has done a tremendous job taming the Howell Mountain tannins. There is still plenty of power and structure, but all the elements are so well balanced here. Inky dark red fruit, iron, new leather, blood orange, spice, a kiss of new French oak and game build in an opulent, brooding Cabernet loaded with personality."
95+ Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes all from the estate on Howell Mountain and is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot. More blue fruits, bay leaf, candied violets, orange blossom, and floral notes emerge from this full-bodied beauty, which reveals a rounded, sexy texture, polished tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles just a few years in the cellar and it's going to keep for 15+."
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.