95+ pts - best buy
New release from Paso cult producer Booker Vineyards. A fantastic value!
95+ points Robert Parker: "The barrel sample of 2018 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 2018 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."
$ 79.99 $ 85.00
New release of Caymus' 2019 Cabernet now available! Caymus makes one of Napa Valley's most popular Cabernet Sauvignons and the 2019 is another stellar wine.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Caymus 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. The new Caymus 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley release is one of the best cabs in years!
Arista is one of California's leading Pinot Noir producers under the helm of winemaker Matt Courtney (Ferren), Limited.
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The appellation Arista 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley spent 12 months in just 20% new French oak. This medium gold-hued Chardonnay offers a beautiful nose of orchard fruits, honeyed citrus, green almonds, toasted bread, and flower oil. Rich, full-bodied, and opulent on the palate, it has subtle background oak, rocking levels of fruit and texture, good acidity, and a great finish...With the wines made by Matt Courtney, this Russian River estate continues to make some of the best wines in the vintage."
The best Napa Cabernet under $100. Limited.
Russell Bevan clearly has the Midas touch. The ‘Ontogeny’ is always a masterful blend, sourced from vineyards that score as high as this cult-wine: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders, and Sage Ridge. Enthralling masses of cassis and currant alongside graphite, tapenade, and a chocolatey salinity.
99 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "While this cuvee is one of the least expensive in the lineup, it’s often one of my favorites. The Bevan 2018 Ontogeny is no exception and should be snatched up by readers. A classic 2018 nose of ripe, pure blue fruits, cassis, violets, and smoked earth gives way to a full-bodied, dense, concentrated Cabernet with beautiful tannins and length. It’s going to evolve for 20 years or more."
95 Points Robert Parker: "Bevan Cellars Ontogeny is a barrel-selection blend of Bevan's vineyard sources: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. The varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. \nDeep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Ontogeny Proprietary Red Wine comes barreling out of the glass with intensely fruity notes of crème de cassis, black cherry preserves and stewed plums plus a savory undercurrent of grilled meats, sautéed herbs and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied, rich and velvety, delivering impactful black fruit preserves with loads of earthy nuances, finishing long with a spicy kick."
★ 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!
97 Points - limited
CADE is Plumpjack's hot new winery on Howell Mountain. Limited.
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from estate fruit on Howell Mountain and made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers a darker, more mineral-driven style compared to the Napa release. It has beautiful blackcurrant, cassis, forest floor, graphite, and tobacco leaf-like aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, beautifully polished and elegant, it's another remarkable effort from this team. As Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it's a brilliant value!"
94 points Robert Parker: "The 2017 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, is deep garnet-purple colored and a little closed, slowly giving up warm cassis, blackberry tart and mulberries with touches of spice box, pencil shavings and Marmite toast. The full-bodied palate is firm, grainy and muscular with an earthy expression and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note."
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
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."
The new Opus One 2017 now available! Limited.
95 Points James Suckling: "Lots of currant and floral notes on the nose. Hints of mint and spice. Medium-to full-bodied, round and savory with creamy, juicy tannins. Hints of citrus underneath. Bright, fresh and delicious. Drink or hold."
95+ Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "A remarkable wine for the year, the 2017 Opus One is a dense, full-throttle beauty. Plush fruit and soft, silky contours give the 2017 its racy personality. Exotic, beautifully perfumed and impeccable in its balance, Opus One is one of the most complete wines of the vintage. In 2017, Opus One has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages."
95 Points Robert Parker: "Opus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful."
The Opus One 2017 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