★ 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.