New release of Caymus' Napa Cabernet now available! Caymus makes one of Napa Valley's most popular Cabernet Sauvignons and the 2020 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 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley release is one of the best cabs in years!
New Occidental Pinot Noir release from Kistler. Limited.
95 Points Wine Spectator: "Offers lots of energy, with a burst of plum and blackberry fruit backed by bouncy anise and bramble accents, all carried by fresh, lively acidity. Light savory details add range on the finish, as the fruit takes an encore. A bit showy in style, but most folks won't complain about that. Drink now through 2030. From California."
previous vintage 95+ Points Robert Parker: "The Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental comes mostly from younger vines at the Occidental property but is made with the same attention to detail as the other wines in the portfolio, using free-run juice. Its nose is an aromatic well, offering crushed blueberries, charcuterie, Earl Grey tea leaves, graphite, saline, bitter orange peel and potpourri aromas. In the mouth, it explodes with lush fruits that give way after their initial rush to bitter, citrusy, minerally accents. It has a fine grain, seamless freshness and long, layered finish. It's enjoyable now but will age well over the next five to eight-plus years."
previous vintage 94 Points Antionio Galloni (Vinous): "The Pinot Noir Freestone Occidental is a truly remarkable wine. Maybe that is the vintage, or the added complexity the vines are acquiring with time, but the Freestone Occidental makes me incredibly curious to taste the rest of the 2018s. Bright, focused and beautifully sculpted, the 2018 is a wine of total elegance and finesse. Moreover, it captures the savory, energetic, saline style that is so typical of this part of the Sonoma Coast."
Occidental is Steve Kistler's new Pinot Noir project, which is starting essentially as a spin-out from Kistler Vineyards. Steve Kistler remains CEO of Kistler Vineyards and very much in charge of day to day operations. At the same time, Kistler understandably wanted to manage a small project of his own with an eye towards his two younger daughters who will one day run Occidental.
Limited new release of Wayfarer's new WF2 label. Limited.
Wayfarer is Jayson Pahlmeyer's powerhouse Pinot Noir project and a cult in the making, just down the road from Helen Turley's Marcassin Vineyards. With 15 months in 45% new French Oak you’ll find heaps of bright strawberry jam, lilacs, and spice dancing across your nose.
Wayfarer WF2 wines are limited production, high quality and value driven. Fresh and vibrant yet richly textured, they capture the West Sonoma Coast in all its glory. The grapes were hand-picked in the cool of the night, then hand-sorted at the winery. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks, with the same care and attention as the Wayfarer Estate Pinot Noir. The wine aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 10 months.
Cleo Pahlmeyer, daughter of Napa Valley's Jayson Pahlmeyer, came up with the idea to produce a stand-alone brand from the Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma coast in 2012. According to the St. Helena Star, "then-Pahlmeyer winemaker Helen Turley had called the property the destined 'La Tache of California,' referring to the blessed grand cru in Burgundy." Pahlmeyer teamed up with winemaker Bibiana González Rave, formerly of Lynmar, on this project.
New vintage of Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet now available.
96 Points Sames Suckling: "This is a big upgrade in finesse and clarity to such a popular, premium cabernet from Napa. It shows lots of blackberry, tar, cedar and oak-tree aromas that follow through to a full yet toned palate of fine, integrated tannins and a vivid finish. Owner David Duncan explained that the American oak they use in the wine for aging now comes 100% from their own barrel-making facilities, which tones down the vanilla character in the wine. Really impressive and delicious. It’s a joy to drink now, but can age. Drink or hold."
The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is more limited in availability than the Alexander Valley. Production is the largest yet for the Silver Oak 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec blended in). Full-bodied, chewy, and muscular with an inky dark ruby/plum color, and hints of wood smoke, tobacco, cinnamon, espresso roast, and herbs, this dense, chewy, lavishly oaked wine should drink well for 10-12 years.