Eisele Vineyard 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Perfect 100 Points - limited
Napa's legendary Eisele Vineyard needs no introduction as it is one of the greatest estates in Napa and among the finest in the world. Last year the owners of Chateau Latour in Bordeaux purchased the winery and vineyard from founders Bart & Daphne Araujo under the renamed winery as Eisele Vineyard.
100 Points Robert Parker: "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color. Its nose begins a little reserved, slowly revealing a quiet intensity of freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks emerge. The medium to full-bodied palate is simply arresting, offering a a myriad floral and earth sparks amidst a black fruit core and with seamless, firm, very fine-grained tannins. Well-knit freshness brings forth layer after layer of delicate nuances on the very long, mineral-laced finish. The team at Eisele, led by Frédéric Engerer (of Chateau Latour) and beautifully orchestrated by winemaker Hélène Mingot, have knocked it out of the park this vintage with this singular expression that both embraces the site's heritage and reveals parts unknown."
... Readers should note that the relatively new owners of what was formerly known as the Araujo Estate have finally changed the name to the Eisele Vineyard. This is one of the greatest terroirs in all of Napa Valley, if not all of California. It certainly makes sense to promote its name. For old-timers out there, the first single Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon I remember was made by Paul Draper in 1971 at Ridge. That was followed by a one-off, but a phenomenal wine, the 1974 Conn Creek Eisele Vineyard (the wine was purchased at a bankruptcy sale and bottled by Conn Creek). Then there was a succession of great Eisele Vineyard wines from Joseph Phelps, including the 1975 and 1978, all of which today remain vibrant and incredible. Certainly, when the Araujos arrived they also produced world-class wines of first-growth quality. It is no coincidence that the Eisele Vineyard is now owned by a first-growth proprietor from France, François Pinault, of Château Latour in Bordeaux and other significant estates in France, especially the tiny jewel of a vineyard in the Rhône Valley, Château Grillet. The tasting I did seemed to show that all is proceeding brilliantly at the Eisele Vineyard, with two of the three Cabernet Sauvignons I tasted thoroughly compelling—so the greatness from this fabulous terroir continues unabated."