96 points - limited
Rare new Cabernet from one of Napa's newest cult wineries.
97 Points Robert Parker: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard comes from a higher elevation site on Pritchard Hill. This is slightly lower in alcohol at 14.3% and sees 88% new French oak. This is a beauty. Black raspberry, blueberry, white flowers, forest floor, graphite and camphor are all present in the aromatics and flavors of this full-bodied wine that has magnificent fruit purity and an expansive, large-scale mouthfeel, but no heaviness or cloying characteristics. This is a beauty to drink over the next 25 years.....
...The winemaker at this small boutique operation owned by Mark Pulido and Donna Walker is none other than Thomas Brown. Obviously, some of the selections for their wines come from the increasingly well-known Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill, and of course, others come from a site Thomas Brown utilizes for his own label, the St. Helena vineyard of Panek, which is a 5.5-acre parcel just to the north of St. Helena in an old Napa river bed. These are super-impressive wines."
The third vintage of Dave Phinney's Disciples Red, the 2015 has arrived. The new Prisoner! Limited.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Disciples Proprietary Blend, which is made from 93% Zinfandel and 7% Petite Sirah tips the scales at 15.7% alcohol. The Zinfandel plantings date from the 1880s and were better known as the source for Biale’s Old Crane Zinfandel. This wine displays spicy, peppery steak tartare, roast Provençal herbs, and briary black cherry and blackberry fruit. It has terrific body, length, richness and viscosity. It is a sensational Zinfandel to drink over the next 5-7 years."
From the new winery The Crane Assembly, the Disciples Red has quite a back story. In August of 2012, four friends (Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Bryan D. Sandoli) stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time...they picked the grapes the next morning. Since that first year wines were made from our G.B. Crane Vineyard under the el Coco label and the GB Crane label.