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2015 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

2015 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

96 JS

From the critics:

93 RP

93 VM

93 JD

Critic Reviews

This is a beautiful Onda with a blackberry and hazelnut character with some mushroom and floral undertones. Even some minerality and hot stones. Wet cement, too. A gorgeous wine. One of the best Onda. Drink or hold.

James Suckling | 96 JS
Containing 3% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot, bottled in May 2017, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda has a deep garnet-purple color and expressive nose of cassis, fresh plums and mulberries with touches of spice cake, violets and wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied, fine and refreshing in the mouth, it delivers loads of open-knit fruit and spice notions with great length.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP
The 2015 Onda is gorgeous. More than anything, the Onda will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage holds at Dana Estates. Ripe, sumptuous and silky on the palate, with terrific freshness and no excess weight, the Onda is absolutely beautiful in 2015. Sweet red and purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and mint all give the wine freshness. This is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible wine from Dana Estates. Dollops of Merlot and Petit Verdot round out the blend.

Vinous Media | 93 VM
Moving to the current releases, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is a full-bodied, ripe, yet also elegant red that shows the vintage nicely. More upfront and powerful than the 2014, it gives up lots of blue fruits (blueberries, cassis), lavender, and tobacco notes, has ripe tannins, good concentration, and outstanding length.

Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD

Wine Details for 2015 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

Type of Wine California Red : Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon : It is recognized worldwide, referred to as “king of grapes” and has easily become the most popular grape variety in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has seemingly taken the world by storm. It has seen exponential growth and popularity in American and around the world over the past thirty years. The phrase “Cabernet is king,” is a common maxim in the world of wine. Cabernet Sauvignon wine has become so popular that when being referred to can be recognized by simple slang, such as “Cab” or “Cabernet. It might appear simple, straightforward and easily understood; yet, interestingly remains an enigma, which has both baffled and excited oenologists since its discovery.

The exact origin and circumstances of this world-altering event are still enigmatic; however, at the end of the 20th century, UC Davis Scientists (John Bowers and Carole Meredith) were able to solve part of the mystery using DNA fingerprinting technology that proved Cabernet Sauvignon to be the offspring of a surprising spontaneous crossing of Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. By the 18th century there were already records of Cabernet Sauvignon being well-established on the west side of the Gironde Estuary (Left Bank) in the Medoc and Graves.

Although tremendously popular in California and what seems to have become the identity of Napa Valley winemaking, Cabernet Sauvignon’s birth took place in the Bordeaux region of southwest France by fortuitous unification. Whereas Napa Valley experienced a winemaking renaissance during the 1970’s and 1980s (greatly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris) quality wine from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been produced in the Medoc, on the Left Bank of Bordeaux for over 400 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s first recorded plantings in California can be traced back to the 1850’s when Antoine Delmas, a French nurseryman, brought French vines (including one called ‘Cabrunet’) to the Santa Clara Valley. Early cultivation suffered due to obscurity of the varietal and improper planting in inhospitable soil. It wasn’t until pioneers such as Robert Mondavi, Randy Dunn and Warren Winiarski with their amazing foresight and understanding of terroir, would the grape variety finally find its niche in California winemaking.

Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in warm climates moderated by a cooling marine influence. It is perfectly attuned to gravel-based soils with good drainage. Whether on flat land or a hillside, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape flourishes in proper climates and terroir, producing incredible yields. The thick grapevine is extremely vigorous allowing it to exploit its natural host. Its distinctive small, black berries (reminiscent of blueberries) adhere firmly to the stalk and are capable of a very long “hang time.” These berries are extremely concentrated, producing intensely flavored fruit. The thick skins of the grape are characterized as having highly astringent flavor, high tannin, acidity and dark color. Coincidentally, the variety has a special affinity for oak, which helps soften the bitterness.

Today, the Noble Bordeaux varietal of Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on 340,000 hectares (741,300 acres) of vineyards across the earth’s surface. From Sicily to Sonoma, Chile to Bordeaux, South Africa to Napa. It has found symbiosis in terroir hotspots that mimic that of the Medoc and Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon’s globetrotting has allowed the grape variety to take root all over the world, captivating its inhabitants and influencing winemaking. This serendipitous marriage between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc centuries ago, which offered to the world its progeny, has changed the landscape of winegrowing, winemaking and the face of the entire wine market forever. It has influenced blending, changed civilization and has cultivated a place for itself in today’s world… the very pinnacle.

Country US : As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Region California : With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Subregion Napa Valley


Producer Dana Estates : California has been producing world-class wines for nearly 50 years; greatly indebted to its providential wine renaissance during the 1970s. Napa Valley in particular burst onto the scene, offering a plethora of varietals, producers and styles. Napa’s history, however, dates back much further, when winemaking pioneers, such as H.W. Helms and John Patchett were helping to shape the US wine industry. Helms broke ground in the legendary Rutherford AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 1883 and those very vineyards are now producing distinctive world-class wines under the name Dana Estates.

Dana is a Sanskrit term meaning “the Spirit of Generosity.” It is in this spirit that the estate expresses a profound appreciation for those that have worked the soil before, as they build on the foundations laid by previous generations of vintners.  Blending history and tradition with cutting edge vineyard management, a new state of the art winery and meticulous winemaking, Dana Estates strives to make the greatest wines possible. In so doing, Dana Estates hopes to provide a link between the past and future generations of vintners, and all those who appreciate the generosity of this special land.

Nestled at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains in the Rutherford Benchlands of Napa, Dana’s vineyards lie on some of the greatest soils for winemaking in California. Rutherford ranks among the very finest Napa Valley AVAs and its terroir aides Dana Estates in its production of globally recognized wines. Dana Estates produces three single vineyards wines, from sites that are dramatically different from one another, Helms Vineyard, Hershey Vineyard and Lotus Vineyard. Each vineyard is farmed organically at low yields to allow the unique qualities of each site to be expressed in the bottle.  A fourth vineyard, Crystal Springs, makes up the backbone for the estate’s Bordeaux inspired blend.

The estate’s philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard is realized through organic farming, a focus on soil health and minimal irrigation. The result is healthy vines that are balanced and produce thick skinned darkly colored grapes. This results in wines with perfumed aromatics, precise flavors, and silky tannins. In the cellar, traditional winemaking techniques meet modernistic approaches in a balance which has allowed the wines of Dana Estates to grow and flourish throughout its existence.

The Dana portfolio includes a trio of single-vineyard offerings; Helms Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) Hershey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) and the Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (generally between 90-100% Cabernet Sauvignon) a single-varietal Sauvignon Blanc also sourced from the Hershey Vineyard and a wine that expresses the glory of the Bordeaux varietals, Onda. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is sourced from each of the estate’s four vineyard sites, Crystal Springs, Lotus, Helms and Hershey. Production of each label is extremely limited and with global demand outweighing supply, bottles become scarce. For example; the Lotus Vineyard has an annual production of only 372 cases.

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