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2018 Groth Oakcross Proprietary Red

2018 Groth Oakcross Proprietary Red

94 VM


Critic Reviews

A new wine in this range, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakcross is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Merlot adds mid-palate sumptuousness to this gorgeous Oakville red blend. Silky and racy to the core, but with plenty of tannins to support it all, the Oakcross has a ton to offer. Dark plum, espresso, licorice, spice and cedar linger nicely.

Antonio Galloni | 94 AG
Black fruit, chocolate, cedar and dried spices on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Balanced, with delicious chocolate-cherry character and a chalky texture. A blend of 49% merlot, 47% cabernet sauvignon and 4% petit verdot.

James Suckling | 93 JS
This has a nice punchy core of cassis, plum and boysenberry fruit flavors backed by polished yet persistent structure that carries it along, letting sweet toast, licorice and warm earth accents fill in. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2032. 500 cases made.

Wine Spectator
| 92 WS
(Groth, Oakcross Proprietary Red, Napa Valley, Oakville, California, USA, Red) The nose is more herbaceous and pointed than the other Groth releases, while the palate is a tad more fleshy. Cranberry, pomegranate and black cherry fruits on the nose, by a graphite and tried tobacco on the finish. Drinking Window 2024 - 2032

Decanter | 90 DEC

Wine Details for 2018 Groth Oakcross Proprietary Red

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 Proprietary Blend : Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

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
Appellation Oakville


Producer Groth : Though all of Napa is renowned for its production of quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville is one of those special sub-appellations where Cabernet is simply, magical.  It is home to some of the most iconic Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Napa Valley and is some of the most sought-after terroir in all of California.  In 1981, when Dennis and Judy Groth decided to lay roots in this famed terroir, their aim was to produce great Cabernet Sauvignon.  After only a few short years, the bar was raised when their 1985 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded the coveted 100 point score.  This would set a high standard not only for Groth, but for all of Napa Valley, as it was the first American winery to receive such an honor.  The tale of the Groth legacy is not dissimilar to that of many other California wineries that have risen to stardom; however, it was Groth that set the benchmark for rest of the country.

Where Groth now resides, once were vineyards cultivated in the mid-1970s by Justin Meyer (co-founder of Silver Oak Cellars) to both Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Gamay (Valdiguie) and both varieties were being sold to other wineries at the time.  Dennis, in being thorough, wanted to sample wines from comparable vineyards to ascertain the quality of his own property.  When he tasted a 1978 Villa Mt. Eden Cabernet (produced from the site that is now Plumpjack Winery) he was so impressed that he ultimately contacted the winemaker of that particular wine, Nils Venge, who he eventually hired. 

Groth’s early sales spike can be directly attributed to one man’s praise, the highly esteemed Robert Parker, who in 1984 wrote complementary notes about their wines.  Such was Parker’s influence that it immediately resulted in a rapid increase in sales of their wines.  The following year would be a momentous occasion in Parker’s own career.  Parker awarded his first 100-point score to an American Winery for their 1985 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  This resulted in lines of customers waiting outside the winery in hopes of purchasing the wine (which is done online today).  This set a high standard for Groth as their reserve is only made during certain years when it meets their exacting quality standards.  In some instances, the Reserve may not be produced for four to five years.

The 1990s brought about many improvements to the estate, including the replanting the vineyards.  The vine row orientation was changed from east-west to north-south, allowing breezes from the San Pablo Bay to flow more easily through the vineyards.  Increased air circulation reduced the need for fungicides, which is better for the wine and for the environment.  Today, the planting of cover crops has increased soil organic matter, the soil has a higher water-holding capacity which allows for less frequent irrigation.  Specialized farm equipment is used to control weeds without the use of herbicides.  The addition of owl boxes, raptor perches, and blue bird boxes on the property has helped with naturally controlling pests and insects.  The Groth’s are dedicated to sustainable, healthy farming techniques.

Located in the heart of the Oakville District, Groth’s Estate vineyards span 121 acres on the valley floor of Napa.  Prominent neighbors in this premium vineyard neighborhood include Silver Oak, Screaming Eagle, Plumpjack and Saddleback cellars…not bad real estate.  Groth is renowned for their Estate and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, though their portfolio also includes a proprietary red blend (Oakville Cross) a proprietary white (Estate White) and Sauvignon Blanc.  Based on their excellent reputation, some people are not even aware they produce white wines.  The Groth’s also own Hillview Vineyard (10-minute drive from Groth Estate), located in the Oak Knoll District where they produce a single-vineyard Chardonnay.

The magic of Oakville lies in the terroir.  A breakdown of bedrock plates creates residual soils in the hills.  Along the margins of the valley, distinct alluvial soils form on the fans composed of material washed down from the adjoining hills during torrential rain events.  Along the axial part of the valley where the Napa River flows are fluvial soils, finer grained loam coming from upstream locations and deposited from floodwaters. 

In 2018, a re-plant project, that will take more than 30 years to complete, was set in place.  This project was to secure the future of the winery for the third generation of the Groth family.  With hope, intuition, a shared vision and their esteemed neighbors, the Groth family helped Oakville become recognized as one of the world’s preeminent wine regions.  Today, the Oakville AVA (American Viticultural Area) is home to largest concentration of the very best Napa Valley producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. 

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