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California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

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 worth their salt 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, making it feel like a unique, standalone piece, rather than a derivative.

A New World region rises to join its viticultural forebears. Its meteoric rise to fame has been nothing short of stunning, and today California can compete with the world’s most prominent wine regions.

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2016 dunn napa cabernet sauvignon California Red

Dunn’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a pretty, easygoing wine that readers will be able to drink with minimal cellaring. Medium in body with good brightness, the 2016 has quite a bit to offer. Sweet red fruit and floral notes add perfume to the nicely lifted finish. The Napa Valley Cabernet was bottled recently and is a bit reticent, but it offers fine potential. Pretty savory and floral notes extend the finish nicely.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGFeatures solid blackberry and raspberry compote notes mixed with red and black licorice and fruitcake flavors. Youthfully packed now, this offers a well-buried juicy spine and an engaging briary edge on the finish, while the fruit easily keeps pace. Will age well. Best from 2021 through 2032. 1,350 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley”- Dunn Vineyards) I had not tasted a young vintage of cabernet from Randy Dunn in a month of Mondays and was delighted to find the 2016 Napa bottling included in a recent delivery of samples. The wine comes in listed at 13.9 percent octane and offers up a fine young nose of cassis, sweet dark berries, cigar wrapper, a fine base of soil tones, a discreet framing of spicy new oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, ripe, full-bodied and nicely chewy (in that inimitable Dunn style), with a superb core of fruit, firm, well-integrated tannins and a long, nascently complex and promising finish. There is just a whisper of backend heat here that suggests the octane is a touch higher than reported, but the wine remains well-balanced and will age very nicely. Like all proper vintages from Dunn Vineyards, it will want a wee bit of bottle age! (Drink between 2030-2080).John Gilman | 92+ JG

93
VM
As low as $99.99
2016 fisher cabernet sauvignon mountain estate vineyard California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard (84% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot) spent 22 months in 80% new French oak. It has a more mineral-laced style as well as dark currants and cassis-like fruits, notes of smoked herbs and graphite, full body, building tannins, and a great finish. There’s a touch of this liqueur of rock like minerality that comes out with air and it’s a powerful, structured wine that reminds me of what Leoville Las Cases would make from Napa. Hide bottle for 4-5 years and drink it over the coming two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JDThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard is a dark, brooding wine. A terrific example of Sonoma Cabernet, the 2016 possesses superb textural richness and intensity to match its dark, somber profile. An infusion of inky dark fruit, gravel, smoke, iron, game, dark spice, leather and licorice runs through this super expressive, rugged Cabernet Sauvignon from the Fisher family’s Spring Mountain estate.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGA tight, chewy red with blackberry and dark-chocolate aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, layered and rich. Flavorful finish. Shows mountain firmness. Drink in 2022 and onwards.James Suckling | 94 JSDeep ruby-purple, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard opens with gregarious crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, graphite, leather and spice box with notes of thyme, turned earth and eucalyptus. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with intense, youthfully wound fruit, framed by grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing very long. This is vibrant and intense and will require another 3-5 years of bottle age. 952 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP

96+
JD
As low as $87.99
2016 fisher vineyards cabernet sauvignon coach insignia California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Coach Insignia is just as impressive today as it was from barrel last year. Dark, dense and explosive, the 2016 is a wine of real personality. A rush of black cherry, plum, chocolate, sage and licorice makes a strong opening statement, but there is plenty of underlying structure to back things up as well. Even with all of its obvious power and structure, the 2016 remains finessed and understated. I can’t wait to see how it ages.Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGTight and polished with firm and creamy tannins. Hints of dark chocolate to the currant and berry character. Medium to full body. Fresh, tight finish. A wine that will improve beautifully with age, but delicious and fresh now. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Coach Insignia takes things up a notch and offers lots of currants, crème de cassis, tobacco, chocolate and earthy notes in a full-bodied, rounded, pure, and elegant package. It’s impeccably balanced, has beautiful purity, and a great finish. There’s enough structure here to warrant a year or three of bottle age and it will keep for 15-20 years. The blend is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc, and 1.5% Merlot, all aged 22 months in 92% new French oak. (Drink between 2021-2041)Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD

95
VM
As low as $109.00
2016 inglenook cabernet sauvignon rubicon California Red

This is a powerful and structured red with full body, focused and polished tannins and a long and flavorful finish. It’s very close to the great 2013. A blend of 93 per cent cabernet sauvignon and seven per cent cabernet franc. Needs three or four years to come around.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is powerful, dark and unctuous, while retaining a super-classic sense of structure. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, leather, spice and menthol infuse the 2016 with striking textural depth and sweetness.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThe flagship 2016 Rubicon checks in as 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, and there are close to 4,000 cases produced. This deep purple-hued beauty boasts a stunning nose of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, cedarwood, and lead pencil shavings as well as even a hint of iron. These carry to a full-bodied 2016 that has terrific dept of fruit, solid mid-palate concentration, building tannins, and a great finish. This is a classic, age-worthy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that will benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and keep for 3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDBlended of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon gives up bold notions of crushed red and black currants, wild blueberries and blackberry preserves with touches of violets, dark chocolate, cardamom and bay leaves plus a hint of unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals great elegance and depth, with a beautiful line of finely grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing long and layered. 3,847 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPIn 2010 there was a change of winemaker at Rubicon, and the new arrival was Philippe Bascaules from Château Margaux. He soon made changes that were, one assumes, aimed at bringing more elegance and less density to the wine. This is certainly apparent here - the nose is ripe and vibrant, with intense mint and blackberry aromas that display purity of fruit and well-judged oak. Suave and polished, it shows finer tannins than the 2006, and enough acidity to give punch and persistence. It has a drier finish than most Napa Cabernets, which often have a sweetness that may be derived from high alcohol. So, there’s a welcome austerity here and this will age well. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 94 DECThis is an intriguingly feral, herbal and classically styled wine, dripping in sage, toasted oak and wrap-around tannin. Cranberry, clove and cassis form a tangle of nuanced, graceful flavor nestled within a core of impressive structure. This is one to put away for awhile; enjoy best 2026—2036.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEWhen Philippe Bascaules arrived at Inglenook in 2011, the estate’s Cask Cabernet was defined by its red-fruit character while Rubicon was defined by black fruit. He preferred to focus on the wine’s texture. Now commuting between Rutherford and Château Margaux, where he had worked for two decades with Paul Pontallier, he has changed the viticultural practice at Inglenook. In 2016, Rubicon is neither red nor black—in fact, it’s more blueberry in flavor. But what sets it apart is the plump, polished, mineral texture. As a young wine, it’s shy, gentle, finely structured cabernet, with no rough edges. There’s a sense of certainty, however, that such a wine, from a team secure enough to present it without youthful fanfare, will evolve to express the detail and complexity of this vineyard, its track record proven for more than a century. It’s a different way to think about Napa Valley Cabernet.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&SA savory hint leads the way, followed quickly by ample red currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Tobacco and freshly plowed earth accents score the finish, where the savory element lingers. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2030. 3,847 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
TWI
As low as $199.00
2016 michel rolland mr napa valley red California Red

Blackberries and blueberries with hints of fresh herbs. Some black olives. Medium to full body, integrated and polished tannins and a beautiful, fruity and polished finish. Best wine ever from here. A blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with tinges of cabernet franc and malbec.James Suckling | 97 JSFrom a myriad of top sites around the valley and a collaboration between Jean Hoefliger and Michel Rolland, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, powerful, full-bodied beauty that has lots of ripe black fruits, licorice, scorched earth, and tobacco aromas and flavors. It’s thrillingly textured, opulent and hedonistic, with sweet tannins and a great finish. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc and Malbec brought up in 80% new French oak, give it 2-4 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following two decades. 580 cases.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JDA blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with dollops of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon MR is very deep purple-black in color and gives up bold scents of baked blueberries, plum preserves, spice cake and mocha with hints of chargrilled meats, sandalwood and dusty soil plus a waft of garrigue. Full, concentrated and packed with black fruit preserves and savory layers, it has a solid yet plush frame and very long, spicy finish. 580 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPMichel Rolland’s Cabernet Sauvignon MR is very beautiful in 2016. Less bombastic than in the past, the Rolland Cabernet is, dare I say it, almost understated. Expressive dark red cherry jam, wild flowers, spice and bittersweet chocolate all run through this pretty, highly nuanced Cabernet. There is an effortless grace to the 2016 that is impossible to miss. Floral notes reappear on the finish to add an attractive lift to the red-toned fruit. Vineyard sources are Newton, Dr. Crane and To Kalon.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

97
JS
As low as $149.00
2016 morgado sugarloaf mountain vineyard red California Red

The 2016 Sugarloaf Mountain Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot that was brought up in new French oak. This blockbuster styled effort doesn’t pull any punches on its decadent black fruits, chocolate, spicy oak, and crushed violets. This beauty has some serious depth and density, terrific purity, and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDA blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc aged 22 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red is deep garnet-purple colored with warm plums, spice cake, blackberry pie and potpourri plus notes of cigar box, dusty soil and menthol. The palate is full-bodied, rich, velvety and fresh with tons of spicy black fruit and a good long finish. 250 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

95
JD
As low as $59.99
2016 mount eden vineyards chardonnay estate reserve California White

The 2016 Chardonnay Reserve is the stuff dreams are made of. Towering and statuesque in its pedigree, the Reserve shows why the Santa Cruz Mountains is such a special place. The 2016 is deep, powerful and intense, and yet it remains remarkably finessed as well. Tangerine oil, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all develop with a few hours of aeration. The Reserve is a blend of 11 barrels (all neutral oak) that spends its second winter on its lees in tank, an approach that is common in Burgundy, but that is not often seen in California. All I can say is: Wow!Vinous Media | 97 VMThe 2016 Chardonnay Reserve improved over several days and is just beginning to hint at more to come with bottle age. The nose offers warm citrus and floral perfume with a deep core of orchard fruits. The palate is silky and expansive, with a streak of mineral-like undertones, a flush of juicy acidity and long, layered finish. It deserves more time in bottle. 231 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP

97
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As low as $129.00
2016 mt. eden cabernet sauvignon estate California Red

Mount Eden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon represents the essence of what Cabernet Sauvignon is all about in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Deep, powerful and explosive, the 2016 simply has it all. A wine of tremendous depth and intensity. Readers, take note. This is world class Cabernet Sauvignon that in any other region would cost 2-3 times as much. Savory and expansive, with tons of mountain character and remarkable richness from low yields in 2016, the Cabernet Sauvignon is simply off the charts. It’s another utterly breathtaking wine from Mount Eden.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is blended with 12% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The nose offers pure cassis finely layered with Chinese five spice, dried rose petals, graphite and pipe tobacco with a wild, game-like undercurrent. The palate is seamless, opening to an array of detailed fruits and spices, with a silt-like structure and expansive juicy uplift. It’s a wonderfully balanced Cabernet that offers immediate appeal plus everything it needs for a long life in the cellar. 1,582 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe combination of high-elevation vineyards, oceanic influence and surrounding coniferous forest give Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet a singular profile, and few show it off as well as Mount Eden. Aged 22 months in 50% new oak, a mixture of French and American. Contains 12% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. American wood instils notes of candied orange rind and coconut flakes into an otherwise gravel-driven nose. The palate has a graceful, buoyant quality that gently floats across the palate. The finish is very dry and wound up like a spring, which will continue to be the case for the next several years. This is a wine to slowly let unfurl, both when ageing and consuming; open several hours in advance. Drinking Window 2024 - 2054.Decanter | 96 DECDried dark fruit, toasted cedar, shaved cocoa and sappy redwood tones make for a very dry expression on the nose of this classic bottling. Those elements meet with dense and dry blackberry and black plum on the sip, where dried herbs, black-pepper and soy flavors also arise. The elegant structure is such that this wine just doesn’t die, even after more than a week of sitting open. Drink 2022–2046.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WENo written review provided. | 95 W&SThis shows a zesty mix of sage and grilled savory notes, backed by a sleek black currant, plum and black cherry core. The singed alder and mesquite frame shows on the finish, which is tightly focused and youthfully closed for now, with just a bolt of iron showing. When this rounds into form, it will be a winner. Best from 2023 through 2036. 1,259 cases made. Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
VM
As low as $129.00
2016 opus one California Red

Fantastic aromas that are complex and complete with blackcurrants, blueberries and herbs, such as basil and bay leaf. But always subtle. Full-bodied yet linear and very refined with a very persistent finish. It shows drive and brightness. So refined at the end. Needs at least three to five years to come together.James Suckling | 99 JSLove the juiciness of this, right off the bat, rich deep black cherry rippling with menthol and eucalyptus notes, and these beautiful floral aromatics that Opus gets in the best years. A very classic style, touches of baked vanilla, rosemary and olive. Harvest 9th September to 12th October (starting off slowly then speeding up as the heat rose). 1% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot completes the blend, 17 days skin contact. Drinking Window 2027 - 2044.Decanter | 98 DECDeep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Opus One offers up bold, expressive black and blue fruits: warm black plums, black cherries, blackcurrants and wild blueberries with a beautiful undercurrent of lilacs, roses, fertile loam, underbrush and Indian spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly coiled spring ready to explode, with fantastic tension and wonderfully ripe, very fine-grained tannins, finishing very long with a mineral lift.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 2016 Opus One is brilliant and shows yet again that 2016 was a magical vintage for Napa Valley. Based largely on Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with 8% each of Petit Verdot and Merlot, with 5% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Malbec, its deep purple hue is followed by a beautiful bouquet of black cherries, crème de cassis, and blueberry fruit intermixed with notions of cedary spice, toasty oak, graphite, and flowers. With an almost Bordeaux-like class and structure, this full-bodied beauty has no hard edges, plenty of ripe tannins, and is extraordinarily pure, elegant, and long. It can be drunk today (give it a healthy decant) or cellared for 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JDThe 2016 Opus One is a wine of real breadth and power. Black cherry, plum, leather and spice flesh out effortlessly, but what stands out most is the wine's textural intensity and sheer power. Readers will have to wait a number of years until the 2016 is at its best, but it is clearly another in a line of gorgeous recent Opus Ones from Michael Silacci and his team.Antonio Galloni | 96+ AGA focused, restrained style, with a steady beam of fresh red and black currant preserve flavors, laced with bay leaf, cedar and tobacco notes. An iron edge pierces the finish, while the fruit keeps pace. A bit more classically backward than its Oakville peers, so tuck this away in the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2020 through 2038. 21,900 cases made. — JMWine Spectator | 94 WS

99
JS
As low as $515.00
2016 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard

An incredible wine that tops out on my scale, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon comes from one of the great terroirs of the world and delivers everything you could want from a Napa Cabernet! Off-the-hook notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, black cherries, violets, plums, smoke tobacco and incense all soar from the glass. It’s a massive wine, yet stays perfectly balanced and pure on the palate, with loads of tannins, no hard edges, and a blockbuster finish. It’s undeniably about as sexy as it gets, yet stays graceful and light, with an ethereal personality. Don’t miss it.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis shows intensity with spice and pepper, as well as the usual, exotic dark fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, very deep and rich with a dense and tight center palate and a long and flavorful finish. Needs three to four years to open.James Suckling | 98 JSMade of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color. Wow—it charges forth with bold, beautiful Black Forest cake, Christmas pudding, chocolate box and Chinese five spices plus nuances of potpourri, dusty red soil, camphor and beef drippings. The palate is big, rich, full and opulent with hedonistic fruit and plush tannins, finishing very long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard is quite primary and in need of time in bottle to show at its best. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, new oak and sweet baking spices are all kicked up a few notches. Rich, plush and enveloping, the 2016 possesses tremendous intensity and tons of sheer allure.Vinous Media | 95+ VMFrom the famous site, this is a warm, concentrated, impressive wine brimming in tension and fresh acidity. Caramel, baked cherry, cedar and tight-grained tannins are just the beginning of a complex, layered and complicated journey of intense balance and savory character. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEOne of the first sources of fruit for Realm Cellars, Beckstoffer To Kalon needs no introduction. The winery produces 500 cases from this famed Oakville vineyard. With this offering, things take a considerable step up in body and we enter full-blown hedonistic territory. Both the flavours and aromas are black, blue and purple, with an immensely punchy texture. Anise and bay leaf fold into the persistent, drying, tannic finish - par for the course with To Kalon, and fans of this kind of power will not be disappointed.Decanter | 94 DEC

100
JD
As low as $495.00
2016 spottswoode cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate has shut down slightly since I tasted it last year, yet it’s still a magical, perfect wine. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot, it offers incredible notes of pure crème de cassis, blueberries, camphor, crushed rocks, and lead pencil shavings. This rich, full-bodied beauty always reminds me of a great vintage of Château Margaux with its beautiful complexity, power, and elegance. As I wrote last year, do your best to give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it should evolve for three decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDDeep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is still very tight and youthful, slowly unfurling to reveal a multifaceted wine with tons of black, blue and red fruit sparks—plums, cherries, black currants and red currants—with dark chocolate, cedar chest, black tea and red roses in the background plus wafts of pencil lead and prosciutto. Medium-bodied and firmly textured by superbly ripe, grainy tannins, it has a fantastic core of intense, complex layers, finishing on an edifying mineral note. Wow!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPSpottswoode, nudged about against Spring Mountain is situated on an ancient alluvial fan. The tiny vineyard has been owned and run by the Novak family since 1972. President Beth Novak and winemaker Aron Weinkauf are known for crafting Cabernets that paradoxically possess gentility and vivid concentration at the same time. The reverberating flavours always remind me of the sound of a church bell that someone has just struck hard. Wonderful exotic, spicy mulberry and cranberry notes. Fine tannin. Drinking Window 2019 - 2045Decanter | 97 DECSpottswoode's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely gorgeous. Medium in body, translucent and super-expressive, the 2016 is sublime, not to mention on the understated side of things for the year. Dark red cherry, red plum, mocha and espresso add lovely shades of nuance. The 2016 is racy, but also clearly holding back much of its ultimate potential. I imagine the 2016 will always be a wine of finesse, first and foremost.Vinous Media | 96+ VMBlended with small percents of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this vintage marks the winery's 35th year of making this wine, the grapes all estate-grown and organically farmed. Rich and grippy, it expands to reveal expressive notes of dried herb, leather and salty stone, at first demure in black fruit, with an elegant structure and undoubtable time to age. Enjoy best from 2026–2031.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEBeautifully rendered, with a focused beam of gently mulled red and black currant fruit that glides through atop a subtle but persistent loamy structure. Light tea and alder notes fill in throughout, ending with a wave of fruit that is alluringly lined with latent mineral tension. Best from 2021 through 2040. 4,030 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis blend of 85 per cent cabernet sauvignon, nine per cent cabernet franc and six per cent petit verdot has strikingly pure blackcurrant aromas and flavors. The palate has flavorful and fleshy, ripe mixed berries, cast in plush, seamlessly even tannins. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JS

100
JD
As low as $349.00
2016 tesseron estate pym-rae napa valley California Red

This is the debut vintage of this wine from the esteemed Bordeaux owner, Alfred Tesseron, who bought the property in the Napa mountains in 2016. Aromas of plums, wet earth, fresh herbs and tobacco. Some green olives. Turns to blueberries and blackberries. Full-bodied, yet reserved and layered with chocolate, walnuts and plums. Firm yet polished tannins give a framed sense to the wine. Savory. Racy and beautifully structured, it’s extremely drinkable already. Real wine.James Suckling | 98 JSA blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Pym-Rae displays a deep garnet-purple color and reveals wonderfully fragrant notes of candied violets, wilted roses, damp soil and black tea over a core of red and black currants, black cherries and warm blackberries plus touches of cigar box and camphor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is evocatively singular, offering that rock-solid structure of mountain fruit, yet these are wonderfully ripe, silt-like tannins that beautifully support the elegant red and black fruit layers, finishing very long and very perfumed.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP

98
JS
As low as $269.00
2016 vinehouse napa valley cabernet sauvignon howell mountain California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is plush and super-expressive right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, gravel, spice and juniper berries. There is a ton of character here. Black cherry, game, smoke, licorice, tobacco and incense all build in a potent, savory Cabernet that delivers the goods. This is one of the most distinctive Howell Mountain Cabernet wines I have tasted in some time.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

94
VM
As low as $74.99
2017 alea fina cabernet sauvignon California Red
As low as $99.00
2017 aubert chardonnay powder house California White

The first vintage of this wine, the 2017 Chardonnay Powder House comes from eight acres of what are now estate-owned vines planted in 2013, to Hyde Old Wente and Mt. Eden clones on Goldridge soils. The vineyard is located in downtown Forestville, right across from the high school. At 15.4% alcohol, like Aubert’s other single-vineyard, singular Chardonnays, this baby is no shrinking violet. Although it is a little youthfully closed to begin, it unwinds with coaxing to offer glimpses at baked apple, poached pears, peach preserves and pineapple upside-down cake plus hints of praline, crème brûlée and clover honey. Full-bodied, the palate features a wicked backbone of freshness, beautifully lifting all those concentrated, densely packed flavors, finishing very long and wonderfully pure.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPIntense matchstick and flint with dried-apple and peach undertones. Full-bodied with great fruit, a chewy palate and a juicy finish. Lime and lemon undertones to the ripe fruit. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2017 Chardonnay Powder House Vineyard is bright, punchy and full of life. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and almond all race out of this plush yet vibrant Chardonnay. There is so much to like in this striking, delineated Chardonnay. The Powder House is the one wine in this tasting that is far showier from bottle than it was from tank. It is also the most approachable of the 2017 Chardonnays. For that reason, I would choose to drink it ahead of the other Chardonnays in the range.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGA big, rich and fruity style, featuring apple and peach pastry flavors that offer some savory accents. The broad finish shows plenty of oak, with red berry hints. Drink now through 2023. 777 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97+
RP
As low as $179.00
2017 calera de villiers vineyard mt. harlan pinot noir California Red

Deeper ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir De Villiers Vineyard reveals more black raspberry, sassafras, tea, and spicy notes. It’s medium-bodied, with a juicy, elegant style and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDA juicy and powerful red with blackberries, dried strawberries, walnuts and spice undertone. Full-bodied and chewy with layers of tannins and a flavorful finish. Hints of bark and spice. Needs time to soften, but impressive. Drink after 2025, but already beautiful.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2017 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, exotic and bold, the 2017 offers striking immediacy. Inky dark fruit, spice, lavender and menthol open up first, followed by a range of more savory, mineral notes that are typical of Mt. Harlan. The interplay of fruit intensity and structure makes for a compelling Pinot.Vinous Media | 94 VMPale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir deVilliers Vineyard, aged 17 months in 30% new French oak, gives up broody cherry coulis, underbrush, crushed stone, dried redcurrants and cranberries aromas with notions of blood orange, tea leaves and cured meats. Medium-bodied, intense and layered, it’s well framed and juicy with a long and pleasantly restrained finish. 1,382 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPDe Villiers is an east-facing site more or less in the middle of Calera’s Mt. Harlan vineyards, planted in 1997. In 2017, it produced a wine considerably more savory than most of its counterparts, with a wild berry scent and tealike accents. The fruit flavors are light and attenuated, more about perfume than flavor, marked by the tangy, mildly mineral grip of the mountain’s chalk soils.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 93 W&SWell-sculpted, with alluring sandalwood and allspice notes to the dried cherry and plum tart flavors. Savory richness emerges midpalate, leading to an extended finish that offers brioche and cream details. Drink now through 2024. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSRoasted boysenberry, crushed stone, baked earth and a slight plum-skin tang show on the nose of this bottling from vines planted in 1996. There’s a warm-weather sense on the palate, where cooked berry flavors dominate, yet the acid and rocky tension keep it complex and intenseWine Enthusiast | 92 WE

95
JD
As low as $71.99
2017 dalla valle cabernet sauvignon California Red

Moving to the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, this cuvée is too often underrated and I think it’s one of the most classy, balanced, high quality Cabernets coming from the valley. Deep purple-colored with beautiful blackcurrant fruits interwoven with lots of tobacco, crushed rocks, leafy herbs, and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ripe, present tannins, and stunning balance. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is blended of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged in barrel for 21 months in two-thirds new oak. It was bottled one week prior to this tasting. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bold, beautiful black fruits—blackcurrant pastilles, plum preserves and boysenberries—with hints of baker’s chocolate, yeast extract, tapenade and Indian spices plus a waft of forest floor. Full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it sports soft, plush, well-played tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and fragrant.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon captures all of the radiance of the year in its super-ripe fruit and racy contours. Medium in body yet extravagantly ripe, the 2017 is going to need at least a few years in bottle to shed some baby fat. A rush of dark cherry, plum, spice, lavender, licorice and menthol gives the 2017 much of its immediacy and overall appeal.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGVery pretty blueberries and chocolate with hints of spice. Medium body, creamy tannins and a savory finish. Shows poise and balance. Delicious now. Why wait on this? Drink or hold.James Suckling | 93 JSFleshy and forward at first, with delicious plum and blackberry compote flavors laced with dark licorice and roasted cedar notes. Fleshes out with some air in the glass, showing nice length, a well-buried iron note and latent grip for cellaring. Best from 2021 through 2032. 860 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
JD
As low as $235.00
2017 dalla valle maya California Red

The 2017 Maya is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Cabernet Franc and was bottled one week before I tasted it. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens with profound earthy notions of truffles, damp soil, crushed rocks and tar over a core of Black Forest cake, black raspberries, blueberry compote and aged meat plus touches of wilted roses and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is solidly structured with firm, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness lifting the multilayered blue and black fruits with a long, perfumed finish. Stunning.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe tiny production 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Maya is another thrilling wine. The normal blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc that was brought up in two-thirds new French oak, it offers a full-bodied, concentrated, yet sensationally elegant style as well as fab notes of crème de cassis, chocolate, graphite, and scorched earth. It’s a primordial example of this cuvée that has ripe tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish. Do your best to give bottles 4-6 years of bottle age.Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JDThe 2017 Maya is not only gorgeous, it also appears to have handled the rigors of the growing season more successfully than the others. Ripe red cherry and plum fruit, blood orange, pomegranate, mint and spice all build as this racy, sumptuous wine shows off its considerable allure. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are just magic here.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGTiny production from the eastern hills of Oakville. If you love Bordeaux wines it’s such a treat to taste a blend of just Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, something that you rarely see in the Médoc. It works extremely well, with an aromatic kick of raspberry leaf and violet flowers but the key to the body is coffee, bilberry, rosemary, mulberry and cloves. Great acidity set against power and concentration. The savoury edge that makes Cabernet such a delicious food-friendly wine is here, and is extremely elegant and refined but with a punch and undertow. Good stuff, with long ageing potential. 75% new oak. Drinking Window 2022 - 2042.Decanter | 95 DECThe plum and chocolate, as well as hazelnut and dried-flower character is prevalent here. It’s full-bodied, yet very refined with lovely, polished tannins and a long, crisp finish. Balanced and focused. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSSolidly built, with ganache, plum, fig paste, smoldering tobacco and loam notes rolled together, ending with a muscular feel on the dark finish. Reveals a strong tug of terroir. Will need some time to stretch out fully. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2035. 800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97+
RP
As low as $469.00
2017 dunn cabernet sauvignon howell mtn California Red

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is sure to make Dunn fans happy. Powerful and ample, it marries the natural intensity of the year with the savoriness that makes Howell Mountain Cabernets so distinctive. Dark blue/purplish fruit, graphite, spice, leather, dried herbs and lavender imbue the 2017 with striking intensity and character. I can’t wait to see how it ages. The 2017 is a positively stunning edition of the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAlready more open than the 2018 Howell Mountain, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain boasts slightly piney, resinous herb notes—thyme and rosemary—along with classic cassis and blueberry fruit. Yes, there’s a cedary coat of oak, but the fruit comes through loud and clear, adding a rich, velvety textural component and mouthwatering berry flavors on the lingering finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPFresh ripe cassis, blackberry and plum fruit flavors course through, carried by tar and apple wood notes that are well-embedded, giving this a muscular but sleek feel. Features a great tug of dark earth and licorice snap on the palate-staining finish.Wine Spectator | 95 WSFrom a challenging vintage due to heat spikes and devastating wildfires, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain nevertheless is a terrific wine. Giving up lots of darker currant and cassis fruits as well as scorched earth, graphite, and obvious minerality, it’s medium to full-bodied, has good overall balance, chalky, slightly drying tannins, and a good finish. It should evolve for another decade at least, but the tannins will need to be watched.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD

97
VM
As low as $169.00
2017 opus one California Red

A fist of late summer cherries, raspberry and bilberry fruits set out their stall, all with the juicy character that confirms, even in a hot vintage like 2017, Opus can deliver balance and sculpted elegance. Beautiful grip, creamy texture with a strikingly powerful tannic frame. As the wine stays in the glass the floral aromatics begin to bloom up. A brilliant Opus. 20 days maceration - around half what it would have been a decade ago. 54% native yeast, as part of their native yeast project. 5% Merlot and 1% Malbec complete the blend. Harvest spread out over September 5 to October 8, just before the fires, by which time they had less than 10% of the fruit still out on the vines. 3.7pH. Drinking Window 2023 - 2045.Decanter | 96 DECOpus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPA remarkable wine for the year, the 2017 Opus One is a dense, full-throttle beauty. Plush fruit and soft, silky contours give the 2017 its racy personality. Exotic, beautifully perfumed and impeccable in its balance, Opus One is one of the most complete wines of the vintage. In 2017, Opus One has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages.Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGLots of currant and floral notes on the nose. Hints of mint and spice. Medium-to full-bodied, round and savory with creamy, juicy tannins. Hints of citrus underneath. Bright, fresh and delicious. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSThis features currant and plum fruit, with tobacco, loam and singed savory notes, maintaining range and driving through the finish. The structure is fine-grained, delivering a lingering hint of acidity. A more subtle expression of Cabernet. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2022 through 2036. 27,800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96
DEC
As low as $470.00
2017 sloan estate proprietary red California Red

Wonderful aromas of blueberries, blackberries, mushrooms, pine and blackcurrants. Some violets, too. Full-bodied, yet so refined and polished with wonderful fruit and a linear tannin structure that integrates beautifully into the wine. It’s so balanced and beautiful. Hard not to drink now, but better after 2023.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2017 Proprietary Red brings everything up a solid notch. Dense purple/plum-hued, with gorgeous, Graves-like nose of blackcurrants, chocolate, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and gravelly earth, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a polished, elegant texture, building yet sweet tannins, and a great finish. Very much in the style of the 2017 vintage with its nicely concentrated, elegant, reserved yet endearing style, it’s going to drink nicely for 20-25 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Proprietary Red sails out of the glass with open-knit, compelling scents of Black Forest cake, blackberry pie and black currant jelly with suggestions of Indian spices, garrigue, rose oil and sandalwood. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited and jam-packed with opulent black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, framed by a wicked backbone of freshness and plush, well-managed tannins, finishing with impressive length and perfume.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPThe 2017 Sloan is very nicely done. As is typical of the year, Sloan is on the lighter side in 2017, and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. Black cherry, spice, licorice, lavender and chocolate open with a bit of time in the glass. Soft, succulent and quite gracious, the 2017 will drink well with minimal cellaring. I suspect it will always retain some of the nervous tension that is to be expected for a wine made from fruit picked a bit earlier than would have been optimal and with fewer barrel ferments, both choices imposed by the fires that year.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

98
JS
As low as $749.00
2017 Tesseron Estate Pym-Rae Napa Valley

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Pym-Rae leaps from the glass with bold notions of black cherries, mulberries, plum preserves and dark chocolate with an opulent undercurrent of Indian spices, potpourri, sandalwood and cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with rich, seductive black fruit preserves and an explosion of exotic spice sparks, framed by firm yet beautifully plush tannins and fantastic tension, finishing very long and achingly fragrant. Possessing loads more weight and mid-palate density than a lot of 2017s, this second showing is an absolute knock-out. Due to strict selection, only around 1500 cases were made this year.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPRather rich, flamboyant and decadent with bright raspberries, mushrooms and bark. Full-bodied, yet very tight and refined, with firmness and length. Racy and fine for a 2017. No cabernet franc in the blend, just cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Drink after 2023.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2017 Pym-Rae comes from a more challenging vintage that featured a dramatic heat spike on Labor Day weekend and fires during harvest. Nevertheless, the fruit was harvested all pre-fire, and it’s a beautiful wine revealing ample black fruits, scorched earth, tobacco, and graphite-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it shows the vintage’s more focused, elegant style and has beautiful concentration as well as a great finish. While I suspect it has fewer tannins than the 2016, they’re more present and focused, which is very much in the style of the vintage. This elegant, concentrated, classic Bordeaux-like Mountain Cabernet will evolve nicely for another 25+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JD

97
RP
As low as $269.00
2018 accendo cellars cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is just as magnificent as it was last year. Dark, sensual and enveloping, the 2018 possesses off the charts intensity and fabulous balance. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, spice and licorice all build over time, but it is the wine’s mind-blowing intensity and pedigree that are once again so alluring. The 2018 is quite simply regal.Antonio Galloni | 100 AGThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Vine Hill Ranch and Sleeping Lady vineyards, the Cabernet Franc came from Diamond Mountain and the Petit Verdot is from the old Abreu Thorevilos vineyard (now called Ecotone). Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with classic cassis, warm plums and boysenberries scents plus nuances of violets, lavender, pencil lead and menthol with hints of crushed rock and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house, framed by firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness with super intense black fruit and earthy layers, finishing long and mineral laced. 995 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPA lush and inviting style, with gorgeous, velvety waves of cassis, steeped plum and warmed blackberry preserves rolling along, underscored with black licorice and roasted vanilla throughout. The finish is seriously deep and long, with a subtle tug of warm loam lingering with the fruit. Hard to lay off now for its fruit, but this has loads in reserve for the cellar. Drink now through 2040. 995 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

As low as $349.00
2018 antica estate (m. antinori) napa valley chardonnay a26 vineyard California White

This is a generous, layered white with lots of cooked apples and hints of coconut and vanilla. Full body. Phenolic tension, too. Lots of white pepper and saltiness underneath. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JS

94
JS
As low as $59.99
2018 aubert chardonnay carneros California White
As low as $139.00

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