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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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2018 chanin chardonnay sanford & benedict vineyard California White

Not yet bottled, the 2018 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict is still resting in 20% new French oak. Coming from a great site on the southern side of the Sta. Rita Hills, it offers a rocking bouquet of lemon curd, chamomile, toasted bread, spice, and a touch of crushed stone-like flinty minerality. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and elegant on the palate, it’s another brilliant wine from this estate.Jeb Dunnuck | 95-97 JDAromas of moss and kumquats combine with decadently ripe, yet still refreshing, limpid fruit. The textured palate reflects the stony minerality of the nose in a snappy, svelte package. It spent 20 months in mostly neutral barrique, and is a blend of the own-rooted 1971 vines as well as younger plantings. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DEC

95-97
JD
As low as $59.99
2018 chase cellars cabernet sauvignon hayne vineyard California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Hayne Vineyard comes from a site in Napa and is all Clone 337 of Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in new French oak. Beautiful crème de cassis, violets, tobacco, and bouquet garni notes emerge from this classic, full-bodied, incredibly well-balanced 2018. I love its tannins, it’s flawlessly balanced, and it’s a wine that keeps you coming back to the glass. Drink bottles over the coming 15+.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JD

97
JD
As low as $149.99
2018 chimney rock cabernet sauvignon California Red

Silky red fruit and plum dot the landscape of this powerfully soft and velvety wine. Blended with 23% Merlot and 1% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it exudes classic structure, integrated oak and floral beauty, finishing on a fig note. Enjoy from 2028–2032.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon SLD Estate is rich, ample and so inviting. This creamy, expressive Cabernet is sure to delight readers pretty much upon release. It captures all the charm of the vintage in its gracious personality. Hints of spice, tobacco, dried herbs and mint linger.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGLots of purple fruit with raspberries and blackberries follow through to a medium to full body with chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften. Try after 2023.James Suckling | 92 JSA blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and notes of baked black cherries, stewed plums and black currant jelly plus touches of garrigue, black olives and Provence herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers lovely poise and expression with plenty of crunchy black fruit and a grainy texture, finishing with a lively lift.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPJuicy, with an upfront personality showing açai, plum and boysenberry notes mixed together with red licorice and sweet spice accents. Fleshy finish keeps the fruit pumping through nicely, with a light briar streak for cut. Wine Spectator | 91 WSChecking in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stages Leap District sports a dense purple color as well as complex notes of both red and black fruits, new leather, chocolate, and loamy earth. It’s medium to full-bodied, elegant, and nicely textured on the palate, with integrated tannins and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 91 JDA blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% each Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Floral, dusty and herbal on the nose. The palate is energetic and lively with notes of pomegranates, red currants and eucalyptus. Crisp, and linear on the finish. Authentically rooted in a past era of Napa, and accurately represents the grace and subtlety that Stags Leap District is capable of. Drinking Window 2022 - 2030.Decanter | 90 DEC

92
VM
As low as $95.00
2018 chimney rock cabernet sauvignon tomahawk vineyard California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, dense and explosive, the Tomahawk possesses tremendous balance and class. Inky and resonant in the glass, the 2018 builds over time as the layers open. Raspberry jam, blood orange, mint, cinnamon, cedar and new leather add the closing shades of complexity. In 2018, the Tomahawk is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGPlanted in 2002, this site produces a wine more dark-fruited and lush than the Ganymede bottling. Aged in 75% new French oak. Blackcurrants, wet cedar and fennel on the nose. The texture of the palate is stunning, splitting the difference between plush, coating, lifted and graceful. Explosive on the finish, where purple fruits combine with a clean, chalky, subtly-abrasive finish. A fantastic wine all the way around, and one to enjoy for the next two decades.Drinking Window 2022 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk has a deep garnet-purple color, slowly unfurling to reveal notes of baked plums, blueberry preserves and warm cassis with an undercurrent of lavender, bouquet garni, black tea and fungi. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by ripe, plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing savory.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPPowerful and earthy, this wine shows red and black cherry and currant flavors on a crisp, textured palate. Clove, cinnamon and dried herb play around the edges of elegant tannin structure and generous oak.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

97
VM
As low as $139.00
2018 cresta velia cabernet sauvignon mount veeder California Red

I loved the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder from barrel and it showed beautifully from bottle. Deep purple-hued, with powerful notes of blackcurrants, leafy herbs, tapenade, chocolate, and bay leaf, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a lush, sumptuous texture, awesome tannins, and a finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. This beautiful Mount Veeder Cabernet will evolve for 20-25 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JDThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from a new site on Mt. Veeder that is just beginning to enter production. Inky and explosive, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness. The 2018 captures all the intensity of Veeder, but without the tannins and harsher elements that can penalize Cabernets here. The 2018 is a total turn-on. It is a remarkable effort for a vineyard that was only planted in 2014 and 2015. Don’t miss it.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGOffers a mix of melted licorice, sassafras and sweet bay leaf notes, with a core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit. This has depth and muscle, but also the cut for balance, with a zesty underlay driving the finish. Drink now through 2032. 190 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96+
JD
As low as $89.99
2018 dalla valle cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, which always includes a splash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is incredible juice and a wine readers should seek out. Showing the quality and style of the vintage beautifully, it offers a captivating bouquet of crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, bouquet garni, and violets, with just a touch of foresty, earthy notes in the background. Aged 22 months in barrel (with a small amount in amphora), it’s full-bodied and perfectly balanced, with integrated acidity and a great finish. I love this wine and don’t make the mistake of overlooking this while only focusing on the Maya cuvee.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDDeep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes soaring out of the glass with energetic notions of fresh blackberries, black cherries and cassis plus nuances of dark chocolate, kirsch, cardamom and tilled soil with a fragrant waft of violets. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with perfumed black fruit flavors, supported by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of mineral accents.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful, explosive wine that is going to need a number of years to be at its finest. The energy and raw intensity are so pronounced. Inky dark fruit, spice, menthol, licorice and cedar add striking aromatic nuance, but it is the wine’s phenomenal balance that stands out most. This is the first vintage that includes component wine aged in amphora. This is far from an easygoing 2018.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGThis throws a lot at you from the get-go, with sassafras, sweet bay leaf and red tea notes leading off, before the core of red and black currant paste and boysenberry reduction starts to assert itself. Licorice and fruitcake accents check in late, with all the other elements falling into line easily through the lengthy finish. Distinctive and gorgeous. Best from 2022 through 2038. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis has a perfumed nose of violets, blueberry pie, vanilla and crushed walnuts. It’s full-bodied with firm, powdery tannins. Powerful yet fresh, with intense layers of blue fruit, flowers and wood spices. Better from 2022.James Suckling | 95 JSA luscious, ripe but tucked-in expression of eastern Oakville Cabernet from Andy Erickson. The nose is voluptuous and chock full of ripe red and purple fruits surrounded by subtle toasted oak aromas. The palate is delectably sweet and concentrated, showing flavours of boysenberry, candied black cherries, fresh tobacco and brown sugar. A full-throttle wine but reigned in enough to still show poise and purity. Drinking Window 2026 - 2039.Decanter | 95 DEC

97+
RP
As low as $279.00
2018 dana estates cabernet sauvignon vaso California Red

Gorgeous aromas of blackberries, currants and plums with some spices. Walnuts and chocolate, too. Full-to medium-bodied with very fine tannins and delicious, succulent fruit, as well as hints of herbs. Some stemmy character. So balanced and delicious. 90% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, 4% malbec and 1% petite verdot. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is cut from the same cloth, offering beautiful purity and richness. It’s slightly more pure and darker than the spicier 2017 and has notes of cassis, redcurrants, dark chocolate, tobacco, and violets. Full-bodied on the palate, it has silky tannins, terrific overall balance, and just loads of character and charm. It’s in the running for the greatest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon under $100.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is a potent, somewhat burly wine. It will need a few years to help the tannins soften. There is plenty of weight and power. Time in the glass helps the aromatics open, but the 2018 is not an easygoing wine from Dana. It needs a bit of time.-Antonio Galloni | 90 AG

95
JS
As low as $89.95
2018 davies cabernet sauvignon California Red

Deep ruby-purple, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena offers tones of cassis and blueberries, with slowly emerging accents of dark chocolate, aniseed, vanilla and bouquet garni. Full-bodied, it has lush fruits, a plush, rounded frame and bursts of fresh acidity highlighting its spicy accents on the long finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is racy and expressive in the glass. Super-ripe red raspberry, spice, vanillin and a hint of chocolate add a pretty touch of flamboyance to this open-knit, silky Cabernet Sauvignon. Supple and inviting, with no hard edges, the 2018 will drink well right out of the gate. Best of all the 2018 is a fabulous value.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGNicely packed with plum, currant and blackberry purée flavors laced with black licorice and framed by a perfectly integrated alder note. Flash of sweet bay in the background, too. Drink now through 2026. 1,575 cases made. Wine Spectator | 92 WSWith a sumptuously inviting nose of nutmeg, clove and dark chocolate, this rich wine is blended with 14% Malbec and 2% Merlot. Dusty texture gives in to a core of soft, supple tannins that melt on the palate, finishing with length and breadth.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEA very rich, opulent nose with aromas of sandalwood, nougat and grilled plum. It’s full-bodied with a firm tannin structure. Stewed fruit flavors lead to a warm, toffee and chocolate-infused finish. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 91 JSThe base appellation 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley checks in as 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, and the rest Petit Verdot. Solid mulberry and blackberry fruits as well as ample earthy tobacco and leather notes emerge from the glass, and it’s medium-bodied, with a rounded, elegant texture and ripe, polished tannins. I don’t think it’s going to make old bones, but it should deliver the goods for at least 8-10 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 90 JD

92
VM
As low as $59.99
2018 davies vineyards pinot noir ferrington vineyards California Red

This bold and well-concentrated wine from an outstanding single vineyard layers ripe plum and rich black cherry on a broad, fine-grained texture. Accents of turned earth, woodsmoke and cinnamon add lift to the mix.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

93
WE
As low as $69.99
2018 dunn cabernet sauvignon napa California Red

Dunn’s 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon shows terrific purity and focus in its aromas of cassis and pencil shavings and on the medium to full-bodied palate, where it’s streamlined and smooth. There’s intensity and concentration, but they sort of slide past almost unnoticed, lubricated by fine-grained tannins and lingering notes of cassis and graphite on the finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a gorgeous wine, especially for Dunn fans who want a wine to drink that won’t take forever to come around. Dark and savory, with terrific depth, the 2018 is full of character. Black cherry, lavender, chocolate, sage, mint and cloves all open in the glass. The 2018 has just enough grip to have a good amount of classic structure, but not to the point of being forbidding. The Napa Cabernet is about 55% Howell Mountain and 45% Coombsville fruit. The 2018 is beautifully done and an absolute delight.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGWell-endowed, with waves of lightly warmed plum sauce, blackberry preserves and melted black licorice framed by a roasted apple wood note. Flashes of sassafras and sweet bay leaf add alluring range through the muscular finish. Best from 2023 through 2035. 1,814 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

94
VM
As low as $115.00
2018 dunn vineyards cabernet sauvignon howell mountain California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is elegant, deep and classy. Inky dark purplish fruit, savory herbs, menthol, licorice and spice. The purity of the fruit is remarkable today. There is plenty of youthful Howell Mountain tannin, so readers will have to be patient. Bright floral accents lift the red/purplish berry fruit nicely. This is such an expressive, alluring Cabernet.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGRipe and very juicy, with a youthfully compact set of plum, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors wrapped in licorice and violet notes. This is both racy and grippy, showing serious power but with the freshness and drive to match. Delivers a long, iron accent that scores the fruit through the finish. Best from 2024 through 2040. 3,523 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a typically long-term proposition, coated in dusty tannins and cedary oak. It will take time for the cassis, blueberry and slightly pine-scented backbone of this wine to emerge, as for the moment it’s almost difficult to taste. Yes, the concentration is present, the tannins are almost silky-ripe, but the structure of this medium to full-bodied wine is unassailable. Hands off for at least five years, and probably more, to judge by how past vintages have evolved.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP

97
VM
As low as $185.00
2018 dvo napa valley red California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (containing a splash of Cabernet Franc) is a brand-new wine, representing a collaboration between Dalla Valle in Napa Valley and Ornellaia Estate in Tuscany (hence DVO). Deep garnet-purple colored, it is intensely scented of baked plums, boysenberries and Black Forest cake with an emerging perfume of potpourri, Indian spices and forest floor. The full-bodied palate is opulently fruited and plushly textured, delivering bags of floral and spicy nuances with a long, mineral and earth-tinged finish. Draped in flamboyant drama, this is a very different, very exciting new face of Napa Valley! 400 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPA new project between Dalla Valle and Ornellaia that has been in the works for several years now, the 2018 DVO is made at Dalla Valle yet focuses more on the southern part of the valley as well as hillside fruit. It’s starting out in the 500-case range, but the goal is to grow the production toward 2,000 cases. The 2018 is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (there’s a small amount of Cabernet Franc) from Oakville and Mount Veeder, and the élevage is similar to Dalla Valle, brought up in a mix of new and used oak. It’s a beautiful wine with a complex, savory bouquet of cassis and currant fruits intermixed with notes of chocolate, bouquet garni, and scorched earth. It’s youthful and unevolved on the palate, yet has beautiful purity, ripe, silky tannins, and a great finish. A classy, structured 2018, it needs to be forgotten for 4-6 years and is going to evolve for 20 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDAn extremely balanced and polished red with blackberry, currant, a touch of fresh herbs, light walnut and cedar. Medium-to full-bodied with very fine tannins and a tight, intense finish. Very precise for the vintage. This is the new collaboration wine between Napa’s Dalla Valle and Tuscany’s Ornellaia. Drink after 2025, but already a beauty.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2018 Proprietary Blend is the first release from a new joint venture that brings together the forces of Dalle Valle and Tuscany's Tenuta dell'Ornellaia. A beautiful, racy wine, the 2018 captures all the energy and brightness that are such signatures of the sites in Oakville, Mt. Veeder and Coombsville that inform this blend. Bright acids and veins of tannin drive a core of red berry fruit, cedar, blood orange, cedar and cinnamon. A generous dollop of Cabernet Franc (15%) comes through beautifully in a brisk, vibrant wine that dazzles right out of the gate. The 2018 spent 22 months in barrel (70% new) and a month in tank prior to bottling. It is scheduled for release in Spring 2020. This is a fabulous debut.Vinous Media | 96 VM

98+
RP
As low as $315.00
2018 favia cabernet sauvignon California Red

Readers looking for a killer Cabernet that won’t break the bank should check out the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Carbone from Favia. This dense purple-hued beauty boasts classic cassis and blueberry-like fruit intermixed with lots of tobacco, lead pencil shavings, violets, and spring flower nuances. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant Cabernet with a great mid-palate and the class to evolve for 10-15 years. It’s well worth seeking out.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2018 Carbone Cabernet Sauvignon is a bright, effusive wine. Sweet red berry fruit, mocha and a whole range of floral/savory aromatics burst from the glass. Medium in body and inviting, the 2018 drinks well now, but it also has the vibrancy to develop nicely in bottle. Carbone is the second wine of Favia.Vinous Media | 92 VM

98
JD
As low as $199.00
2018 gandona cabernet sauvignon estate California Red

The 2018 Gandona is superb. Inky dark fruit, gravel, spice, chocolate, menthol and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking layers of complexity, all with firm mountain tannins that give the wine shape, energy and drive. The 2018 is a real powerhouse. I can’t remember tasting a wine from this property with so much structure and tannin. Readers should plan on giving the 2018 plenty of air. I found the 2018 really only blossomed a number of hours after opening.Vinous Media | 97 VMBased on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 21 months in 60% new French oak, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Gandona is a sexy, powerful red offering lots of chocolatey dark fruits, notes of scorched earth, tobacco, and graphite, full-bodied richness, and a layered, impressively textured mouthfeel. There are only 400 cases produced, but it’s well worth seeking out.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21 months in French oak, 60% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it gives up gregarious notes of crushed blackberries, ripe black cherries and blackcurrant cordial with hints of mocha, bay leaves and black licorice plus a waft of cedar. Big, concentrated, full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruit flavors, it has a solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and layered. 400 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP

97
VM
As low as $279.00
2018 groth cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) is fabulous. Moreover, it shows the important strides that have been made here in recent years. A wine of depth as well as energy, the Oakville Cabernet is both complete and absolutely delicious. Time brings out a whole range of leather, spice and chocolate notes to play off a core of intense, dark-fleshed fruit. I would prefer to cellar the 2018 for at least a few years. In a word: impressive.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGShows intense raspberry and black currant fruit flavors with a good racy edge to match their concentration, while lively anise, black tea and savory details fill in throughout. This also has a nice mineral thread on the finish, which extends nicely as the fruit lingers. Best from 2023 through 2035. 24,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSReally intense scents of herbs, ripe black fruit, boysenberries, leather and wood smoke. Spicy palate with a vibrant acidity, balanced and layered. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 92 DECLots of dark chocolate, blackberries, blackcurrants, tar and dark spices on the nose. Violets and licorice, too. Medium-to full-bodied, dark and spicy with medium tannins. Drink after 2022.James Suckling | 91 JS

94
AG
As low as $58.99
2018 groth napa cabernet sauvignon reserve California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is sourced from choice blocks on the Groth family’s Oakville property. A gorgeous, classically built wine, the Reserve is just fabulous today. Dark red-toned fruit, cedar, spice and mocha lend considerable energy as the 2018 gradually opens in the glass. I would be in no rush here.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThis has the vivid, driven cassis, boysenberry and blackberry fruit of the vintage, but it’s well-harnessed, with streaks of racy anise, alder and sweet bay leaf providing focus and precision. There’s a long echo of iron and savory through the finish as the fruit lingers, leaving a mouthwatering feel. Understated in style compared with its colleagues, but no less complex. Best from 2022 through 2038. 2,400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSAromas of ripe blackberries, blueberries, plums, earth, lavender and bark. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Balanced and juicy with a caressing texture and a bright core of spiced fruit. Elegant. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JSHigh floral intensity with soft mellow plums and cherries, hints of earthy nuances. Soft profile with layers of sweet spices and a herbal finish. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 91 DEC

96
VM
As low as $149.00
2018 groth oakcross proprietary red California Red

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 AGBlack 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 JSThis 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 - 2032Decanter | 90 DEC

94
VM
As low as $95.00
2018 hahn estate lucienne chardonnay lone oak vineyard California White

Limpid yellow-gold. Vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented citrus and orchard fruit and jasmine qualities on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering Meyer lemon, pear nectar and quinine flavors and a touch of buttered toast. Closes minerally and impressively long, delivering a resonating floral note and firm, spicy lift.Vinous Media | 93 VMAromas of slightly seared lemon peel, lime and grapefruit blossom show on the bright nose of this bottling. The palate is more toasty in oak flavors, but a lemon twist adds vibrancy.Wine Enthusiast | 91 WE

93
VM
As low as $35.99
2018 jericho canyon vineyard west wall cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon West Wall is absolutely gorgeous. It is also remarkably different from the East Elevation. Here the flavors are bright and punchy. Dark red fruit, blood orange, cedar, licorice, spice and tobacco are all beautifully delineated. There is plenty of weight and richness to the 2018, but those elements are so nicely contrasted by the wine’s energy. The 2018 West Wall is fabulous. That’s all there is to it. Antonio Galloni | 96 AG In contrast, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon West Wall offers beautiful purity and freshness in its crème de cassis, cedary spice, lead pencil shavings, violets, and tobacco-like aromas and flavors. These carry to a full-bodied, layered, multi-dimensional Cabernet Sauvignon with building tannins, a solid spine of acidity, and the class to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years after that. (Drink between 2025-2046)Jeb Dunnuck | 94+ JDFrom a site up near Calistoga, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon West Wall is pretty standard Napa Cab, but it’s very well done. Cedar notes and hints of dark toast and chocolate frame cherry-scented fruit on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied and almost creamy in texture, with a long, gently warm finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPAromas of blackberries, plums, dried herbs, cedar and peppercorns. Walnuts, too. Full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Fleshy, with lots of dark-fruit and bitter-cocoa notes. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 92 JS

96
VM
As low as $145.00
2018 lewelling vineyards cabernet sauvignon California Red

A killer wine as well as a smoking value, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon comes all from the estate vineyard outside of St. Helena and spent 20 months in 70% new French oak. Loads of crème de cassis, blueberries, toasted spices, and flowery incense make up the bouquet, and it hits the palate with a ripe, round, sweetly fruited, perfectly balanced style that’s already impossible to resist.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDMade from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 20 months in oak, 70% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it offers up fragrant notions of minted cassis, blackberry compote and spice cake with suggestions of cardamom and chocolate box. The full-bodied palate is rich and plush, packed with spicy black fruits and finishing with great length. 950 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

95
JD
As low as $67.99
2018 lewelling vineyards cabernet sauvignon wight vineyard California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Wight Vineyard is a smaller selection from the estate vineyard, and it spent 20 months in 90% new French oak, of which it shows not a trace. Beautiful cassis fruits, notes of smoke, tobacco, and chocolate, full-bodied richness, velvety tannins, and a blockbuster style all define this gorgeous 2018, which offers both intellectual and hedonistic pleasure. It has another two decades of prime drinking ahead of it.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDMade from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Wight Vineyard was aged for 20 months in oak, 90% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls effortlessly from the glass with seductive scents of crème de cassis, stewed black plums and boysenberries with hints of spice box and cedar chest. The big, blockbuster, full-bodied palate has a rugged, rock-solid structure with chewy tannins and good persistence, although it is just a little warm at the back palate. 600 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91+ RP

97
JD
As low as $89.99
2018 mount eden chardonnay estate California White

Mount Eden’s 2018 Chardonnay offers a fabulous interplay of richness and energy. A wine of linear intensity, the 2018 could use a few more years in bottle to be at its best, but it is super-impressive, even now, in what is very clearly the early going. Lemon confit, mint, orange peel, spice and light butter notes all build into the articulate, polished finish. This is such a classy wine. Give it a few years to come together.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGHoneyed nut, tangerine peel and baked apple aromas show on the nose of this bottling. A zesty acidity enlivens the palate from front to back, carrying toasty flavors of pan-seared apple, cashew, sea salt and white flower. Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA Burgundy lover’s Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2018 Chardonnay Estate is another terrific effort from this estate. Lots of honeyed citrus, nectarine, toast, crushed stone, and white flower notes define the bouquet, and it opens beautifully with time in the glass, gaining both richness and complexity. Medium-bodied, it stays tight and compact on the palate, with bright yet integrated acidity, solid mid-palate depth, and a great finish. As with all of Patterson’s wines, it’s brilliantly made, balanced, and well worth checking out.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDMount Eden’s chardonnay vines are descendants of cuttings that Paul Masson brought from Burgundy and planted at his La Cresta Vineyard, and where Martin Ray sourced the plant material when he established Mount Eden on a nearby ridge, 2,000 feet above the Pacific, facing east. The contemporary vines, mostly planted in the mid-1990s, are tended by Jeffrey Patterson who made this rich and powerful 2018. Fermented in French oak barrels (50 percent new), the wine’s smokiness seems tied as much to the earth as to the wood. It’s savory and lemony, with a firm cut that should serve it well through several years of bottle aging.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&SThere’s a luscious and creamy texture to the concentrated ripe apple, pear and quince flavors that are filled with cooking spice accents. Ends with sage honey nuances on the rich finish. Drink now through 2024. 1,288 cases made. Wine Spectator | 91 WS

95
VM
As low as $59.99
2018 mount eden vineyards estate pinot noir santa cruz mountains California Red

Crushed stone, lit gunpowder, peppery herbs, sassafras, violets, and assorted red and black fruits all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate, a brilliant release from this estate that’s medium-bodied, has bright yet integrated acidity, beautiful balance, and a great, great finish. It’s young and unevolved (yet it’s already complex) and will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, but this is a gorgeous California Pinot Noir on every level. It’s going to drink well for over two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JDThe 2015 Pinot Noir has softened nicely since I last tasted it, although the aromatics remain a bit reticent, most likely because of the 35% whole clusters used that year. There is lovely richness and depth underneath, but readers will have to cellar the 2015 for at least a few years in order to see the wine at its best and most complete.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGBlack-plum, incense, black-cherry and root-beer aromas show on the nose of this bottling from a regional standard bearer. Sandalwood and mahogany flavors make for a woody palate, where the dark-plum and purple-flower flavors cling to a firm tension.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

95+
JD
As low as $64.99
2018 mt. brave cabernet sauvignon mt. veeder Pending

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Brave is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses tremendous depth and tons of personality. Graphite, blue/purplish fruit, blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sage, lavender, menthol give the 2018 tons of character to match its explosive feel. The brooding, backward wine is going to need quite a bit of time to unwind, but boy is it gorgeous.Vinous Media | 97 VMLots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDA blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder was aged for 22 months in oak barrels, 82% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it springs from the glass with vibrant crème de cassis, baked plums and Morello cherries scents, followed by nuances of sautéed herbs, clove oil, mocha and scorched earth. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with layers of black and blue fruits, sporting a rock-solid backbone of grainy tannins and great tension, finishing long and minerally. 6,753 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPThis packs in lots of dense yet sleek blackberry, mulberry and black currant fruit flavors, while anise, sassafras and violet notes add range throughout. There’s plenty of structure embedded as well, though it tilts to the zesty, acid-driven side of the ledger, further enlivening the fruit. This has a serious oak treatment, but it’s very precise and fine-grained. For the cellar. Best from 2022 through 2038. 6,753 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSBlackberry and chili with hints of cloves and graphite. Bitter chocolate, too. Full-bodied, very linear and tight with intense tannins that lead you down the finish. Solid structure. Needs four or five years to open up. Better after 2025.James Suckling | 95 JSReductive on the nose, this age-worthy wine shows a ton of structure and elegant power, finessed in tight, youthful tannin and earthy underbrush. Sage, dust and oak support a framework of dense red fruit that should develop further in the cellar. Enjoy best from 2028–2035.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEDelicate nuances of clove, thyme, ripe red and black berries and hints of smoke. Vibrant and mineral, with grainy tannins. Lovely.Decanter | 92 DEC

97
VM
As low as $89.99
2018 once & future sonoma valley zinfandel old hill ranch California Red

The 2018 Zinfandel Old Hill Vineyard is flat-out stunning. Deep, layered and super-expressive, the 2018 offers unreal complexity, much of which comes from the diversity of a field blend of about 14 varieties that includes good bits of Grenache, Mataro, Alicante and Carignane, among others. A wine of total understatement, the 2018 is not obvious, but it has so much going on for readers who can take some time with it. Old Hill is one of the most pedigreed sites in Sonoma Valley. Joel Peterson certainly got every bit of potential out of this fruit in 2018. What a wine!Antonio Galloni | 95 AGRobust yet refined, with a core of bright raspberry, cracked pepper and baking spice flavors that build tension toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2020. 208 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

95
VM
As low as $54.99

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