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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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2006 bond vineyards melbury California Red

The 2006 Melbury has a dense plum/purple color and a big, sweet, scorched earth, crème de cassis and blueberry nose, with hints of charcoal, spice box, and graphite. Rich, well-made, and showing exceptionally well from bottle, it is a wine that will certainly evolve for 25 or more years.Robert Parker | 94 RPThe 2006 Melbury is dark, chewy and a bit rough around the edges. Even so, it has aged well and retains enough freshness to drink well for another decade or more. Mocha, plum, black cherry and spice infuse the super-expressive finish.Vinous Media | 94 VMThis is very perfumed with currants and flowers. I love the nose. Very balanced and deep full bodied wine with a long silky finish. I really like the texture and finesse to this. Very fascinating. Better in a year or two. 14+24+23+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 94 JSStarts with a beautiful ruby color that’s so pretty and gleaming. Appeals right away for its rich, attractive sour cherry candy, vanilla and anise aromas and flavors that are well-integrated with smoky oak. The tannins are firm, but ultra-refined, and the finish is entirely dry. A well-made, elegant wine of place that needs time. 2012–2018.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEI had a very hard time getting a firm read on any of the 2006 bottlings from Bond Estates and was under the distinct impression that I was not favorably impressed by the style of wines here, until I tasted the 2005s, which really had snapped nicely into focus, had gobbled up the lion’s share of their new wood and showed truly excellent quality in their more modern styles. So with the 2006 Melbury (and this is true for all of the other 2006s from Bond), please take into account that the wine was still more than a tad grumpy and adolescent when I tasted it and is very likely to come in at the high range of my range if it evolves as positively as its 2005 counterparts. The nose today on the ’06 Melbury is quite intriguing in its mix of black raspberries, plums, tobacco, chocolate, allspice and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and shows a fair bit of complexity on the attack, but with rather aggressive, uncovered oak tannins currently dominating the slightly green (from wood?) finish. There is excellent length and grip here behind the wood tannins, and one assumes that there is plenty of stuffing to eventually carry the wood, but for now, the wood tannins make this wine pretty disagreeable to drink and cellaring is emphatically required. (Drink between 2016 - 2035)John Gilman | 89-92 JGFrom the Sloson Vineyard on the east side of Lake Hennessy, these vines are cooled by the lake and grow in dense clay. They produced a big, juicy red in 2006, a soft, luscious wine that feels dense and full. This comes across as warmer and riper than Bond’s other single-vineyard releases, a more immediate pleasure for drinking over the next several years.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 91 W&S

94
RP
As low as $489.00
2007 Bond Vineyards Quella

The 2007 Quella performed slightly better than I predicted last year. A magical combination of blueberry liqueur intermixed with crushed rock, spring flowers (violets?), earth, pen ink and burning ember leads to a full-bodied, majestically rich wine with a multilayered texture, silky tannins and a phenomenally long finish of over 50 seconds. This sensational 2007 should drink well for 25-30+ years.Robert Parker | 97 RPThis is decadent. Layers and layers of porcini mushrooms, wet forest floor, and dark fruits. Full bodied, powerful, with everything going for it. This needs at least fiave years to show its best. Pull the cork after 2015. 15+25+24+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 97 JSVoluptuous and racy in the glass, with terrific freshness, the 2007 Quella has it all. Raspberry jam, blood orange and sweet floral notes add brightness throughout. Silky, ripe and alluring, the 2007 is one of the many standouts in this vintage. The 2007 drinks well now but it will hold for another 10-15 years.Vinous Media | 96 VMA tremendous effort, firm, intense, dense and concentrated, offering a wonderful mix of mineral, fresh earth, dried currant and herb, with touches of tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, yet at points supple given its youth, but the finish sails on and on. To be released spring 2011. Best from 2013 through 2024. 476 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis is Bond’s second vintage of Quella, from a vineyard in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. The wine’s red cherry fruit has elasticity and intriguing meatiness, though for now it’s completely cloaked in oak. The wood adds a French roast coffee spice rather than sweetness, the tannins mouthcoating and rich. This finishes with elegance and should reward several years of cellar time.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE

97
RP
As low as $549.00
2008 bond vineyards pluribus California Red

The 2008 Pluribus is a gorgeous wine laced with black fruit, menthol, minerals, spices and licorice. It shows fabulous density and richness through to the finish. This is a very typical Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2008 Pluribus is the most delicate of the Bond 2008s. Hints of pine, scorched earth, toast and licorice give the wine many of its aromatic signatures. Today, the 2008 is deceptively understated. My impression is that the best is yet to come.Vinous Media | 95 VMOffers a mix of mocha, loamy earth, espresso, dried currant, blueberry, wild berry and cedary sage-charcoal notes. Full-bodied and drying, complex and concentrated. Best from 2012 through 2022. 487 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSEucalyptus and mint and spices with dark fruits. Hints of wood too. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit. Thick and dense. Very soft and juicy. Very approachable. This has a little more Merlot than normal, making it very approachable.James Suckling | 92 JSGrown at a steep, seven-acre vineyard at 1,100 feet on Spring Mountain, Pluribus shows the power and extract of the 2008 vintage. It’s all about structure until the wine takes on enough air, beginning to show floral notes and deep blueberry-scented fruit. There’s a dark, classical Napa mountain red here, needing a decade in the cellar to reveal itself more completely.Wine & Spirits | 91 W&S

95
RP
As low as $525.00
2008 bond vineyards quella California Red

Full ruby-red color. Very ripe aromas of raspberry, licorice and menthol; this too struck me as claret-like. Sweet and refined in the mouth, already showing superb harmony to its raspberry, redcurrant and graphite flavors. Finishes with suave tannins and outstanding length. Like the Melbury, this seems balanced to give early pleasure but should have no trouble lasting for 15 to 20 years in bottle. (Incidentally, pHs here were average in 2008 but acids a bit higher, said director of winegrowing Bob Levy, who offered the opinion that 2008 was a bit like 2005 in style).Vinous Media | 94 VMFirm and structured, with loamy earth, mocha and espresso, this is ripe and lively, with currant, blueberry and wild berry notes that are pleasingly subtle and detailed. Even more expansive and syrupy on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2022. 502 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis is the third vintage from this site. Licorice and flowers and lavender aromas. Full body, with super velvety tannins and a medium finish. Lovely wood on the finish. Sandalwood undertone. Give it a year or two to come together more.James Suckling | 93 JSThe 2008 Quella is a dark, brooding wine loaded with super-ripe dark black fruit, smoke, tar and licorice. It is a seriously intense wine that will require bottle age. This is an especially authoritative wine from Bond. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

94
WS
As low as $485.00
2009 bond vineyards pluribus California Red

The 2009 Proprietary Blend Pluribus boasts stunning concentration, depth and power. Tar, incense, graphite, plums and grilled herbs all flow from this dark, sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. The balance of fruit, tannin and acidity is masterful. The Pluribus is always the most intense of the BOND wines. It can at times be a bit of a brute, but the 2009 is as refined as it gets. There is no shortage of class and integrity here. Hints of smoke, tar and juniper berries add the final layers of complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.I have been excited about the BOND 2009s since I first tasted them 18 months ago. My enthusiasm for those wines is surpassed only by the 2010s. The 2009s are sexy, radiant and impeccably polished, while the 2010s are more inward, structured and brooding in style. It is impossible not to compare BOND to Bill Harlan’s Harlan Estate. Although I am told the approach to farming and picking is identical in all the vineyards both estates look after, my sense is that the BOND wines are a little more vibrant than Harlan Estate, which tends to occupy a spot a little further out on the ripeness spectrum. It’s hard to know what more there is to say about BOND. These are simply some of the most utterly magnificent wines I have ever tasted, and a true testament that terroir not only exists in Napa Valley, but that these are some of the most privileged sites for making wine anywhere in the world. In my opinion, in top vintages, the St. Eden, which emerges from the red soils of Oakville, and the Vecina, from Vine Hill Ranch, are two of the greatest wines in Napa Valley.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPReaders searching for a Pluribus to drink now will find much to admire in the 2009. Beautifully resonant on the palate, the 2009 possesses striking depth and nuance. Time in the glass seems to bring out the wine’s natural richness and generous, inviting texture.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGAn amazing wine, complex and elegant, with a pure, rich, spicy mix of dark berry, plum and black cherry flavors. Supple and harmonious, elegant and persistent. Drink now through 2028. 420 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

97
RP
As low as $795.00
2010 bond vineyards pluribus California Red

Graphite, smoke, savory herbs, tobacco and licorice all meld together in a huge, powerful, structured wine. Layers of fruit cover every inch of the palate in a dark, brooding wine endowed with serious intensity. Today, the 2010 is absolutely striking in its beauty. Always a big, tannic wine, the 2010 Pluribus is one of the most elegant and refined Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted from this site. The intensely savory, mineral notes typical of the wine are there, but the 2010 also has a level of purity in its fruit that is striking. This is a stunning wine from BOND.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGThe 2010 Pluribus reveals classic notes of blueberry and mulberry fruit intermixed with hints of violets, incense and licorice. The striking aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, dense, supple-textured, multidimensional wine that should drink well for 25-30 years.To quickly summarize this project that has been remarkably successful since the debut vintage, Bond is the project of the visionary Bill Harlan, the proprietor of Harlan Estate. Along with winemaker Bob Levy and consulting oenologist Michel Rolland, he continues to sign twenty-year leases on highly regarded vineyards planted with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from which he offers consumers world-class Cabernet Sauvignons that showcase different Napa micro-climates/terroirs. In short, there are five separate vineyard sites in the Bond portfolio. The Melbury comes from a 7-acre parcel (sedimentary and clay soils) on steep slopes in the Pritchard Hill area near Lake Hennessey, east of Rutherford. The northern most parcel, the Pluribus comes from a high elevation (1,000 feet) site on Spring Mountain. It, too, is a 7-acre parcel planted in the white volcanic bedrock called tufa. The most southerly situated vineyard is Vecina (11 acres planted at 200-330 foot elevation), which is a neighbor of Harlan Estate in the Oakville Corridor, on the western hillsides of Napa. St. Eden, a valley floor vineyard, is composed of 11 acres on gentle foothills just north of the Oakville Crossroads. The Quella Vineyard is a 9-acre site in the eastern foothills of St. Helena with an interesting terroir of alluvial pebbles and small rocks of what is believed to be an old riverbed. White tufa can be found as well. Part of the objective is to vinify these wines in identical manners so that as they age their micro-climate / terroir characters become more pronounced. The barrels that are deemed not worthy enough to go into the individual single vineyard wines are blended into the Matriarch cuvee.Robert Parker | 97 RPExtremely floral, with violets and dark berries such as blueberries. Full, bold palate with chewy tannins, warm stone and fresh herbs. Some bark and sandalwood. Chewy wine. Needs time to soften: better in 2018.James Suckling | 94 JSDense and extracted, offering a powerful mix of loamy earth, dried berry, herb, road tar and pencil lead, this is also quite tannic and cedary. Should reward cellaring. Best from 2015 through 2028. 568 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
RP
As low as $549.00
2010 dalla valle maya California Red

The 2010 Maya is a less evolved, more backward, brooding wine with a dense opaque blue/purple color, explosive richness, and abundant notes of incense, camphor, charcoal, blackberries, blueberries and hints of violets and forest floor. Full-bodied, pure, deep, structured and powerful, this massive Maya comes across as even bigger and richer than the 2009. Forget it for 3-5 years and drink it over the following 30+ years. Drink Date 2016 - 2046 Robert Parker The Wine Advocate | 98+ RPNaoko Dalla Valle’s 2010 Maya is every bit as breathtaking as it has always been. An exotic mélange of raspberry jam, espresso, mocha and rose petal scents opens up in the glass. Alluring, powerful and totally captivating, the 2010 hits all the right notes. One of the more complete wines in this tasting, the Maya is brilliant as soon as the bottles are opened and then just keeps getting better and better as the hours go by. The 2010 vintage is full of highlights, but then there is a summit of excellence where a few wines are perched. Maya is one of them. In a word: magnificent!Antonio Galloni | 98+ AGFirm, dense and tannic, offering a potent mix of dried berry, black licorice, dried herb and savory notes, gaining tannic traction and ending with a wonderful push of flavors that bode well for the future. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2025. 420 cases made. Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98+
RP
As low as $465.00
2010 futo California Red

The flagship 2010 Futo is rich, deep and implosive. Layers of dark red fruit, mocha, licorice, spices and leather all flesh out in a dark, brooding wine loaded with class and personality. Graphite, cloves and violets appear later, adding complexity, but the 2010 is mostly a wine of structure and pure power. The finish alone is eternal. What a stunning wine the 2010 has turned out to be. The blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGThe 2010 Futo is incredibly closed today, which is hardly a surprise given the personality of the vintage and the wine’s recent bottling in June 2012. Intensely mineral and pointed, the 2010 is endowed with stunning minerality, energy and tension. This is a huge wine with little of the early appeal of many other vintages. Accordingly, it needs considerable time in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030.I was blown away by the wines I tasted with Tom Futo and his team, headed by winemaker Jason Exposto. Readers should make an effort to taste Futo’s second wine, OV, a nod to Oakford Vineyards, the previous winery on these grounds. Futo’s OV is easily one of the best second wines in the valley. In just about any other winery it would be the top wine. And a great one, at that. As for the flagship FutoYwell, it is pretty amazing in all three vintages I tasted. Futo fans will be happy to learn that the winery is working with a 25 year-old parcel in Stags’ Leap that will inform a new bottling if the quality of fruit is up to the estate’s fanatical standards.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPExplosive fruit is framed by smoky, cedary oak, with a core of blackberry and wild berry flavors that are firmly tannic and shaded by an espresso-mocha flavor that adds dimension. Finishes with firm, gripping tannins and good length. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2014 through 2025. 460 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
VM
As low as $635.00
2012 bond vineyards quella California Red

The 2012 Quella (from a steep 9-acre vineyard in the eastern Vaca hillsides) has an opaque purple color, a gorgeous nose of white flowers, sweet blackberry and cassis fruit, and a touch of vanilla and graphite. Full-bodied, like its siblings, with great fruit extract, terrific purity and richness, and high but velvety tannins, this wine should also benefit from another 3-5 years of cellaring and keep for 30+ years.Robert Parker | 98 RPLots of hot stone and slate on the nose with flowers. Dark berries too. Full body, dense mouthfeel. It lasts a long time with a salty, pomace undertone. Tight and muscular. Better in 2018.James Suckling | 97 JSSoft and caressing, the 2012 Quella is quite expressive today. Dark cherry, cedar, tobacco, smoke, licorice, incense and rose petal, along with soft silky contours, give the wine its distinct personality. Bright red stone fruit and lifted floral notes convey an impression of total sensuality. The 2012 is very pretty, but like so many wines in this vintage, it is a bit one-dimensional, especially when compared to some of the true standouts in this range.Vinous Media | 94 VM

98-100
RP
As low as $499.00
2012 bond vineyards st eden California Red

From an 11-acre vineyard just north of the Oakville corridor, the 2012 St. Eden shows gorgeous, cedary Christmas fruitcake notes, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, spice box, earth, and almost first growth Pauillac-like cassis and lead pencil shavings. Deep, full-bodied, and fabulously concentrated, this stunner flirts with perfection. Slightly more evolved than the Quella or Melbury, this wine may be the most drinkable out of the gate of all the Bond offerings in 2012. It should continue to evolve for at least 30+ years.Robert Parker | 98 RPBeautiful fruit definition with blackberries, blueberries, chocolate and burnt orange character. Full body and round, fine powder texture plus dusty, velvety tannins. Long and gorgeous finish.James Suckling | 97 JSSensual and silky in the glass, the 2012 St. Eden comes across as a bit subdued and even light, with less concentration and fewer shades of dimension than most other vintages. Perhaps the 2012 is in a bit of a closed phase. We will see. At this stage, the 2012 is a bit compact and not as expressive as it has been in prior tastings.Vinous Media | 94 VMPure and graceful, with ripe, delicate red and dark berry flavors, light floral aromas and subtle oak nuances. An easy-drinking style, this is moderately tannic and should be ready to drink now or age short-term. To be released spring 2016. Drink now through 2026. 857 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
RP
As low as $499.00
2012 dalla valle maya California Red

Dalla Valle was the first winery to demonstrate what heights Cabernet Franc could reach in the valley with their Maya proprietary blend, which averages 50-55% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 Maya is a spectacular offering. I recently had the 1991 (made by Tony Soter) and it is still drinking exceptionally well. In fact, it could still be called an adolescent at 23 years of age. The 2012 Maya is already revealing great complexity with notes of forest floor, licorice, truffles, red and blackcurrants and a hint of graphite. The beautiful aromatics are followed by an equally majestic, full-bodied, multidimensional wine of great class and elegance. This sensational effort should drink well for 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 2012 Maya is surprisingly deep and powerful in this vintage, with none of the early appeal of the estate’s other 2012s. Today, the Maya is dark and brooding, with tons of intensity to match its massive, virile personality. Readers will have to be patient, but the 2012 is a special wine that much is clear.Vinous Media | 98+ VMA gorgeous and generous wine with blackberry, cedar and flower petal character. Full body, firm and silky tannins. A beautiful red with so much finesse and style. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSOffers pure, rich blackberry, wild berry, currant and cassis flavors, all creating a harmonious mix. The texture is supple and easy before the tannins become more evident. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2028. 700 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98+
VM
As low as $395.00
2013 screaming eagle California Red

The grand vin 2013 Screaming Eagle is pure perfection in a glass and has everything you could want from a wine. Possessing a Château Margaux-like perfume of crème de cassis, sandalwood, dried flowers/violets, and graphite, it’s full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, ultra-pure, and incredibly elegant, all of which is very much in the style of this iconic estate. There are plenty of tannins on the finish so this will ideally be given another 3-4 years of bottle age, but it should keep for 25-30 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDBreathtaking aromas of blueberries, wet earth, black truffle, vine bark, and lavender undertones. Full-bodied, yet tight and compressed with fabulous savory and dark-fruit flavors. It lasts for minutes on the finish. The classicism in this wine is second to none. Incredible subtlety and a lovely austerity. Beauty in simplicity. Glorious to taste, yet a wine for decades ahead. 76% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, and 11% cabernet franc. 800 cases made.James Suckling | 100 JSDark cassis, graphite and rich soil tones marry in a bouquet of notable purity, introducing a polished, rich and sophisticatedly savoury wine, impressive for its complexity, completeness and elegance. Nick Gislason, one of Napa Valley's most thoughful and compelling personalities, may well be crafting the most successful wines Screaming Eagle has ever produced. Interestingly, this address is now one of the earliest to harvest in all of Oakville. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 99 DECContinuing along a similar theme, the 2013 Screaming Eagle is incredibly concentrated and powerful. Today, the 2013 tastes like a concoction of liquefied rocks, crème de cassis, blackberry jam and lavender. Deep, dense and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 captivates all the senses with its majestic complexity. With time in the glass, the 2013 gets better and better, to the point I would have liked to follow it over several hours and perhaps days, which was not practical. Screaming Eagle fans will not want to miss the 2013s, although these wines will not be ready to deliver maximum pleasure for a number of years.Vinous Media | 98+ VMThe 2013 Screaming Eagle flagship wine is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. As one might expect, the purity of the cassis, which is always a hallmark of this estate and wine, is well-displayed in this beauty. Dense purple in color, it offers up some floral notes intermixed with damp earth, blackcurrant jam, blackberry and hints of licorice and incense. This reminds me somewhat of the 2010 Screaming Eagle. Full-bodied, rich, but perfectly balanced, it’s another terrific example of this iconic estate. It should drink well for 30 or more years.Robert Parker | 97+ RPPure and focused, with a tight, aromatic mix of loamy earth, graphite, lead pencil, dark berry and currant flavors. Slow to unfold, this shows a pleasing tannic grip. The gravelly berry flavors glide along on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2032. 800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

100
JS
As low as $4,549.00
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 vhr vine hill ranch cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is monumental, as it always has been. I have been fortunate to taste and drink the 2016 many times. It never fails to impress. All the elements are so well balanced. It possesses tremendous power in every dimension. Black cherry, plum, gravel, spice, menthol and licorice add layers to a wine of real gravitas and vibrancy. It’s a breathtaking Cabernet that will reward those lucky enough to own it with many years of profound drinking.Antonio Galloni | 100 AGSporting a saturated purple color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon VHR is a total blockbuster that spent 21 months in French oak. It knocks it out of the park with its Pauillac-like bouquet of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and cedarwood. Hitting the palate with a massive texture and full body, it’s a powerful, full throttle effort that has remarkable balance, ripe tannins, and an opulent, sexy texture that’s a joy to drink. Despite its flamboyant style, it’s perfectly balanced and is a sensational wine. Feel free to drink it any time over the coming 20-25 years. Bravo!Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD

100
VM
As low as $399.00
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
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 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 patria avoyelles napa red California Red

A magical wine in every sense, the 2018 Avoyelles Oakville Ranch checks in as 48% Cabernet Franc, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot. More expressive than the A. Price Vineyard (which should be expected, given the difference in the blends), is has a beautiful perfume of crème de cassis, red currants, toasted spice, graphite, and dried flowers, with a touch of tobacco and earth developing with time in the glass. Hitting the palate with full-bodied richness, it has a layered, multi-dimensional texture, incredible tannins, and a great, great finish. In the same league as the 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017, it’s a brilliant wine to enjoy over the coming 15-20 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 2018 Oakville Ranch Avoyelles is composed of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sashays out of the glass with notions of baked plums, Morello cherries, redcurrants and dried herbs plus hints of pencil lead and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied, the palate possesses tightly wound layers of bright, expressive red and black fruits, offering a firm, grainy texture and bags of freshness, finishing long and savory. 155 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2018 Avoyelles is another impressive wine from Tony Biagi. Powerful, dense and explosive, with tons of energy, the Avoyelles possesses tremendous vibrancy. Dark fruit, mocha, leather, spice and graphite give this statuesque beauty tons of character and personality. Biagi’s Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend from Oakville Ranch is once again stunning.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGA rich, layered red with lots of crushed berries and cherries. Opulent and lush, in Napa style. Needs time for the intense tannins to soften. Cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Better after 2021.James Suckling | 94 JS

98
JD
As low as $145.00
2018 paul hobbs cabernet sauvignon beckstoffer to kalon vineyard California Red

Aromas of blackberries, currants, violets and black licorice follow through to a full body with chewy, polished tannins that have a tile and dust character and texture. It’s very long and persistent with beauty and intensity. It shows reserve and finesse. This needs at least five years to come around. Try after 2025.James Suckling | 98 JSDeep garnet-purple in color, the nose of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard starts off with soft-spoken scents of ripe red and black plums, cassis, black raspberries and mulberries, followed by gentle wafts of cedar and pencil lead and finally bursting out with Sichuan pepper and hoisin notes. The medium to full-bodied palate is opulent, plushly textured and brimming with spicy red and blackberry layers, going beautifully perfumed on the long finish. Paul Hobbs mentioned that he backed off on the new oak this year, aging the wine in 85% new French oak (as opposed to 100%). I love this more elegant, nuanced expression a lot. 688 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is fabulous. Inky, deep and explosive, the 2018 possesses tremendous intensity in all of its dimensions. Huge swaths of tannin wrap around a core of blue/purplish fruit. All the elements are kicked up: fruit, acid and tannin. Readers need to be patient, as the 2018 will require at least a handful of years in bottle to be at its best. The heady, explosive finish points to a very bright future.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGVivid, detailed flavors of cassis, kirsch and fig paste pump along, laced with alder, cocoa and tobacco notes. The fruit melds nicely with a serious tug of warm loam through the finish, giving this a smoldering edge at the very end. Shows nice character. Best from 2022 through 2038. 688 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

98+
RP
As low as $529.00
2019 bevan cellars cabernet sauvignon tench vineyard California Red

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is a stunning example of eastern Oakville Cabernet. It’s loaded with scents of cassis and red plum and tinged with faint hints of thyme and sage, and it’s full-bodied, rich and relatively open-knit. Ripe, plush and layered, gently framed by cedar and vanilla, it’s lovely stuff that should drink well for up to two decades.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPI loved the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard. This beauty is a great representation of this terroir, with mineral-drenched aromas and flavors of blueberries, iron, chocolate, graphite, and candied violets. Deep, rich, and full-bodied, it’s another monster of a wine from Bevan that stays beautifully balanced and seamless.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is packed with inky dark fruit, gravel, smoke, licorice, lavender, chocolate incense and spice. This powerful, virile Cabernet needs a few years to unwind, but it is super-impressive, even in the early going. A whole range of bold, savory accents lend character to the searingly intense finish. This is a very typical wine from Tench in its sheer heft.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

98
RP
As low as $229.00
2019 dalla valle cabernet sauvignon California Red

Gorgeous blackberry and currant aromas with hints of herbs. Wonderfully varietal character. Full-bodied with tannins that frame the wine so nicely and create a long, lightly chewy finish. Fantastic wine. Available in October. Drinkable now, but give it three to four years.James Suckling | 98 JSDeep, dark and alluring nose of black fruit, rich cedar and cigar box. Well-built, beautiful and balanced, with deeply concentrated, yet fresh and ripe flavours of blackberry, cassis and fleshy plum, unspooling with lifted acidity, tobacco, wet slate, river stones, dark chocolate and an endless finish. A delicious wine that is framed by very fine and elegant tannins, almost powdery. Finishes with energy and freshness. A joy to drink. Biodynamic. Drinking Window: 2022 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECDeep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate needs a lot of swirling and coaxing to unlock notions of blackcurrant pastilles, warm black plums and mulberries, plus hints of black olives, tilled soil, mossy tree bark and violets with emerging baker’s chocolate and star anise hints. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and with impeccable poise, it has beautifully ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing epically long and earthy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPIncluding 20% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a hidden gem. While the Maya gets all the attention, the classic Cabernet Sauvignon from this team is insanely good, year-in, year-out. The 2019 sports a dense purple color as well as quintessential Cabernet notes of cassis, black raspberries, flowers, toasted spices, and tobacco leaf. The purity of fruit is incredible, it’s full-bodied, has silky tannins, and flawless balance. It has 30 years of prime drinking ahead of it.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is dazzling. What a wine! Ample and creamy, the 2019 possesses striking resonance to match its elegant, refined personality. A healthy dollop of Franc adds freshness to a core of dark red cherry, red plum, mocha, spice and new leather flavors. There is a level purity here that is just remarkable. This is the first vintage that includes a small portion of wine aged in amphora. I especially admire the aromatic presence and vibrancy in the 2019.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGThis is very tightly packed, with cassis, bitter plum and loganberry notes compressed along with anise, apple wood, warm humus and sweet tobacco. The earth note echoes nicely through the finish, too. More like an ’18 in profile, with a youthfully backward persona. Cellaring this will yield rewards. Best from 2024 through 2040. 1,200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

98+
RP
As low as $299.00
2019 pas de cheval cabernet sauvignon prelude California Red

Pas de Cheval is a collaboration between Maayan Koschitzky (of Atelier Melka) and Master of Wine Vanessa Conlin. They focus on appellation Cabernets and have some top-notch sourcing. Starting with the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, it offers a gorgeous nose of pure cassis, blueberries, wildflowers, incense, and spicy oak. Pure Napa Valley Cabernet magic on the palate, it’s full-bodied, has a layered, multi-dimensional texture, ripe, building and substantial tannins, and one heck of a great finish. It certainly delivers the goods today yet will integrate its oak and tannins with 2-4 years of bottle age and drink spectacularly well over the following 15-20 years or so.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JD

97
JD
As low as $249.00

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