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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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1992 dominus California Red

The 1992 Dominus, of which there are 7,000 cases made from a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, and the remainder Petit Verdot, is an opulent, opaquely concentrated wine with great ripeness of fruit, and a huge nose of earth, black-cherries, mocha, and herbs. Full-bodied, with a layered, multidimensional personality, adequate acidity, and a super finish, this should prove to be another fabulous Dominus for drinking over the next 20-25 years. It is more forward than the 1991 or 1990.Robert Parker | 97 RPThe 1992 Dominus is gorgeous, bursting from the glass in a blaze of mentholated black cherries, loamy soil and forest floor, and following through on the palate with a compelling marriage of bright fruit and a supple, expansive texture. The cooler vintage has made for a great deal of aromatic complexity and capacity to refresh, without losing any Napa generosity. Delicious wine. Drinking Window 2016 - 2025Decanter | 93 DECVery deep red-ruby. Very complex aromas of raspberry, licorice, road tar, lead pencil and mint; a faint vegetal nuance adds to its complexity. Fat, supple, sweet and mouthfilling, but can’t match the ’94 for sheer substance, nuance or depth. Finishes powerful and very ripe, with dusty, substantial tannins and a hint of alcohol. This will age more on its tannins than on its rather soft acidity.Vinous Media | 92 VM

95
RP
As low as $3,839.00
2002 opus one California Red

The 2002 Opus One is a big step up from the 2001. Freshly cut flowers, juicy raspberries, anise and sweet spices literally jump from the glass in an Opus One that is all about opulence and huge, voluptuous fruit. Juicy, vibrant and impeccably balanced, the 2002 is firing on all cylinders today. The creamy, layered finish is simply impeccable. This is a fabulous showing. In 2002 Opus One is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot.Vinous Media | 95 VMI tend to think that recent vintages of Opus One are even greater than vintages made during this era, but the 2002 is certainly one of the top wines Opus has produced during the early part of this century. It boasts a dense plum/purple hue along with a striking bouquet of graphite, toasty oak, creme de cassis and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, opulent and young, it offers accessibility as well as silky tannins. A thoroughly complete wine that is pure and rich, it tastes like a hypothetical blend of a great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon married to a Bordeaux Pauillac. Bravo! It will benefit from 2-3 more years of cellaring and should keep for 20-25 thereafter.Robert Parker | 94 RPConcentrated, rich layers of black cherry fruit, with savoury spice, anise and ground coffee bean, black chocolate and deep blackcurrant and bilberry fruits. This is intense, perhaps a little too much in that it ends a touch abruptly. Lowest yield of the decade, which explains this tight feel. It's got years ahead of it, will be interesting to see it evolves from here. 3% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 32 days skin contact. Drinking Window 2019 - 2034.Decanter | 93 DEC

95
VM
As low as $479.00
2003 colgin cariad proprietary red California Red

My favorite wine of this quartet is the 2003 Cariad, a proprietary blend (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc) that comes from David Abreu-owned vineyards, primarily the Madrona Ranch in St. Helena. Its dense color is accompanied by a big, sweet bouquet of charcoal, white chocolate, spring flowers, meaty, blueberry and blackberry fruit. This stunningly complex, rich, full-bodied 2003 is just entering its plateau of full maturity. Drink this beauty over the next 10-15 years.Robert Parker | 97 RPA Bordeaux blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the grapes for this stunning wine came from David Abreu’s vineyard in the St. Helena foothills. It’s very complex, softer, more open and approachable than Colgin’s 100% Cabs, with a flamboyant spectrum of cherries, framboise, cocoa, violets, gingerbread and spices framed in supple, fine tannins. Beautiful, a feminine wine of great beauty. Drink now through 2015.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEGood deep ruby-red. Aromas of blackcurrant, licorice, mocha and menthol offer great lift. Then superripe and densely packed, with great sweetness and inner-mouth aromatic character. The flavors of black cherry and leather are given definition by a strong element of liquid stone. Finishes extremely long, with lush, suave tannins.Vinous Media | 94 VMRich and complete, yet shows the signs of the vintage with its austerity. Dense, with earthy currant, black cherry and wild berry fruit that’s tight and compact. Finishes with tight tannins and persistent flavors that return to the currant and earth themes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2007 through 2012. 500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

97
RP
As low as $455.00
2006 dominus California Red

Starting to take on the tertiary character of ripe fruit and savory components with dusty tannins. Full and round with a lovely texture and a light salty, meaty and tobacco character. Forest floor. Sweet and sour. Just opening.James Suckling | 96 JSThere are 6,500 cases of the superb 2006 Dominus (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot). Its dark plum/purple color is accompanied by aromas and flavors of truffles, forest floor, black cherries, black currants, and Asian spices. One of the finest wines of the vintage, it is complete, full-bodied, and seamlessly built with beautiful ripe tannins, low acidity, and a luscious, layered mouthfeel. The aromatics are even more evolved and complex than the 2005’s. The 2006 should drink well for 20-25 years.Christian Moueix, Dominus’ owner, has purchased the 35-acre Swanson Vineyard, which is situated between the well-known California bistros, Brix and Mustard’s. I suspect that will result in a third label from Dominus. At present, the production from these large holdings in Yountville is approximately 10,000-12,000 cases, with the second wine, Napanook, representing 3,500-4,000 cases, depending on the vintage. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the great Merlot specialist at his flagship chateaux in Pomerol, especially Petrus, prefers the other Bordeaux varietals at his Napa property. Interestingly, when I visit Dominus, they always open a fresh bottle and serve it alongside a bottle that has been decanted for 24 hours. On each occasion, the more complex, open wine is the one that has had 24 hours of aeration, something buyers of this wine should take into consideration. These are the two strongest back to back vintages for Dominus since 1990-1991 and 2001-2002.Robert Parker | 96 RPBright red-ruby. Lovely floral lift contributes precision to the aromas of raspberry, rose petal and licorice. Sweet, high-pitched and sharply delineated; velvety but not thick. There’s a juicy quality to the ripe red fruit, mineral and graphite flavors, not to mention a firm underlying spine, that promises a long and positive evolution in bottle. Quite young but not austere, finishing with building tannins and lovely lift. The lingering perfume of red fruits, pepper, flowers and licorice is unusually complex. A really superb 2006, seemingly every bit as good as the sensational 2005.Vinous Media | 94+ VMUnless you knew that this was Dominus and had tasted older vintages, you might not be impressed. In its youth the wine is tannic and dry and linear. However, it is Dominus and it does need cellaring. Right now it shows blackberry, black currant, cedar and baker’s chocolate flavors. Will slowly open and reach maturity after 2011, and could easily develop for far longer.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEYouthfully floral and tight, this vintage of Dominus is a big wine that holds all of its weight behind a powerful structure. And it’s the power of that structure that is front and center-red apple-skin acidity and walnut-skin tannin-needing a ribeye with plenty of fat to bring the fruit out of its cage. Stay with it and the wine’s earthiness begins to meld with the blueberry and chocolate richness. But it’s all completely primary. Put this away for ten years, and drink the Napanook while it matures.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&S

96
RP
As low as $295.00
2006 opus one California Red

Rich, damson and spiced plum notes, chocloate and roses, black olives, rosemary and cinammon. A great year with depth and layers, well finessed tannins, a little subuded through the finish but the structure is there, and this is a serious wine. 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 26 days skin contact.Decanter | 95 DECSage and mint in the nose, it is Opus style. Full bodied and layered, with polished tannins and wonderful length. This is tight, but fascinating still. This wine has a good future, very juicy, and will only keep getting better. Don’t touch this until 2014.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2006 Opus One is another more challenging vintage that saw abundant moisture throughout the year. Nevertheless, it doesn’t lack texture or fruit and has ripe yet integrated tannins as well as up-front, perfumed, charming aromatics of ripe darker fruits, black cherries, chocolate, and tobacco leaf. This elegant, charming, seamless effort is well worth enjoying any time over the coming 10-15 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDDeep garnet in color, the 2006 Opus One explodes with a whole array of stewed black and red plums, kirsch, and tobacco leaf scents with hints of oolong tea and cast-iron pan. The full-bodied palate has a rock-solid structure of sturdy tannins, with soft acidity and layers of muscular black fruits, finishing long and minerally.The Wine Independent | 94 TWIThe 2006 comes across as a bigger, more structured wine than the 2007. The tannins are bolder, more dramatic, and more present. The wine displays impressive depth, not the velvety elegance of the 2007, but is a more muscular wine that begs for 2-3 years of cellaring and should drink well for 20-25 years.Robert Parker | 93+ RPA very good Opus with plenty of forward cherries and black raspberries as well as rich notes of spiced oak that give a nougat or crunchy vanilla granola sweetness to the finish. The vintage was not Opus One’s best, but the wine is impeccably crafted, and shows its usual fine tannic structure.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

95
DEC
As low as $449.00
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 hundred acre vineyard cabernet sauvignon ark California Red

Deserves its high score by virtue of power and sheer flamboyant dazzle. Packed with ripe, sweet cherries and milk chocolate, with a decadently meaty taste, like beef tartare. Oak plays the usual role, adding a caramelly, buttered toast richness. The tannins are brilliant, so soft and sweet, they're like candy. Drink this flashy wine over the next six years.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEBeautifully done in an ultraripe style. Gushing, with a jammy berry pie mix of wild berry, blackberry and raspberry flavors that are complex and supple. Full-bodied, gaining depth and richness on the long, persistent, tapered finish, which echoes black licorice, loamy earth and spice. Drink now through 2021. 925 cases made. — JLWine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Ark Vineyard, from a vineyard at the base of Howell Mountain, is deep, sensual and powerful. It shows terrific richness in its dark cherries, plums, mocha, licorice and tobacco. This is a totally gorgeous wine loaded with character.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGThe 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Ark Vineyard has a medium garnet color and nose of cherry cordial, cassis and blueberry compote with fragrant earth, candied violets and crushed rocks nuances. The palate is full-bodied, rich, elegant and firm with a lovely graininess and bold freshness, finishing very long and earthy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

94
RP
As low as $475.00
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
2009 hundred acre vineyard cabernet sauvignon few and far between California Red

Defined by rich, plush, silky flavors of dark berry and mocha, this is remarkably elegant and polished, deep and persistent, gliding along with a seamless texture and a long, saturating finish. Drink now through 2030. 300 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between is medium garnet colored and gives up black cherries and mulberries with earth and wafts of dried flowers, pencil shavings and cassis plus yeast extract. The palate is full-bodied, firm and finely grained with lovely mineral accents and a great core, finishing very long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Vineyard has developed beautifully since I last tasted it from barrel. Mocha, espresso, exotic spices and orange peel all come together in this inviting, multi-dimensional Cabernet Sauvignon. Totally alive in the glass, the wine is constantly changing, and reveals different sides of its personality with each taste. Hints of sweet red berries and cloves add complexity on the long, polished finish.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

95
RP
As low as $485.00
2009 hundred acre vyd cabernet sauv kayli morgan California Red

Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard gives up bold blackcurrant cordial, blackberry compote and raspberry pie scents with hints of chocolate-covered cherries, roses and lilacs plus hints of charcuterie and yeast extract. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully elegant, with wonderful vivacity and perfume and a satiny texture with a very long finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPPure sensuality in the glass, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard is going to be nearly impossible to resist in its youth. At the same time, the Kayli Morgan has a track record of developing beautifully in bottle, and I imagine that is exactly what will happen here. Cedar, spice box, cassis and plums burst from the glass in this impressive, layered wine. A hint of mocha develops later, but it is pretty clear the 2009 is playing its cards close to the vest. There is enough inner tension to make me think the 2009 has a very bright future. Jayson Woodbridge describes 2009 as a year with a tiny crop and equally small berries. It is also the year Woodbridge brought in a helicopter to dry out the fruit after the mid-October typhoon dropped a huge amount of rain on Napa Valley.Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGPure and understated, with a charming mix of elegant ripe black cherry and plum, subtle fresh earth, tobacco and cedar, ending with fleshy, fine-grained tannins. Less opulent than prior vintages. Drink now through 2024. 600 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $515.00
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
2012 sine qua non stein grenache California Red

Starting with the Grenache release, the 2012 Grenache Stein is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre, aged in 14% new French oak (15% was in concrete), that comes mostly from the estate’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, but also includes grapes from the Cumulus, Third Twin (Syrah) and Bien Nacido vineyards. Checking in at 15.7% alcohol, it’s no lightweight, yet it has considerable elegance in its sweet blackcurrants, white pepper, licorice, baking spices and hints of violet-like aromas and flavors. Possessing the hallmark purity of the estate, it’s full-bodied, concentrated, rich and textured, with sweet tannin barely noticeable on the finish. I don’t think it’s one of the greatest Grenaches from the estate, yet it’s still an incredible effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15-20 years or more of overall longevity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2012 Grenache Stein is incredibly refined, silky and pure, with bright red and blue-hued fruits. Today, the flavors are primary, so readers will have to be patient get the full breadth of aromas, flavors and textures. The Stein is a decidedly feminine, gracious Grenache that impresses for its textural beauty and nuance. I imagine it will provide a long and broad drinking window of pure pleasure over the next 15-20 years. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine from Sine Qua Non. The final blend is 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvèdre; 53% from Eleven Confessions, 29% from Cumulus, 9% The Third Twin and 9% Bien Nacido. The 2012 was done with 29% whole clusters and will spend around 22 months in French oak (14%) prior to its scheduled bottling this summer.Vinous Media | 95-97 VM

97
RP
As low as $349.00
2013 calera de villiers vineyard mt harlan pinot noir California Red

The 2013 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is intense, pure and brilliant. Dark red cherry, blood orange, lavender, mint, star anise and wild flowers give the de Villiers an exotic edge in this vintage. Plush and deep on the palate, the 2013 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Sweet floral and red-fleshed fruits add freshness on the finish. Today, the De Villiers is sublime, but it also needs time to fully come together.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGThe 2013 Pinot Noir de Villiers is gorgeous. Coming from an east-facing parcel of vines planted in 1997 and aged 19 months in 30% new French oak, it has a terrific core of black cherries, flowers, menthol, toasted spice and licorice that opens up beautifully with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, layered, supple and sexy, yet with plenty of elegance, ripe tannin and a big mid-palate, it can be drunk today with plenty of pleasure or cellared for a decade.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPRich earthy tones of iron and sagebrush meet with a touch of barnyard, roasted meats, dark cranberry fruit and a touch of sarsaparilla on the nose of this Josh Jensen bottling. More iron, wet clay, turned loam and slate minerality show on the palate, where black pepper, cooked black cherries, pomegranate and cranberry round out the still quite tannic sip.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEBuilds richness, depth and intensity, with cherry, blackberry and plum notes amid chalky accents. Flexes some tannic muscle on the finish, where the flavors gain depth and persistence. Drink now through 2023. 993 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS(Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir - de Villiers Vineyard Red) A spicy and relatively deeply pitched nose is composed primarily of plum and dark currant aromas. There is excellent richness, size and weight to the delicious, velvety and caressing medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent dry extract that serves to buffer the moderately firm tannic spine on the dusty, sappy and somewhat austere finale. This reasonably austere effort is really quite serious and is clearly going to need plenty of time in bottle to soften the supporting structure. (Drink starting 2021)Burghound | 91 BH

95
VM
As low as $99.00
2014 calera reed vineyard mt. harlan pinot noir California Red

Calera’s 2014 Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard speaks to grace above all else. Exquisitely perfumed and gracious, the Reed emphasizes aromatics and sweet red fruits. The 100% whole clusters give the wine its distinctive lifted personality and red-toned flavor profile. Intensity without weight is the signature. This is an absolutely beautiful wine in every way. A north-facing site, Reed is the last to be harvested at Calera’s Mt. Harlan site.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGThe 2014 Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard is a classic expression of this site and has the hallmark sassafras, mint, rose petal and sweet core of strawberry and raspberry fruit. It’s ethereally textured on the palate, with bright acidity balanced by plenty of fruit and texture. It never has the weight or girth of the other single vineyards, yet always shines for its complexity and vibrancy. In short, it’s a beautiful Pinot Noir that speaks to this great site.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDFrom Josh Jensen’s 4.4-acre vineyard, this bottling offers black plum and mulberry aromas laced with crushed gravel and lavender notes. There is a powerful minty character to the palate, which helps enliven the hearty ripe cranberry and hibiscus elements. A thought-provoking and earthy wine.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

95
VM
As low as $95.00
2014 calera ryan vineyard mt. harlan pinot noir California Red

The 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard is a powerful, bombastic wine with huge fruit and equally imposing tannins that demand patience. Waves of dark, deeply sketched fruit hit the palate in a virile Pinot Noir that is going to need at least several years to truly come into its own. By no means a shy wine, the Ryan also has tremendous potential. In 2014, the Ryan was done with 70% whole clusters, which is a bit lower than normal.Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGThe 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard offers a darker, Côte de Nuits style in its black cherry, mulberry, sassafras, spring flowers and violet aromatics. These give way to a rich, concentrated, spicy Pinot Noir that has beautiful mid-palate depth (as do all the 2015s), ripe tannin and focused, pure, impeccably balanced style.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDDark in color, this wine packs deep blackberry and boysenberry aromas together with violet, allspice and sandalwood. The palate is redolent of licorice and nutmeg, wrapped in an unrelenting texture that lets the black plum and lilac flavors just peek out. Time will allow this to blossom. Drink 2019–2034.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WESaturated ruby-black in hue, the 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard reveals a rich bouquet of plum preserve, cassis and asphalt, followed by an assertively firm palate that’s carrying a significant payload of stem tannin, but which also possesses a deep core of dark, crunchy fruit and concentration. If everything rounds out with time, this will be a magical wine, as its raw materials are impressive, but for now, it’s very hard to read. This was harvested between September 4-10—early by the standards of this, Calera’s highest-altitude vineyard—and cropped at a tiny yield of 0.81 tons per acre.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

95
VM
As low as $99.00
2014 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

One of the most serious Ondas I have had. Medium to full body and firm and polished tannins. Very long and poised. Excellent length. Fabulous focus and beauty. This needs two or three years to soften, but it’s already superb. Try in 2022.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2014 Onda, from Dana’s Crystal Springs vineyard, is a very beautiful wine. Bright red stone fruit and lifted, floral aromatics are the two main signatures. At the same time, the 2014 has plenty of depth. Chocolate, raspberry jam, mint and rose petal notes infuse the deep, fleshy finish. This is a striking, modern Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon endowed with real class and pedigree. This is a very serious second wine, if it can be called that.Vinous Media | 94 VMTheir blended wine, Onda, comes from all of their vineyard sites, and is essentially a second wine culled from the single-vineyards. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda, which sees 19 months in about 54% new French oak, has turned out much more compelling than I thought last year. Loads of blueberry and blackberry fruit with a hint of creosote, wood spice and camphor are offered in this deep, medium to full-bodied, layered and voluptuously textured wine. It is pure, sexy and ideal for drinking over the next 15+ years.Robert Parker | 93 RPMoving to the 2014s, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is a blend of all the single vineyards and is a great introduction into the wines of the estate. This medium to full-bodied, ripe, charming beauty boasts a saturated purple color, lots of cassis and red currant fruits, medium to full body, and terrific notes of dried herbs, tobacco, and licorice. It has the classic, balanced, elegant style of the vintage front and center.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD

97
JS
As low as $159.00
2015 aubert pinot noir uv vineyard California Red

Blackberry and cherry, spice with hints of flowers on the nose. Full body, chewy yet polished and beautiful. This is a fantastic red with complexity and power. Drink in 2020.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2015 Pinot Noir UV is stunning, concentrated because of the tiny yields. The wine has a dense ruby color and a gorgeous nose of raspberries, forest floor, underbrush and blacker fruits. It is full-bodied, has good acidity, an ethereal fragrance and a long, long finish. It should drink well for 15 or more years.Robert Parker | 96 RPThe 2015 Pinot Noir UV Vineyard is fabulous. Bright and floral, with striking freshness, the UV captures all the intensity that is typical of these Pinots while retaining considerable aromatic lift. Sweet red berry, mint, chalk and spice give the wine its brightness, poise and vivacity. This is the most energetic of the three Aubert vineyard-designate Pinots. Yields are down a whopping 50%.Vinous Media | 95 VMTouches all the bases, presenting a mix of richness, flavor, complexity and length, with an overriding sense of completeness that begs for another taste. Drink now through 2026. 711 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

96
RP
As low as $225.00
2015 booker vineyard oublie 22 California Red

Composed of 38% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 23% Syrah and 9% Counoise, the 2015 Oublie 22 has six extra months in barrel compared to the straight Oublie cuvée. With a medium garnet-purple color, it reveals expressive black cherries, dried mulberries and raspberry preserves notes with a spice box and garrigue undercurrent, plus a waft of tapenade. Full-bodied, concentrated and with tons of spices developing in the mouth, it has a chewy frame and plenty of freshness, finishing on a berry preserves note.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe extended aged version of the Oublie, the 2015 Oublie 22 (38% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 23% Syrah and 9% Counoise) spent 22 months in barrel and sports a slightly deeper color as well as notes of black cherries, graphite, cured meats, pepper and assorted butcher shop-like notes. It’s slightly more concentrated than the base cuvée, its tannin is slightly more polished, and it will also evolve slightly longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JD Structured and stylish, with floral garrigue, crushed stone and blackberry accents that build power and richness toward big but refined tannins.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

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JD
As low as $67.99
2015 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

This is a beautiful Onda with a blackberry and hazelnut character with some mushroom and floral undertones. Even some minerality and hot stones. Wet cement, too. A gorgeous wine. One of the best Onda. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSContaining 3% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot, bottled in May 2017, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda has a deep garnet-purple color and expressive nose of cassis, fresh plums and mulberries with touches of spice cake, violets and wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied, fine and refreshing in the mouth, it delivers loads of open-knit fruit and spice notions with great length.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2015 Onda is gorgeous. More than anything, the Onda will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage holds at Dana Estates. Ripe, sumptuous and silky on the palate, with terrific freshness and no excess weight, the Onda is absolutely beautiful in 2015. Sweet red and purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and mint all give the wine freshness. This is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible wine from Dana Estates. Dollops of Merlot and Petit Verdot round out the blend.Vinous Media | 93 VMMoving to the current releases, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is a full-bodied, ripe, yet also elegant red that shows the vintage nicely. More upfront and powerful than the 2014, it gives up lots of blue fruits (blueberries, cassis), lavender, and tobacco notes, has ripe tannins, good concentration, and outstanding length.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD

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As low as $169.00
2015 ovid napa valley California Red

Even better and my favorite of the trio (although this is splitting hairs since all three are sensational wines), the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon offers the more flamboyant, sexy style of the vintage and has a huge nose of crème de cassis, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed flowers. It’s a singular, exotic wine that has full-bodied richness and depth yet never seems heavy or cumbersome, possessing incredible purity of fruit and perfect balance. The 2015 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot. I’d be thrilled if I had bottles in the cellar and it should deliver the goods for 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDThe 2015 Ovid is a rich and racy wine. Here, too, the style is noticeably more refined and polished than in the past. Dark red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and mint give the wine much of its tonic energy. Fresh, perfumed and lively, the 2015 is showing beautifully, even at this early stage. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s textural richness and body nicely. Ovid is rarely this expressive in the early going.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGA blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Proprietary Red Wine comes charging out of the gate with gregarious crushed black cherries, chocolate mint and crème de cassis scents plus suggestions of red roses, Christmas cake, sandalwood, cloves and unsmoked cigars with a waft of shaved pencils. Full-bodied, concentrated and boldly fruited, with wonderfully decadent in the mouth, the plushly textured palate gives bags of spicy black fruits and a minty kick to the epically long finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPA beauty, with waves of red and black currant puree rolling through steadily, while tar, licorice snap, apple wood and briar notes swirl around. Authoritative grip lies underneath, allowing the fruit to keep playing out on the very long finish. A large wine that should be long-lived. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2040. 392 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

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VM
As low as $315.00
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

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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

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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

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JS
As low as $149.00

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