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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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1985 opus one California Red
97
DEC
As low as $565.00
1987 silverado napa cabernet sauvignon California Red

Smooth, ripe and harmonious, with layers of black cherry, plum, currant and anise, finishing with a smooth texture and a long, lingering aftertaste.--1987 California Cabernet horizontal. Drink now through 2000. 11,025 cases made. — JLWine Spectator | 92 WS

92
WS
As low as $239.00
1990 spottswoode cabernet sauvignon California Red

1990 was the first vintage (4,756 cases produced) and one of the most abundant before the replanting became essential because of phylloxera, and was again made at Robert Pepi. However, the percentage of Cabernet Franc jumped to 10% in the final blend. Mia Klein, who worked with Tony Soter, was part of the winemaking team. This wine performed beautifully, and had that Château Margaux-like finesse, elegance and richness. Beautiful blackcurrant notes, graphite, rose petal and licorice, were all present in this deep ruby/plum-colored wine that came across like a Napa version of a first-growth Médoc. It is medium to full-bodied, with beautiful, integrated tannin, acidity and wood. This should continue to drink well for another 10-15-plus years.Robert Parker | 95 RPStill young and firm, this delivers spicy plum and chocolate flavors; it’s polished, balanced and intense. Approachable now.--Spottswoode vertical. Best after 2000. 4,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $549.00
2000 abreu cabernet sauvignon thorevilos California Red

The first release from the 20-acre Thorevilos Vineyard (co-owned by David Abreu and Ric Forman) is the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Thorevilos, a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It is a dense, sweet, black currant-flavored effort with hints of scorched earth, cedar, and flowers in the background. Fruit-driven (mostly blue and black fruits), with a Pomerol-like succulence/lushness, it should drink well young, and evolve for 15+ years.Napa Valley’s most gifted vineyard manager, and certainly a must-hire for those looking to develop great vineyards and produce top quality wines, David Abreu continues to fine tune his own estate, producing some of the most prodigious Cabernet Sauvignons in the world.Robert Parker | 92 RP

92
RP
As low as $299.00
2002 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

I was also able to taste a barrel sample of the 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon, and it’s clearly one of the deeper hued 2022s I was able to taste for this report. Darker currants, hints of cassis, scorched earth, and tobacco all emerge on the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, has a classic, elegant Spottswood texture, building tannins, and outstanding length.Jeb Dunnuck | 94-96 JDThe 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon, tasted as a barrel sample, is deep purple-black in color. Intense scents of plum preserves, blueberry pie, and creme de cassis give way to wafts of dried roses, star anise, and powdered cinnamon. The medium-bodied palate is velvety and lively, with bags of juicy black and blue fruit preserves leading to a long and spicy finish on this impressive wine.The Wine Independent | 94-96+ TWIDark, layered and imposing, the 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon is a promising wine for the year. Dark red and purplish fruit, spice and rose petals open gradually, wrapped together by firm, large-grained tannins for this site. This core blend represents about 40% of the eventual final blend.Vinous Media | 92-95 VM

99
JD
As low as $579.00
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
2004 harlan estate California Red

Another rating identical to that which was given in 2007 (when first tasted from bottle), the 2004 Harlan Estate is performing essentially the way I suggested in 2007 as it is one of the more precocious and accessible of the Harlan Estate wines to date. A great showing at this retrospective, this wine, which seems like a hypothetical blend of a Pauillac, St.-Estephe and Graves, represents around 1,500 cases from 40 acres of beautifully manicured hillside vineyards overlooking Oakville. Still dense purple to the rim, with notes of creme de cassis, charcoal, blackberry and sweet toast, the wine is full-bodied and voluptuously textured with the tannins largely resolved. But the density and richness suggest this wine can go a long, long way, even though the window for drinking it seems open and inviting already. A world-class, first-growth wine if there ever was one from Napa, this is simply an exquisite Harlan Estate that has atypically reached mid to late adolescence at the age of ten. That is great given the fact that these are 30- to 40-year wines – possibly even half-century wines. Drink it over the next 30 years.Robert Parker | 98 RPStarts out closed, but very intense and concentrated, with tight currant, spice, cedar, anise and blackberry flavors. Maintains a long, vibrant finish.--Non-blind Harlan retrospective (2010). Drink now through 2030. 2,126 cases made. Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe price is prerelease; it will soar on the aftermarket. This is very great Harlan. It pours dark and saturated, and the tannins are big and sturdy, not aggressive, but sweet and finely ground. Still, they give a hardness to the immaculately ripe fruit that mandates cellaring. The flavors of currants, blackberries, plums, chocolate and cedar are lush, deep and long-lasting, but just a part of the balanced appeal of this young wine. It really defines the exquisite tension between power and elegance. Best after 2008, then for many years.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThe pure fruit is incredible with a dark-fruit and blackberry character. Some sous bois but also shows clarity and finesse. Full body and super fine tannins. Tight and so pretty. A classy and fine Harlan. Needs four to five years to open up.James Suckling | 98 JS(14.5% alcohol): Deep red with ruby tones. Deep, sexy nose conveys a liqueur-like ripeness to the aromas of blackcurrant, dark chocolate, tobacco and warm stones. Plush and incredibly fine-grained, showing compelling thickness and density to the slightly high-toned flavors of black raspberry liqueur and minerals. This very ripe, large-scaled wine saturates the entire palate, finishing with big, broad, lush, chocolatey tannins and outstanding persistence. This impressive, very powerful wine is great right now but has the stuffing to go on for years.Vinous Media | 95 VM

98
RP
As low as $965.00
2004 opus one California Red

This is the point at which Opus becomes a fully independent estate, with its own vineyard crew so able to react when needed throughout the growing season. And this first vintage under their entire control, with floral notes coming through on the attack that expand through the mid-palate into full on smoked caramel, black chocolate and rich cassis puree. Still inky in colour with firm confident tannins, a long life ahead, this is intense and impressive. 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec completes the blend. 25 days skin contact, early short harvest, lowest yield since 1987.Drinking Window 2019 - 2034.Decanter | 97 DECAged in 100% new French oak for 17 months and in bottle for 14 months prior to release, the 2004 Opus One is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of lead pencil shavings, black currants and a hint of toasty oak. More evolved than usual, this full-bodied, opulent 2004 is part of the new wave of Opus Ones made under the administration of Philippe Dhalluin, the administrator of Mouton Rothschild, who has begun to exploit this estate’s enormous potential. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for another 20 years.Robert Parker | 96 RPThe 2004 Opus One is the first wine in this vertical that is still completely primary. Juicy, layered and expressive, the 2004 needs at least five more years in the cellar to shed some of its youthful exuberance, but frankly that may not be enough. There is a lot of promise here. The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec.Vinous Media | 93 VMDeftly balanced and medium-bodied, this is a wine of finesse and refinement, highlighted by pure, rich flavors of blackberry and blueberry, with hints of cedar and mocha. Maintains an elegant core.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThis is very aromatic, with notes of lavender, cedar, black olives, almonds, and hints of currant bush. Full bodied with nice fruit, with creme de cassis and light coffee notes. This is delicious now.James Suckling | 92 JS

97
DEC
As low as $590.00
2005 Bond Vineyards Vecina

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Vecina is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new oak, like the other cuvées. It is from an 11-acre site directly southeast of the Bond Winery, close to Harlan Estate. This wine tends to be the closest to the Harlan Estate in quality, with notes of new saddle leather, blackberry, roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate – and again – graphite and subtle smoke. Opaque purple, but still incredibly youthful, the wine is spicy, intense, full-bodied and majestic. There is a deep tone to this massive Cabernet Sauvignon, which is set for another 25 or 30 years of life, although it certainly is accessible at present.Robert Parker | 98 RPDense, powerful and explosive, the 2005 Vecina is superb. The barest hints of aromatic development come through. Although the 2005 can probably be enjoyed now with some air, I would prefer to cellar it, as the future for this wine is unquestionably very, very bright.Vinous Media | 97 VMVery refined, with lovely perfume. Heady, showing currants, cassis, cedar, chocolate-covered cherries and sweet herbs. Decadent, classy, elegant, with a great tannin structure. Just oozes class.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEIntense and racy wild berry and blackberry fruit is flashy, tight, pure, focused and beautifully defined, picking up a nice dusty berry edge, with hints of black licorice, and offering wonderful depth, richness and persistence. Best from 2010 through 2018. 700 cases made. Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Bond, Vecina, Napa Valley, California, USA, Red) Bond is a label created by Bill Harlan of Harlan Estate to vinify the grapes of 5 hillside properties he considers of outstanding quality. Made by the same winemaking team as Harlan, this wine is from a 5-hectare site on east-facing, sedimentary soils in Oakville. The colour is still very deep, with just a slight evolution. The nose is vibrant, with minty, savoury, blackberry aromas. This is rich and velvety, concentrated of course, and supported by very ripe tannins. The oak still seems quite dominant, and the finish is spicy, chocolatey and long. (Drink between 2019-2040)Decanter | 93 DECLoads of violets, flowers, and dark fruits on the nose. Full bodied, with dusty tannins and a medium finish. A wonderful nose but the finish could use a little more. Pull the cork. 14+23+22+32. Find the wineJames Suckling | 91 JS

96
RP
As low as $445.00
2005 opus one California Red

Low yield and clear concentration, at 15 years old we can just start to see some early bottle ageing notes as it relaxes into itself, with dried rose aromatics and gorgouesly tight, bright olives, rosemary, grilled cedar and black pepper. Opens up beautifully in the glass, this has excellent persistency and is a clear success. 1% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 29 days skin contact. Cool temperatures and slow ripening in this year, longest recorded growing season at Opus, with harvest finishing on November 2. Drinking Window 2019 - 2034Decanter | 96 DECFrom a long, moderate growing season, according to Silacci, this is fully formed, with gently mulled cassis and cherry preserve flavors that move slowly, yielding hints of savory and iron along the way. A broad swath of tannins emerges on the loamy finish, keeping this firmly grounded in terroir. Gorgeous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.—Non-blind Opus One vertical (September 2019). Drink now through 2032. 22,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis famous wine, first created by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild and the late Robert Mondavi, started off life as a very good, but rarely exceptional wine. Over the last ten or more years, the administration at Mouton Rothschild, particularly the team led by Philippe Dhalluin, has truly pushed the level of quality to the point where this is clearly one of the great wines of Napa. And after so many years, it represents the pinnacle of French viticultural knowledge combined with that of California and Napa’s Shangri La-like microclimate. The 2005 Opus One, a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, has a ruby/purple color and a beautiful, sweet nose of créme de cassis and spring flowers. Complex and medium to full-bodied, with silky tannin and superb purity and balance, this is exactly what Opus One was meant to be when it was first proposed. Of course, it is a popular wine to criticize, but the quality has never been better, and certainly 2005 is a beauty. It is reaching full maturity at ten years, but I think there is still another 10-15+ years of upside potential in this wine. It is full-bodied, opulent and, dare I say, delicious. Given its popularity and brand recognition, it’s nice to know that even at a major steak house you can probably find this wine and be thrilled to buy it and drink it.Robert Parker | 95 RPDeep, saturated ruby-red. Explosive nose combines currant, plum, dried cranberry and minerals, plus some suggestions of very ripe fruit. Plush, dry and classic; more minerally than fruity in the mouth, with complicating notes of herbs, tobacco leaf and dark chocolate. Not a particularly fleshy style; in fact, this very youthful wine is still a bit unyielding. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and terrific subtle energy, a hint of orange peel adding lift.Vinous Media | 93 VMSage, bay leaf, mint, plum, and forest floor on the nose. Full bodied, with a solid core of fruit and a nice chewy finish. Let this rest until 2012. 14+23+22+33.James Suckling | 92 JS

95
RP
As low as $520.00
2005 Verite La Joie Proprietary Blend

The myth perpetrated by Old World wine proponents is that California wines don’t age. Those critics need to taste Verité, because these wines are aging far slower than I imagined. The 2005 La Joie (67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec) tips the scales at 14.7% alcohol. It received the same 18 months in 100% new oak. It is interesting that Pierre Seillan said that he thought the high-elevation vineyards of Sonoma that go into Verité (self-serving, os course) are his greatest sites in the world for Bordeaux varietals. But remember – he’s from Bordeaux! This multidimensional wine, which enjoyed a 4-5 day cool, pre-fermentation maceration, has a provocative bouquet of blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, Christmas fruitcake, graphite and high-quality unsmoked cigar tobacco. It is profound, extremely full-bodied and massive in the mouth, but not heavy or astringent in any way. This is perfection in a glass, and a tribute to what Sonoma can achieve. Give this wine another 4-5 years, and drink it over the following 30+ years.Robert Parker | 100 RPAn absolutely awesome wine that tops out my scale, the 2005 La Joie offers a Château Latour-like stature and structure as well as complex notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, sandalwood, and crushed rocks. Still youthful and vibrant, it’s full-bodied, has off-the-charts purity, ultra-fine tannins, blockbuster length, and a singular, magical character. Feel free to drink bottles today or cellar for just about as long as you’d like. It will probably outlive everyone reading this.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD(14.7% alcohol): Full bright ruby. Knockout nose melds blackcurrant, black cherry, herbs, coffee, mocha, tobacco and game. Boasts outstanding balance and finesse, as well as terrific inner-mouth floral lift to the intense flavors of berries, tobacco and spices. The suave, slowly mounting finish leaves the palate vibrating. This vibrant, slightly wild wine finishes with outstanding subtle persistence.Vinous Media | 95+ VMShowing complex aromas of dark fruit, pine needles and pine nuts right now. Dried flowers, too. Full-bodied, round and chewy with firm and silky tannins. Always a linear edge running through this. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JSThe nose is fully ripe, with sweet, delectable blackcurrant fruit. Blackcurrants and blackberries dominate the palate, and the oak is still evident. However, the tannins are becoming furry and chocolatey, so that it does lack a little polish and refinement. But it has force and presence, some maturity, and good length.Decanter | 92 DEC

100
JD
As low as $449.00
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 $465.00
2006 Bond Vineyards Pluribus
94
RP
As low as $385.00
2006 Bond Vineyards Quella
95
VM
As low as $395.00
2006 Harlan Estate

Intense aromas of black pepper, blueberry, blackberry, tar, and black licorice. Full bodied, with amazing length and a toned muscular character. This lasts for minutes. Like a world class ballerina. It is held back and beautiful. Please leave this alone until 2015! 15+25+24+34. Find this wineJames Suckling | 98 JS((500) Full medium ruby. Subdued but pure and vibrant nose offers black raspberry, minerals, licorice and truffle, all lifted by an ineffable perfume that carries through on the palate. Boasts terrific definition and energy; following the group of Bond offerings from ’06, this tasted like a wine from another vintage. Very intensely flavored but wonderfully refined wine, with a light touch to its slowly mounting, highly complex flavors of dark fruits, spices, minerals, tobacco and spices. A wine of great finesse, finishing with superb tannins and outstanding lift. This wine has been a knockout from the outset.Vinous Media | 97 VMA completely different animal, the 2006 Harlan Estate offers more chocolate, espresso roast, black currant, and forest floor characteristics. Like the 2005, it is very full-bodied, but the tannins are striking, the wine possesses a more youthful austerity, and neither the charm nor suppleness displayed by the 2005 at a similar age. There is a steely backbone to this wine that suggests cellaring will be essential. Give it 3-4 years of bottle age, and enjoy it over the following three decades.Robert Parker | 93-95+ RPHere’s a big, flashy, cult-style wine if ever there was one. It offers masses of blackberries, black currants, coffee, spices and new oak. Vastly rich, it defines the Harlan Estate style, although, in this vintage, perhaps not quite at its highest expression. Nonetheless the wine is fat and unctuous and immediately drinkable, thanks to refined tannins. Yet it should age effortlessly through 2018.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEStill displaying the youthful presence of gutsy, chewy tannins, the core of earth, mocha, currant and blackberry notes remains solid, and the density is impressive as the flavors coat the palate, with detailed nuances. Ends with drying tannins and a future ahead. The better of two bottles tasted.--2006 California Cabernet blind retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2026. 2,119 cases made. — JLWine Spectator | 90 WS

96
RP
As low as $995.00
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 $520.00
2006 Bond Vineyards St Eden
94
RP
As low as $385.00
2006 Bond Vineyards Vecina
98
VM
As low as $425.00
2007 joseph phelps insignia California Red

Deep garnet colored with a lingering hint of purple, the 2007 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine reveals the most seductive crème de cassis, Black Forest cake and licorice notions with touches of violets, eucalyptus, chocolate box and unsmoked cigars plus a waft of cedar chest. Full-bodied with tantalizing opulence yet compelling restraint, the palate beautifully juxtaposes the rich, ripe fruit with wonderful freshness and a firm yet plush backbone, finishing beautifully perfumed.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP(14.5% alcohol): Saturated dark ruby! Ripe but reticent aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, bitter chocolate oak, licorice and mocha are very subtle and complex. Wonderfully pliant and balanced wine, with plush purple fruit and violet flavors displaying a smooth grain and superb depth. Spreads out to saturate the middle palate and builds slowly and inexorably on the aftertaste. This fully ripe, complete wine finishes with stylish tannins and outstanding length. There may still be more fireworks ahead for this beauty.Vinous Media | 96 VMAromas of blackberry, leather, lead pencil, and flowers. On the palate this is dense and velvety, with a gorgeous texture. Agile and balanced, this is hard not to drink right now. The finish is long, with notes of coffee and dark fruits. 15+24+23+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 95 JSYou have to count this as another great Insignia, dry and complex and ageworthy, although the tannins are fierce now, and it may lack just a bit of the glamor of, say, the 2004 or 2001. It's certainly a big wine that floods the mouth with blackberry, black currant, cassis and new oak flavors. The tannins and acids make it aloof, resistant, tough. It wants time in the cellar. Best after 2013. Production was a hefty 13,500 cases.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEPhelps's top red wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon (88 percent), merlot and petit verdot, all grown at estate vineyards. Most of the fruit comes from the southern districts of Napa Valley—Suscol, a relatively cool site in South Napa, along with Stags Leap and Oak Knoll. That cool tone comes across in red currant flavors, in the quiet presence of a substantial wine. It's sleek with dark tannin that feels youthful and austere, hinting at a Christmas spice that predicts what holiday celebrations might be in store ten years down the line.Wine & Spirits | 91 W&SDense and tight, with a chewy core of mocha-laced blackberry and currant flavors, combining power with a measure of grace. Not shy on tannic strength, this has more power than finesse. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.--Blind 1997/2007 California Cabernet retrospective (January 2017). Drink now through 2025. 13,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

98
RP
As low as $445.00
2007 Bond Vineyards Pluribus
98+
RP
As low as $475.00
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 $529.00
2007 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Vyd

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon CCS is profoundly scented of baked plums, cherry tart and warm wild blueberries with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and fertile loam plus an earthy waft of moss-covered tree bark. The palate is a hedonist’s fruit bowl of red, black and blue berry preserves layers in a full-bodied, decadently plush package, with an uplifting line of freshness to balance and an epically long finish. Pure sex in a glass!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPPacks a wallop, with a broad, deep range of flavors, from exotic, spicy, vanilla- and mocha-accented oak to a dense, vibrant core of wild berry and blackberry that flows smoothly, gaining traction and tannic grip on the finish.—Blind 1997/2007 California Cabernet retrospective (January 2017). Drink now through 2026. 250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,425.00
2007 Bond Vineyards St Eden
99
RP
As low as $995.00
2007 Bond Vineyards Melbury
97
RP
As low as $465.00
2008 Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon Precious

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Precious has a medium garnet color and gives up bold, gregarious baked plums, warm cassis and black cherries on the nose with wafts of licorice and tilled soil. The palate is full-bodied, very firm, grainy and fresh, finishing long and earthy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Precious is endowed with tons of sheer richness, depth and concentration. Black cherries, mocha, espresso, new leather and grilled herbs are some of the aromas and flavors that power through to the finish. The 2008 is all about intensity. It is a totally irresistible wine, even if the alcohol comes through from time to time.Vinous Media | 93 VM

94
RP
As low as $495.00

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