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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 $540.00
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
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 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 $565.00
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 $495.00
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 $495.00
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 $489.00
2007 peter michael les pavots California Red

The 2007 Les Pavots, a Bordeaux varietal blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, is brilliant. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by gorgeously complex aromas of melted chocolate, espresso roast, blackberries, and cassis. Full-bodied with a superb texture, a subtle note of oak, and fabulous concentration, it is more reminiscent of a Right Bank Bordeaux than one expects with this much Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. A thirty-year wine, its impeccable balance and the sweetness of its tannins make it accessible already.Robert Parker | 97 RPA little tight and firm. Some might call this lean but I like the dark chocolate and blueberry character. Finishes with some chewy tannins, wait until 2014. 14+23+23+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 93 JS(70% cabernet sauvignon, 17% cabernet franc, 10% merlot and 3% petit verdot) Vivid ruby. Youthfully backward aromas of cassis, violet, licorice and tobacco. Chewy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors are framed by solid tannins and complemented by smoky mineral and sweet chewing tobacco elements. Tough to read but highly concentrated, showing a strong finishing licorice and smoky mineral character and a lingering cherry pit note. Give this at least a few more years of bottle aging.Vinous Media | 93 VMZeroes in on intense dark berry, graphite, mineral and cedary oak flavors, supported by firm, grippy and gritty tannins. The flavors are vibrant yet drying, suggesting that this should be drunk sooner rather than later. Both bottles of this noteworthy wine were good but not great. Slightly off the usual pace. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.—Blind 1997/2007 California Cabernet retrospective (January 2017). Drink now through 2022. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 3,060 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

97
RP
As low as $215.00
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 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
2007 harlan the maiden California Red

As outstanding as the 2008 is, it is eclipsed by the brilliant 2007 The Maiden, perhaps the finest second wine yet made here. Sweet tobacco leaf, fruitcake, creme de cassis, black currant and licorice aromas emerge from this round, opulent, voluptuously textured wine. It is very much in keeping with the 2007 vintage. Enjoy it over the next 10-15 years.Robert Parker | 93 RPTight and complex, with a firm, focused mix of mineral, dried currant, herb, sage and cedar. Full-bodied, intense and persistent, ending with a complex, layered aftertaste. To be released spring 2011. Best from 2012 through 2022. 1,040 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSGood deep ruby-red. Currant, cedar and graphite on the nose and palate. Pliant and showy already, with compelling sweetness of fruit and a fresh minerally quality giving juiciness and lift to the middle palate. Long and ripely tannic. This is freakishly good for a second wine.Vinous Media | 92 VMAromas of green coffee beans, vanilla and ripe berries follow through to full body, with loads of new wood and ripe fruit. Full bodied and full throttle. Bottle age to mellow the wood is a necessity here. Second wine of Harlan.James Suckling | 91 JS

93
RP
As low as $359.00
2008 sloan proprietary red California Red

The 2008 Sloan Estate is racy and totally elegant from start to finish. It shows gorgeous freshness and vibrancy in its expressive dark red fruit, flowers, licorice and tobacco. Today the 2008 comes across as a relatively understated, subdued vintage for this wine. It should be absolutely fabulous in another few years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RP(14.8% alcohol): Bright medium ruby. Pure and high-pitched if reticent on the nose, offering aromas of blackberry, licorice, violet, menthol and sweet oak lifted by an element of dusty stone. Wonderfully suave, fine-grained and light on its feet, with a sexy oak element complementing the black raspberry, mineral and spice flavors. Very dense but not at all heavy, showing terrific floral energy and a light touch for this bottling, with no sign of dehydrated berries. The fruit still conveys a distinctly primary character but the wine’s verve makes it delicious already--in fact, I’m tempted to say that anyone who doesn’t love this is a spoilsport or a masochist. Wonderfully harmonious wine with the underlying spine to support a long evolution in bottle. The substantial dusty tannins show some obvious new oak.Vinous Media | 95 VMA rich, maturing Napa cabernet sauvignon with rich redcurrant-jelly character and a lot of subtle notes, ranging from cedar to savory chocolate caramel. Then comes a much more serious structure on the palate than the nose suggested, the tannins firm but well integrated. Long finish with some mineral character. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 93 JS

98
JS
As low as $395.00
2008 harlan the maiden California Red

The 2008 The Maiden is a beautiful wine graced with exquisite finesse in its dark red berries, flowers and licorice. Gorgeous inner perfume and a super-refined personality are some of the qualities found in the 2008 Maiden. A weightless, subtle finish rounds things out nicely. Stylistically the 2008 Maiden is quite a bit more delicate – at times even fleeting – next to the 2008 Harlan Estate. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThe 2008 The Maiden is a beautiful wine graced with exquisite finesse in its dark red berries, flowers and licorice. Gorgeous inner perfume and a super-refined personality are some of the qualities found in the 2008 Maiden. A weightless, subtle finish rounds things out nicely. Stylistically the 2008 Maiden is quite a bit more delicate – at times even fleeting – next to the 2008 Harlan Estate.Vinous Media | 92 VMLoamy earth notes and mouthcoating tannins provide the baseline for this rich, layered effort, which is full-bodied, with toned-down dried currant, mocha, spice, cedar and sage notes. Drink now through 2020. 988 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

92
RP
As low as $289.00
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 opus one California Red

A harvest lasting 30 days offered structure and tannins, deep and complex fruit with earthy nuances, still bursting with energy.Decanter | 97 DECBright dark ruby. Initially reticent nose opened in the glass to reveal wonderfully complex scents of black- and redcurrant, blackberry, minerals, licorice, loam and tobacco leaf, plus a whiff of leather. Seamless, savory and classy on entry if a bit subdued, then delivers lovely restrained sweetness and a complicating wildness in the middle palate that still calls for more bottle aging. Old World in its classic dryness, this highly concentrated Opus One really shines on its vibrant, slowly building back end, where the broad, dusty tannins caress and saturate the palate and allow the fruits and minerals to build. A wine of outstanding depth, clarity, finesse of grain and class; it's hard to imagine that this site could give more. Long-time winemaking director Michael Silacci noted that the estate did not strip leaves prior to the brutal August heat spike.Vinous Media | 97 VMOne of the best ever from Opus, it shows beautiful blackcurrant cabernet sauvignon character. A powerful and poised wine with well-crafted tannins. Needs about four years to soften.James Suckling | 96 JSA glorious perfume of sweet charcoal, truffle, black currants and spice box soars from the glass of the saturated purple-colored 2010 Opus One. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a beautifully knit, full-bodied red blend (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.5% Merlot, 5.5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec) displaying lots of spicy black currant fruit, medium to full body, velvety tannins, and not a hard edge to be found. The texture, length and richness are all impressive. This estate has been making great Cabernet-based wines for nearly a decade ... and this is another one. Drink it over the next 20+ years.Robert Parker | 96 RPOffers both a rich, supple, seamless core of earthy dark berry and touches of rustic loam and dried leather scents, the latter of which give this a drying sensation on the palate. Ends with dried herb, olive and savory notes that Opus fans will love, others perhaps less so. A classic Opus.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

98
JD
As low as $1,340.00
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
2010 sloan proprietary red California Red

The 2010 Proprietary Red is very deep garnet colored with a hint of purple. It offers up wonderfully bold, expressive notes of crème de cassis, black cherry compote and mincemeat pie with wafts of bay leaves, incense, Chinese five spice and hoisin plus wafts of chargrill and yeast extract. Full-bodied, rich and opulent, the palate is laden with layer upon layer of exotic spice-laced black fruits with a firm yet plush frame and very long finish with some licorice notes coming through.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPFull medium ruby. Very ripe but reticent scents of black fruits, minerals, mocha, espresso and spices. Voluptuous and plush on entry, saturating the palate with a slightly unrefined wave of black fruits, minerals and mocha. This outsized, full-bodied, plummy wine shows lovely mineral verve, surprisingly restrained sweetness and a complicating saline element. Finishes with sumptuous, building tannins and terrific plum and graphite persistence. This wine is ripe enough to give great pleasure now but I’d still hold my bottles for the tannins to be further absorbed. It certainly has the stuffing to go on for many more years.Vinous Media | 94 VMA big and rich red with black currant and blueberry and chocolate. Full and vast. A more typical Napa cab of the period. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JS

99
RP
As low as $565.00
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
2012 opus one California Red

Glorious purity of fruit here with black currants, blueberries, dark chocolate, fresh herbs and forest floor. Hints of mint too, plus hazelnut and chocolate. Full body with seamless tannins and balance. Tight and compacted tannins with beautiful fruit and great length. Goes on for minutes. One of the best Opus’ in years. Hard not to drink now but better in 2018. October 2015 release. This is 79% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc, 6% merlot, 6% petit verdot and 2% malbec.James Suckling | 97 JSA near-ideal vintage, where all parts were perfect. Here we are at full peak Opus; satin-like in texture, packed with cassis, bilberry and crushed raspberry fruits, not overly concentrated but confident enough to take on its Californian peers. A sunny juicy richness to the wine is just lovely, and a menthol mouth watering finish makes this pretty irresistable. 2% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 18 days skin contact. Drinking Window 2023 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DECThe iconic 2012 Proprietary Red Opus One is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot and 2% Malbec aged 18 months in French oak. A classy, complex, suave and savory 2012 Opus One, with notes of toasty oak and crème de cassis. This Pauillac lookalike, made by the staff at Mouton Rothschild, is a beauty. They have continued to strengthen the quality of wine and seem to have produced a brilliant, world-class wine. I imagine the 2013 may even eclipse this, but this 2012 is one of their great ones, with a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood all present in this beautiful, full-bodied wine that should drink well for 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 96 RP Rich, powerful and seductive, the 2012 Opus One blossoms in the glass with superb textural richness and volume. Dark red and black fruit, smoke, cedar, new leather and tobacco all meld together as the 2012 shows off its personality. Fine, silky tannins support the huge, creamy finish. The 2012 has just been bottled, but it is superb. I expect the 2012 will offer a long and broad drinking window of pure pleasure. Antonio Galloni | 96 AGA Pauillac-like expression from Napa Valley, this features smoky, toasty oak from the get-go, framing the intense flavors of earth, crushed rock and gravelly dried dark berry. The dense core of fruit pushes through a front of rustic graphite and loamy earth. Finishes with a long, layered aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Drink now through 2028. 28,600 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96
VM
As low as $495.00
2012 signorello padrone proprietary red wine California Red

There are 5,180 six-bottle cases of the 2012 Padrone. This is a fabulous wine, meant to evolve over three decades. It offers up notes of charcoal, scorched earth, blackcurrant, blackberry, chocolate and a touch of espresso. A wine of great intensity, full-bodied opulence and a multilayered mouthfeel, this is a formidably endowed, serious Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wine from vineyards with some of the best fruit on the estate. Drink it over the next 30 years.Robert Parker | 97 RPThe 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Padrone is dark and sumptuous from start to finish. Mocha, plums, smoke, new leather and French oak all flesh out in this brooding, intense Cabernet Sauvignon. The style is explosive and full of 2012 vintage exuberance. There is a lot to look forward to.Vinous Media | 90-92 VM

97+
RP
As low as $199.00
2012 harlan the maiden California Red

The 2012 The Maiden is super-refined, polished and expressive. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint, pine and cinnamon are some of the signatures. Open-knit and medium in body, the Maiden is racy and super-polished to the core. It is feminine, lifted in style and well-suited to near-term drinking.Vinous Media | 93 VMThe 2012 The Maiden displays soft blackcurrant liqueur notes, as well as cedar wood, forest floor, underbrush, and hints of white chocolate and espresso. It is broad, savory, sexy and opulent. Drink it over the next 12-15+ years.Robert Parker | 92 RPExhibits a dusty, dried herb savoriness amid dark berry, cedar and new leather scents, ending with fine-grained, gripping tannins and a touch of mocha. To be released spring 2016. Drink now through 2028. 1,208 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

93
VM
As low as $315.00
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 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

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