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The 2009 Sloan possesses lots of espresso roast, chocolate fudge, baking spice, cedarwood, incense, creme de cassis, blackberry and subtle smoke characteristics. Surprisingly soft tannins are atypical for this vintage, but they work well and frame this full-bodied, concentrated, multidimensional wine. One of the finest Sloans made to date, it can be drunk now or cellared for 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 98 RPDeep ruby-red; little sign of development. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, cassis, tobacco, spices and caramel oak. Wonderfully plush and glossy yet firm on the palate, with its intense dark berry, plum and spice flavors enlivened by minerality. Already a fleshy and seamless mouthful but this wine has the sheer concentration, grip and ripe tannic support for another 15 to 20 years of graceful evolution. Splendid!Vinous Media | 95 VMThis has the fresh blackcurrants and blackberries of the vintage with a lot of savory and some balsamic notes. Rich and concentrated but fresh and energetic with full, velvety tannins that make for a stunning balance. The finish has breathtaking freshness that kicks it way down the road. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JS
More powerful, with darker currants, iron, chocolate, and hints of spring flowers, the 2012 Proprietary Red is incredibly seamless and elegant, with full-bodied richness as well as just about perfect tannins. It shows the classic opulence and sexiness of the 2012 vintage while staying light on its feet and graceful. It’s just now at the early stages of its prime drink window and will cruise for another 15 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDDeep garnet colored with a hint of purple, the 2012 Proprietary Red bursts from the glass with flamboyant red and black cherry preserves, warm cassis, baked plums and blueberry compote scents with touches of Indian spices, fragrant earth, pencil lead and Ceylon tea plus a waft of cedar chest. Built like a skyscraper, the full-bodied palate is completely packed with black fruit and savory layers with a very firm, grainy frame and loads of freshness, finishing very long and very earthy. A behemoth of a wine—this is one for the hedonists!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2012 Sloan is dark, sensual and voluptuous to the core. Soft edges and radiant, luxurious fruit add to the wine’s undeniably raciness. Absolutely impeccable, the 2012 Sloan is also a fabulous example of the year at its best.Vinous Media | 97 VM
The utterly perfect 2014 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon (1,500 cases) has everything one could possibly want in a Cabernet. Inky purple-colored to the rim, with a glorious nose of white flowers, crème de cassis, hints of blackberry and boysenberry, some licorice and forest floor are followed by an enormously concentrated wine with fabulous purity, a skyscraper-like mid-palate and texture, a length of nearly a minute, and stunning flavors, with flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol. This is a great, great wine and certainly one of the Cabernet Sauvignons of this vintage. Drink it over the next 25-30 or more years.Robert Parker | 100 RPPossibly the wine of the vintage is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon which is a more elegant, seamless wine compared to the more brooding and backward 2015. Exhibiting a deep purple color and utterly heavenly notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, white flowers, and graphite, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, insane purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannin, and a finish that won’t quit. While a big, powerful wine, it’s the purity of fruit and tannin quality that sets this incredible wine at the top of the pyramid. Drink it anytime over the coming 2-3 decades. Hats off to winemaker Celia Welch!Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe 2014 Scarecrow comes across as understated and refined today. Some of that may be the personality of the year. The 2014 was also bottled relatively recently, which makes me think it could turn out to be even better than this note suggests. Soft, silky tannins and exceptional purity of flavor are two of the signatures in this exceptionally beautiful, captivating Cabernet Sauvignon. Scarecrow can often be powerful and virile. In 2014, however, it is a wine of finesse. Antonio Galloni | 96+ AGBeautifully crafted, this style captures the essence of Rutherford, with a mix of dusty, loamy earth, tar, tobacco and dark berry flavors. A textural triumph, showing depth and muscle to the tannins and a long, full finish. Drink now through 2032. 1,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS
The base cuvée is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec sourced all from Rutherford. It has a classic, Saint Julien-like bouquet of crème de cassis, tobacco lead, damp earth, and spice that gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated, textured Cabernet that hits all the right marks. The top Rubicon release has a touch more elegant and precision, but this isn’t far off. Drink this stunner any time over the coming 20 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDBeautiful aromas of ripe cabernet sauvignon with blackcurrants and perfume that follow through to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a pretty long finish. Shows poise and polish. Drink in 2021.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant, polished and nuanced, with lovely inner sweetness and soft contours - both of which give the wine much of its overall immediacy and appeal. Medium in body and caressing, the 2016 has so much to offer. This is an especially accessible, young 2016 that already drinks well.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with notions of cherry tart, redcurrant jelly, freshly crushed blackberries and wild blueberries with hints of pencil lead, tobacco and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate possesses plenty of juicy black and blue berries with a firm, chewy frame and savory finish. 7,475 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPJuicy blackberry and red currant fruit is stitched with bramble and anise notes, backed by an apple wood accent on the finish. Still a bit tight, so give this a little time. Best from 2021 through 2027.Wine Spectator | 91 WSThis impressive wine opens in a bouquet of violet and dried herb, with an intensity of tannin power at its back. Red and black currant, cranberry and clove combine in a seam of textured complexity and nuanced flavor. Enjoy 2026–2036.Wine Enthusiast | 91 WE
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
Wonderful aromas of blueberries, blackberries, mushrooms, pine and blackcurrants. Some violets, too. Full-bodied, yet so refined and polished with wonderful fruit and a linear tannin structure that integrates beautifully into the wine. It’s so balanced and beautiful. Hard not to drink now, but better after 2023.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2017 Proprietary Red brings everything up a solid notch. Dense purple/plum-hued, with gorgeous, Graves-like nose of blackcurrants, chocolate, scorched earth, tobacco leaf, and gravelly earth, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a polished, elegant texture, building yet sweet tannins, and a great finish. Very much in the style of the 2017 vintage with its nicely concentrated, elegant, reserved yet endearing style, it’s going to drink nicely for 20-25 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Proprietary Red sails out of the glass with open-knit, compelling scents of Black Forest cake, blackberry pie and black currant jelly with suggestions of Indian spices, garrigue, rose oil and sandalwood. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited and jam-packed with opulent black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, framed by a wicked backbone of freshness and plush, well-managed tannins, finishing with impressive length and perfume.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPThe 2017 Sloan is very nicely done. As is typical of the year, Sloan is on the lighter side in 2017, and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. Black cherry, spice, licorice, lavender and chocolate open with a bit of time in the glass. Soft, succulent and quite gracious, the 2017 will drink well with minimal cellaring. I suspect it will always retain some of the nervous tension that is to be expected for a wine made from fruit picked a bit earlier than would have been optimal and with fewer barrel ferments, both choices imposed by the fires that year.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Peral Vineyard is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it starts out a little broody/tarry, giving way to a core of warm cassis, baked plums and mulberries, plus hints of charcoal, charcuterie and sautéed herbs. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, it is chock-full of savory-laced black fruits, finishing earthy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92+ RPOut of the darkness, smoky wood esters emerge first, then a scent of red currants, sweet and soft. Come back to the wine a day later, and the flavors have clarified around those currants, light and lithe. This is a gentle cabernet that may not appear to need aging, but it will reward those who allow it some time.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&S(Foley Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon Peral Vineyard) Even better, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Peral Vineyard offers impressive notes of cedar wood, new leather, lavender, and darker currants, with a meaty, spicy character that emerges with air. Medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated, as well as balanced, drink this savory, spicy Rutherford Cabernet over the coming 10-12+ years. (Drink between 2022-2035)Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JDMulberries, dark cherries, wild herbs and baking spices on the nose. Full-bodied with firm, fine tannins and lively acidity. Vibrant with a velvety, fruity and spicy finish. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 91 JSSteeped plum and blackberry fruit melds nicely with touches of vanilla, cedar and warm earth through the finish, with a polished feel overall that makes this accessible now too. Drink now through 2026. 10,036 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WSThis elegant red is earthy, with highlights of clove, currant and cedar. The midpalate is thick, concentrated and intense, built by a bold tannic grip that eases as it sits in the glass. Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE
This is beautifully polished with firm, dusty tannins to the blue fruit, as well as chocolate and cedar character. Some much earthier character, too, from mushrooms to bark. Forest flowers. Perfumed. It’s full-bodied with round tannins and a soft, creamy finish. Some iron and iodine to this. So attractive at the finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Better after 2023.James Suckling | 99 JSThis is an exceptional vintage of this exceptional wine, its foundation built around 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, with dustings of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Beautiful in berry fruit, textured and refined tannin and hints of lavender, licorice and sage, it has complexity and energy in equal measure, lengthy and beautifully focused, a truly impressive achievement of site, vintage and winemaker.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEDeep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Quintessa (Cabernet Sauvignon) sashays out with crème de cassis, blackberry preserves and redcurrant jelly scents, plus wafts of dark chocolate, anise and lavender with a touch of tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly styled and stunningly energetic, it has a fine-grained texture and long, fragrant finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94+ RPThe 2018 Red Wine is a powerful, driving Napa Valley wine. Scorched earth, iron, chocolate, and leather give the red cherry/plum fruit distinctly savory accents. This is an especially tight wine in a vintage that yielded generally more supple, open-knit reds. Quintessa is one of the first Napa Valley estates I visited, many years ago. Since then, the property has undergone several stylistic phases. It will be interesting to see where things go over the next handful of years here.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGVery fresh in feel, with a racy and refined core of cassis, damson plum and raspberry reduction notes inlaid with black tea and anise hints. A subtle mineral edge adds length to the finish, with the fruit showing nice restraint despite its youth. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Carmenère.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Quintessa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Rutherford, California, USA, Red) Black cherry, spiced plums and hints of clove and black pepper aromas. The alcohol is well-balanced by a fresh acidity. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 90 DEC
A great introduction into the incredible quality of this estate, the 2018 Asterisk reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as a beautiful perfume of blackcurrants, iron, lead pencil, coffee, and smoked tobacco. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and incredibly polished, it has building yet sweet tannins, the more focused, structured style of the vintage, and a brilliant finish. It’s certainly approachable today and offers pleasure, yet it’s going to benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity. (Drink between 2024-2051)Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JDThe 2018 Asterisk is so impressive. It offers up copious dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, menthol and spice, all in a forward, lush style that offers tons of immediacy and appeal. Sloan’s Asterisk shows just how alluring the vintage is. The 2018 is the best Asterisk I have tasted. Frankly, it is better than some estates’ top wines. (Drink between 2023-2036)Antonio Galloni | 94 AGDeep garnet-purple colored, vibrant black raspberries, black cherries and cassis notes jump from the nose of the 2018 Asterisk, followed by hints of chocolate mint and violets. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it fills the mouth with cedar-laced black fruits with a firm, grainy frame and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering woody note.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91+ RP
This is a winemaker’s master class in blending and understanding of a long-standing site. Dried herb, cedar and pencil shavings accent lifted red fruit and brilliant acidity on the palate, with a supple yet still youthfully grippy texture that is framed by structured, graceful tannins. Enjoy from 2029–2039.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WESo much earth and spice with walnut and wet earth. Like fog laying over the valley in the morning. Black fruit. Medium-to full-bodied with super-fine tannins that are long and persistent, with graceful progression and length on the palate. So long, with real definition. September 2022 release. From biodynamically grown grapes. Hard not to drink now, but will age wonderfully.James Suckling | 99 JSI was blown away by the 2019 Red Blend from Quintessa, which is up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenère, this full-bodied beauty has a perfectly balanced, seamless, yet expansive and classic 2019 style as well as gorgeous aromatics of cassis, flowers, chalky minerality, and integrated oak. It’s hard to resist already, but I have no doubt this will evolve for 20 years if stored properly.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDDark chocolate, violets and blackcurrants on the nose. Sticky, sweet, full, plush and ripe, fruit is dark - blackcurrant, black cherry and plum with lots of sweet liquorice and some earthy notes that give it a savoury touch. A bold and powerful style, you can feel the alcohol a bit and the wood still but there is good vibrancy and energy with a chiselled frame and generous freshness. Still extremely youthful with the structure fully on show, still settling and finding its refinement. 2% Carménère completes the blend. Ageing 22 months in French oak (60% new). Drinking Window: 2025 - 2040Decanter | 96 DECThe 2019 Proprietary Red Wine is more open and effusive than the 2018 version, with gentle floral nuances set against a backdrop of black cherries and cassis, joined by subtle notes of tobacco, cedar and vanilla. In the mouth, it’s medium to full-bodied, streamlined, silky and lush, nicely balanced and elegant, with a long, softly dusty finish tinged with licorice and caramel. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2019 Quintessa is one of the best wines I have tasted here in some time. Broad swaths of tannin wrap around a core intense dark plum, mocha, licorice and spice. The 2019 clearly needs a few years in bottle to come together. Quintessa is a large, sprawling property with many different exposures. My feeling is that it may not ultimately be suited to making a single large production flagship wine, but that perhaps a series of smaller production wines might showcase the site better.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGSports a very forward set of cassis and creamed plum notes before giving way to a firmer, more authoritative iron, warm earth and singed alder profile. Grippy and dense through the finish, but there’s cut and drive, with a savory edge adding good energy. This just needs some time for the mineral side to settle in with the fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Best from 2024 through 2034. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS
The 2019 Proprietary Red is deep garnet-purple in color. After a swirl or two, notes of blueberry preserves, chocolate-covered cherries, and warm cassis burst from the glass, leading to suggestions of Chinese five spice, dusty soil, sandalwood, and unsmoked cigars. The decadently concentrated, full-bodied palate delivers layer upon layer of black fruits and earthy nuances, framed by super-firm, ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of mineral sparks. This is a beauty!The Wine Independent | 99 TWIA blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, the 2019 Proprietary Red is a monster of a wine that’s unquestionably up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Blackberries, truffle, earth, chocolate, iron, and even a hint of black olive defines the nose, and it’s full-bodied, deep, rich, and incredibly concentrated on the palate. It has lots of background oak but more than enough fruit, with a dense, layered mid-palate and velvety tannins. It’s one of those wines that brings an incredible amount of richness and depth yet somehow stays light on its feet and balanced. It needs to be forgotten for at least 2-4 years and should keep for over two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 2019 Sloan is a silky, sensual beauty. Creamy and ample in the glass, with superb balance, the 2019 offers up an exotic mélange of dark fruit, spice, mocha, espresso and licorice. Cabernet inflections are quite present today. Then again, this plateau above Rutherford is one of the most special places in all of Napa Valley. The 2019 shuts down pretty quickly in the glass, which is probably a good sign for its prospects in the cellar. It’s another gorgeous wine from the team at Sloan headed by Winemaker Martha McClellan.Vinous Media | 97 VMSloan’s 2019 Proprietary Red is deep and rich, with scents of dark loam, woodsy notes, hints of cedar and vanilla, plus dark, plummy fruit. It’s full-bodied, concentrated, dense and decadently velvety but with a slight dried-fruit character. It’s awesome in that idiom but lacks the vibrancy and freshness of the valley’s absolute best wines. To this taster, it comes across as impressively complex, concentrated and long but also a bit heavy and warm on the finish. What foods would one pair this with?Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP
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