2014 Terra Valentine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1261643 91 points Wine Spectator

 Terra Valentine is back in the game. The Napa Valley bottling steps away from its all-estate model to good effect. The winery is taking a new direction under managing partner Sam Baxter, who purchased the company from founders Angus and Margaret Wurtele in 2014...Pure and rich, with density, a firm tannic backbone and edge and tiers of black and wild berry, currant and black licorice, ending with a cedary oak grip and veering toward dryness ending with a kick of fruit. Drink now through 2028. 2,880 cases made.  (7/2016)

K&L Notes

Terra Valentine has long been on our radar as a hidden gem high above the Napa Valley floor on Spring Mountain. We loved the quaint property and the powerfully structured wines that were made from it. The owners, the Wurtele Family, were welcoming, kind and fully unassuming something that has become more and more rare in Napa Valley. But change happens all the time in the wine biz and the family sold the winery to Sam Baxter, their long time winemaker and general manager. Keeping that sort of continuity with Terra Valentine made us breathe a sigh of relief and we still believe that they are making some wonderful values from some new sites throughout Napa Valley. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2016 | Send Email
The 2014 Terra Valentine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Sam’s first new forays, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. First of all it is true Napa Valley Cab that is $29.99. Just that alone should catch people’s attention. With heady aromas of spice cake, pipe tobacco, boysenberry preserves and Oolong tea, the nose here is packed with personality and class found in much more expensive Cabs. Sweet fruited and with good lift, this is a wildly drinkable Cab that opens with ease. Packed with baker’s chocolate, wild berry, black tea, chaparral and spiced plum, there is as much complexity here as found in most Napa Cabs twice this price. This is certainly something to stock the cellar with as it could easily be drunk now and should continue to get better over the next 7-12 years.

Staff Image By: James Bradshaw | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/4/2016 | Send Email
From the nose alone it's pretty clear this is Napa fruit. Given the ripe, fleshy scents you might think you're getting yourself into a fruit-bomb, but in truth it's very well balanced and has just the right level of reserve. Plum, fruit compote, green earth, a vanilla play against each other very well on the palate. The tannins are just how I like them, not too sharp or overbearing, but enough to give the wine structure. The finish is remarkably long with a distinct touch of oolong tea.

Staff Image By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
If there is one thing I know, other than the philosophy of God Springsteen, it is the gorgeous language that is LATIN. And so, it was during a whistful evening spent listening to THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, the Boss' cover of the historic Woody Guthrie tune, that I had an epiphany! A song about our communal land demands a wine that honors such a resource. Thanks to my mastery of the language, I was able to quickly identify this BEAUTIFUL cabernet from Terra Valentine. Terra, of course, is latin for Earth (which is covered with land), and it was deep in this bottle of rich and toasty cabernet that I found myself lost among the textured layers of plum, black cherry, and even subtle licorice. This wine is simply delicious! The perfectly spicy finish lasted well through Bruce's extended harmony, and like many of his concerts, the wine simply left me wanting MUCH MORE! Thank god I was able to identify the latin TERRA, for without such a skill, I surely would have been left all alone down the dark THUNDER ROAD!

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
I was a little skeptical when tasting the Napa Valley cabernet because I love their Spring Mountains cabs so much...but this wine delivers! The nose is intense and upfront with loads of floral perfume, purple fruit and baking spice. Although not as full bodied as its Spring Mountain brothers, the NV is little lighter on the palate but still packs a full punch. Beautiful black plum, cassis and black cherry give way to a boat load of baking spice, pepper and licorice on the finish. Whether you want to stash some away for a rainy day or enjoy today with a nice filet, this $30 cab hits all the high notes!

Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
A very generous wine with beautiful aromatics of vanilla, wet earth, cocoa, exotic spices and incenses. All of that follows on the palate along cassis and cherries. Very polished tannins and a very balanced acidity. A real pleasure to drink right now.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
Black plum, dark bramble fruit, baking spice, licorice and vanilla. This wine is truly at your disposal: Drink or hold. This dark fruited, structured cab is very approachable now but will certainly hold up in your cellar for ten plus years. A wine like this is tough to come by, especially at it's meager $29.99 price point.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
This wine I believe to be approachable to many now or in the future. This has plenty of generous fruit, with balance and a good solid length on the palate. Deep purple hue, with concentrated blackberry jam flavors, and some well melted tannin structure to shake things up on the tongue a bit. A great deal for the Napa Cabernet drinkers among us. Get one to try while they're here.

Staff Image By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
Terra Valentine does it again! Loads of expressive perfumed fruit is what gets you first, followed by a hint of wood on the nose. Great blue and black fruit on the palate and soft hints of underbrush. The tannins show through nicely, not overpowering the balance of the fruit and acid in the wine. It's not every day you can obtain such a nice Cab in this price range. Fantastic!

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2016 | Send Email
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A beautiful expression of Napa Cab does not have to be monolithic and overripe, the 2014 TV definitely proves this. It has plenty of rich dark fruits and a nice balanced use of oak. It's held together by a deftly balanced structure with just the right acidity and rather mellow tannins to compliment nicely. Offered now at a fantastic price, it's a cab you don't want to miss.
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9