2014 Jax "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1287233 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a larger cuvée of 998 cases. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, it is another intriguing Napa value and a sleeper as well. Deep purple in color, with loads of crème de cassis and blackberry fruit, the wine is rich, dense, multi-layered, long and pure. This is super and a great value. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. (RP)  (12/2016)

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Price: $49.99

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Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2017 | Send Email
If I had to pick my number one California winery to watch in 2017, it would be Jax. Kimberly Jackson-Wickam's work ethic and commitment to both quality and drinkability is unmatched right now in the local game. She's running circles around other people with her ground game. She and her family have worked tirelessly to create a modern iteration of Napa that speaks to the quality and integrity of the last four decades while keeping prices reasonable and offering something a little more flashy to today's younger generation. The Jax Napa Estate Cab is the ultimate crossover wine, made in an almost post-modern style (which I would call modernity with restraint). I left a bottle at my parents' house one time and they called me back later in the week asking me if I could get more. Around the same time, I brought my wife's 23 year old cousin to their winery and he thought the cabernet was the most delicious thing he had ever tasted. It doesn't matter who you pour this wine for, the result is always the same: people love it. It's structured, but smooth. It's powerful, yet there's finesse. It's fleshy and dark fruited, but there's more than just fruit underneath. It's everything Napa has to be if it wants to continue connecting with a new generation of California wine drinkers. Most importantly, it's accessible. Bravo!

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2017 | Send Email
We’ve been talking internally here at K&L a lot recently about what constitutes value these days in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. That conversation has become more and more difficult over the last few years as the pricing on wines from the most prestigious region of California for this varietal have continued to skyrocket. The bottom line is that there really are not any “cheap” wines left in the Valley. Instead we have to look for more comparative value out of the region and the base line for wines now starts at about $40 for true Napa character from any Cab based wine. I know the truth hurts. After tasting the 2014 Jax “Estate” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon we agreed here at K&L that this was the kind of wine that we were speaking of. Sure this wine if made a decade or more ago would have been $30 but those days are long over and there is no return in site. Therefore we look forward and have to realize, whether we like it or not, that this is the new Napa. The good news is that it is every bit as good as it has always been.
The 2014 Jax Estate comes from their Estate vineyard in Northern Calistoga that was purchased in 1996 and has gone through extensive replanting over the last 10-12 years. The result is some fantastic, youthful, pitchy wines that really do over deliver on their respective pricing. The wine adds 5% Cabernet Franc, also from the estate and is aged for 21 months in 70% new French Oak. Lots of finely hued green spices soar out of the glass here like olive, bay leaf and tarragon with a base of deeper warm spices like allspice and mace ride over snappy black currant and blueberry fruitiness on the nose. Stuffed to the hit and fully of fleshy, extracted flavors of espresso, hard candy, cola, boysenberry and spice cake this really has plenty to offer and keep even the pickiest of Cabernet drinkers engaged and involved in the wine. Certainly leaning to the modern side in its flashy oak and extract this still has the soul and focus of a classic Napa Valley Cab.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/19/2017 | Send Email
Truth be told, fifty bucks is becoming the entry level price for an estate cab coming out of Napa these days. We are reaching an era of skyrocketing prices - some producers are doubling the rates for their 2015 releases. Literally. Less than 1000 cases of Jax's estate Cabernet was produced this year and our share will likely evaporate soon. It's a big, fruit-driven wine that is immediately accessible and will continue to be for the next 5-9 years.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
Specific Appellation:

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.