2014 Larkmead "Solari" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1325015 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari, which is again 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, flirts with perfection. It spent 20 months in 80% new French oak and hails from their Cortina Gravel and clay sectors of the vineyard. They made 793 cases of this compelling wine, which offers great freshness and energy, profound depth of flavor, an opaque black/purple color, and oodles of pure crème de cassis and blackberry fruit intermixed with incense, charcoal and white flowers. It’s a stunner to drink now and over the next three decades. (RP)  (10/2016)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari is flat out awesome. Always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged 20 months in 80% new French oak, this ripe, sexy, multi-dimensional beauty boasts a deep, saturated purple color as well as layers of plum and cassis fruit intermixed with lots of cedar, spice-cabinet, spring flowers and earth. Possessing full-bodied richness, an expansive, layered texture, incredible depth and a ripe, yet building tannin, it can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 2-3 decades. 98+  (12/2017)

96 points James Suckling

 Aromas of spices, redwood, blackberries, tile and plums follow through to a full body and super-integrated, chalky tannins. Savory and juicy. Real tension and drinkability. Released in September 2017.  (5/2017)

93-96 points Vinous

 Larkmead's 2014 Solari is striking. Unctuous, deep and exquisitely layered, the 2014 possesses magnificent balance and tons of pure pedigree. Sweet floral and spice notes meld into a core of expressive dark fruit. Today, the 2014 comes across as more delicate and polished than the 2013 tasted alongside it, with significant potential for the future. (AG)  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

Proprietor Cam Baker and his winemaker Dan Petroski continue to prove irrefutably what a first growth terroir Larkmead possesses. Located directly on the valley floor north of St. Helena, this is a superb site, with alluvial, gravelly soils, but there’s diversity in the soil, with plenty of clay, rock and what they refer to as Cortina Gravel. (Robert Parker's Wine Advocate)

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Price: $224.99

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Staff Image By: Philip Bohorfoush | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/12/2018 | Send Email
One of the two ‘black label’ bottlings along with the ‘Dr. Olmo’. Both are stunning soil driven examples of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon showcasing CA terroir. The ‘Dr Olmo’ is grown on gravel and shows more brooding character, scorched earth, and minerality. The ‘Solari’ is grown on Cortina gravel and clay parcels resulting in a profile that is more plush, round, and seamless. The first vintage of ‘Solari’ was 2002 and ‘Solari’ has developed a well deserved cult following. One can’t help but be impressed by the plush texture and a savory quality. A superior bottling showcasing CA terroir.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2018 | Send Email
One of two "black label" bottlings tasted at the estate, Solari is massively compelling in 2014 and exemplifies how the vintage can be truly special. It is focused, elegant, and clean with a melange of black and red fruit. With good acid, purity, and depth, it coats the mouth with super-fine tannin. Incredibly detailed and mouthcoating. It is hard to resist now, but give it a long decant or a few years in a cool cellar and then enjoy for the next 10-20 years. Terrific.

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.
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.
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.