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K&L Staff Recommendations
94 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature is bright, focused and nuanced throughout. Freshly cut flowers, mint, sweet red berries, pomegranate and cinnamon are some of the aromas and flavor that flesh out in the glass. Striking in its aromatics, with pliant, open-knit fruit and fabulous balance, the 2013 offers outstanding quality and even better value. The addition of Malbec and Merlot in the blend softens some of the contours. Polished and refined, the 2013 Signature is one of the best wines readers will find for the money. (AG)" (10/2015)
The 2013 vintage has yet to be reviewed, but the 2012 garnered 96 points from Robert Parker: "They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time." That bottling from the '12 vintage (which celebrated their 40th anniversary) was the single largest selling wine for us over the past year. Given that '13 is also an excellent vintage, we expect lots of interest for this Napa benchmark.
95 points Wine Spectator: "Remarkably elegant and refined for a wine of this size and depth, with tiers of plum, blackberry and currant, as well as subtle touches of black licorice that remain pure and graceful on the long, lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2028." (11/2015) K&L Notes: This rich Napa Valley Cab continually earns top marks from the critics. The 2010 vintage was #9 on Wine Spectator's list of 2013's Top 100: "Lewis Cellars favors full-throttle Cabernet, yet for all their density and depth of flavor, the wines are graceful and refined, balancing size and elegance."
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Beringer's 2013 Chardonnay Private Reserve emerges from Gamble Ranch in Oakville. Classy, polished and restrained, the 2013 is absolutely superb. Above all else, the 2013 is a wine of finesse. Hints of pastry, baked apple and spices are woven into the super-expressive, oily finish. This was my first tasting at Beringer following Laurie Hook's move into the role of Winemaker Emeritus. Mark Beringer, the great-great grandson of founder Jacob Beringer, is the newly arrived Chief Winemaker. These are all Laurie Hook's wines, though. Needless to say, it will ...Read More »
Martin Ray specializes in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon from the most esteemed sub-appellations of Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, and offers an amazing value over what you'd usually pay for such wines. 80% of this vintage is from the Stags Leap District, and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 6% Malbec and 4% Petite Sirah. The winery's tasting notes: "This complex but sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the most sought-after regions in the Napa Valley showcases its roots from many of its mountain sources. Featuring ent... Read More »
Rudy Von Strasser may have got his start in the wine business as an intern at prestigious Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, but he hasn't let his head, or his prices, ascend into the stratosphere. The wine is made up of 100% Diamond Mountain fruit, some of which comes off the Von Strasser Estate. This is a concentrated, elegant, and eminently drinkable Cab delivering more-than-everyday quality for a fantastic price. From the winery: "This bold Cabernet Sauvignon has great perfume of violets. Intertwining aromas of blueberry,cassis and coffee all lead into a ric... Read More »
A blend of the traditional Bordeaux varietals: 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec and 5% Cab Franc. The aromas are bright and ripe upon opening and show vanilla, cedar, baking spice, cracked black pepper, cassis, French oak and red fruit. On the palate, the wine coats the mouth with notes of ripe red plums, dark cherry, black and red currant and baking spice. The wine is certainly big and rich, but wears its 14.5% ABV very well. The finish is complex and elegant, with a long, granular tannin structure. It is the perfect exam... Read More »
As of press time, the 2014 has not yet been reviewed, but the 2013 vintage garnered praise from Robert Parker: "Delicate grapefruit, fig, melon and gravelly aromas jump from the glass of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Light to medium-bodied and flavorful with zesty acidity, good crispness and focus." (10/2014)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which includes 65% Coombsville fruit from John Caldwell’s vineyard and the rest from Howell Mountain, is a big, deep, dramatic Cabernet Sauvignon, much in keeping with the vintage’s character. It is full-bodied and displaying flashy, flamboyant blueberry and blackberry fruit, licorice and background earth and oak, it is voluptuous and ideal for drinking over the next 15 or more years." (10/2015)92 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley represents a bit of a departure for Dunn. Although not labeled as such, for the last few ...Read More »
30 vineyards went into this Napa Valley blend, picked over the span of one entire month. 83% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Sémillon, aged in French oak and 10% barrel-fermented. The winemaker's notes: "The 2014 vintage has yielded a complex and silky Sauvignon Blanc with alluring aromas of lemongrass, Kaffir lime, vanilla and green papaya. On the palate, racy acidity underscores lovely flavors of lemon meringue, star fruit, candied ginger and minerality, carrying the wine through to a long, bright finish."
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Vibrant, young, green apple fruit is the driving force of this sleek, nicely made opus with mildly toasty, lightly laid-on oak a constant, if comparatively quiet, companion. The wine is firmly framed and conveys a clear impression of substance and depth, and, while its hard-to-miss acidity may leave it a little taut and tight at the moment, there is no question but that it has very good places to go. Leave it untouched for a couple of years, and know that it will hold for a good many more." (1/2015)
91 points Wine & Spirits: "Artemis is SLWC’s cabernet blend from purchased grapes and, in 2012, it’s broad and juicy, emphasizing full-on depths of plum-skin flavor and richness while retaining freshness in the fruit. Generous in its creamy texture, this is a match for filet mignon." (6/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Already bottled, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis is similar to its siblings. It offers delicious blackcurrant fruit, not as much complexity as the Fay or S.L.V., but an attractive meaty, rich blackcurrant fruitiness, well-integrated wood, and hints of spice and oak. Fleshy and medium-bodied ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Soft and fruity in black cherry and plum, this wine offers a solid foundation of cinnamon spice atop a mountain of blackberry. The acidity is well measured and the finish medium in length and breadth." (11/2015)
93 points James Suckling: "A subtle red with red pepper, berry and sweet tobacco character. Full-bodied, balanced and refined. Very fine and polished tannins. Needs a few years to come completely around. Drink or hold." (7/2015) 89-90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red-ruby. At once riper and more medicinal on the nose than the 2011, offering aromas of plum syrup, blueberry and spices. Firm and nicely refined, with an attractive juicy quality to the black fruit and spice flavors. Finishes with rather suave tannins. This cuvee seems to be better than ever, as Bo Barrett has done a good job of leavening the concen ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Glorious purity of fruit here with blackcurrants, blueberries, dark chocolate, fresh herbs and forest floor. Hints of mint. Full body, seamless tannins and wonderful balance. Tight and compacted tannins with beautiful fruit and great length. Hazelnut and chocolate. Goes on for minutes. One of the best Opus in years. Compacted and beautiful. Hard not to drink now but better in 2018." (4/2015)96 points Antonio Galloni: "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 ...Read More »
Since 1993, Overture, the second wine of Opus, has been only available at the winery and a few select restaurants. Made exactly like Opus One and sourced from the same estate vineyards, Overture is also a classic Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon making up around 70%. Overture is made to be enjoyed upon release.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The impressive 2012 Reserve Tapestry, a blend of Bordeaux varietals, is more elegant and slightly less intense than the Private Reserve. It offers up sweet black cherry fruit notes intermixed with licorice, spice box and dusty, loamy soil undertones. Medium to full-bodied and deep with loads of ripe fruit, low acidity and sweet, velvety tannins, it can be enjoyed over the next decade." (10/2014)91 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Reserve Tapestry, BV's Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend, is pliant and supple in style, with an extra kick of mid-palate juiciness from the Merlot and Malbe ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "This is shows wonderful aromas of tar, asphalt, wet earth and pure cherries. Full-bodied, yet soft and velvety with a fine dusty texture to the finish. Fresh and austere. Dignified. This has no Cabernet Franc in it this year. Normally there is 3% to 5%." (4/2015)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The second wine, the 2012 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine has a similar profile, but certainly comes across as less nuanced and slightly less concentrated and profound compared to its bigger sister. It is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. It does reflect the fact that the select ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "A solid red with currants, berries and hints of licorice and spice. Full body, firm tannins and a long, long finish. Shows length and beauty." (7/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Rich and concentrated in red cherry, cigar and plum, this demurely approachable and enjoyable wine has the legs to age. Structured and tightly drawn, it holds a tannic overbite that eases in the glass. Cellar through 2017." (9/2015) Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a picture-perfect example of the year. Dark blue and black fruits, smoke, licorice, spices, menthol and new leather flesh out in ...Read More »
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. According to the winemaker: "Ripe aromas of dark fruits, pepper and cassis, with deep and complex flavors of cocoa powder, black cherries, raspberries and coffee. Though youthful and exuberant now, this wine has the structure to reward cellaring for 10-15 years."
92 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and intense, well-focused and vibrant, centered on spicy citrus, green apple and pear flavors, with hints of honeysuckle, white peach and flinty stone. Lingers on the finish, showing a pithy edge to the lemon and green stone fruit notes. Drink now through 2019." (6/2015) K&L Notes: In 2013 the winery notes "an early harvest with beautiful, warm weather, that provided long, even ripening for our Chardonnay. The wine offers tropical aromas of citrus and melon layered with honeysuckle, perfume and toasted oak. A juicy entry transitions to a vibrant, yet oily, palat... Read More »
From the winemaker: "2012 LATERAL - Dark opaque color...Graphite and cedar nose reminiscent of ripe Bordeaux. Deep brooding fruit aromas with purple plums and dark chocolate aromas followed by hints of loam and cocoa. Plush entry and dense mouth-filling texture. Youthful and structured but with ripe tannins that are fine grained and soft on the finish. A stunning rendition of our “Right Bank” style. A huge and impressive LATERAL vintage: sure to please. A perfect entry with medium-light mouthfeel and elegant texture but not too lean. Small scale... Read More »
For the second year in a row, Caymus has released the 1 liter size bottles! These were a huge hit last year and quantities are limited this year. The 2013 vintage has yet to be reviewed, but the 2012 garnered 96 points from Robert Parker: "They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time." That bottling from the '12 vintage (which celebrated their 40th anniversary) was the single largest selling wine for us over the past year. Given that '13 is also an excellent vintage, we expect lots of... Read More »
100 points Antonio Galloni: "A majestic, towering wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is even more striking in bottle than it was from barrel. Deep, unctuous and remarkably vivid for such a big, intense wine, the 2013 simply conquers all of the senses, from the intellectual to the hedonistic. A host of dark red cherry, pomegranate, spice, mint and floral notes meld together in the glass, but the 2013 is a wine to admire for its total sense of completeness. This is easily the greatest young Philip Togni wine I have ever tasted. Simply put, the 2013 is magnificent and one of the ...Read More »
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Antonio Galloni: "The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is bright, floral and nuanced, with expressive aromatics, red toned fruit and plenty of citrus-inflected overtones that give the wine its lift and aromatic top notes. This is an especially lithe, delicate wine with good balance but less concentration than is the norm. Crushed rose petals, mint and white pepper add the closing shades of nuance. (AG)" (10/2015)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Exhibits a delicious, up-front core of juicy dark berry, blackberry, black licorice and creamy, toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Appropriately tannic and structured, this is made in a style you can drink now or cellar for up to a decade. Drink now through 2026." (7/2015) K&L Notes: Just released! This is the "Special Selection" bottling, following on the heels of the regular 2012 Caymus Napa Valley bottling which (while celebrating the winery's 40th anniversary) was the most popular wine we've sold in 2015. We are awaiting reviews and scores on the wine, but given the ... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is ample with sweet tannin and notes of licorice, blackcurrants, graphite and earth. It is dense, powerful, yet at the same time well-balanced and pure, and exceptionally well-crafted. Give it several years of bottle age and drink it over the following 10-20 years." (10/2015)94 points Antonio Galloni: "Explosive and powerful to the core, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon The Brothers presents dark tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory and mineral notes. Grilled herbs, smoke, lavender and pencil shavings add nuance. The Brothers is d ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A very ripe red with dried fruit and lots of chewy tannins. Full and a little hot. Needs time to soften. Phenolic character and texture suggest cold soaking before fermentation which is a little annoying, but it should come together with bottle age. Better in 2017." (7/2015)90 points Wine Spectator: "Taut and vibrant, with rich, juicy black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors, accented by touches of dusty, cedary oak, loamy soil, black licorice and spice on the aftertaste. Offers fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2026." (10/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Forward style. Intense nose of cocoa powder, cas ...Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "A wine with currant and blackberry aromas and flavors. Full body, fine tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Lovely tension and finesse. Drink now." (7/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Faust is designed as a second wine so that only the top lots end up in the Quintessa. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, sweet crème de cassis fruit, chocolate, licorice and underbrush characteristics in a delicious, fruit-forward, open-knit style. Enjoy it over the next decade or more." (10/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, full medium ruby. Brooding aromas of cassis and black cherry sh ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Benefiting from a larger percentage of Three Palms Vineyard fruit than ever before, this majority Merlot also holds Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The result is a density of rich, soft and spicy red fruit supported by structured tannins. This is ready for the table and a wide range of pairings." (12/2015)90 points James Suckling: "A fresh style of Merlot with light chocolate and blueberry character. Medium body, firm tannins and a crisp finish. Food matcher." (7/2015) K&L Notes: This Merlot-dominated blend reminds us why Duckhorn earned its reputation as one of Cal... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There have been a number of changes of late at Inglenook, so I was anxious to taste the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask. This wine was first created in 1949 and during that era, through the 50s and early 60s, was considered one of the finest wines of California. This is the best, young Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon I have tasted during my professional career of 35 years. Dense ruby/purple with classic crème de cassis, but underlying minerality and spice box. The wine is full-bodied, but not over-the-top, yet nevertheless authoritative, rich and quite long. T ...Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A red with lots of iodine, stone, currant and spice character. It's full-bodied, chewy and juicy. I like this slightly better than the Estate Bottled in 2010. Needs a least three or four years to soften: better in 2016." (5/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon’s dark ruby/purple color is followed by clean, pure aromas of black currants and underbrush, medium body, excellent purity and an alluring texture. This delicious, accessible Cabernet Sauvignon should also drink well for 7-8 years. Moreover, the pricing is realistic for Napa. (RP)" (10/2013) Wine & Spirits: "This is a new ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Shows richness and balance with blackberry and black currant character. Full-bodied, firm and silky. Tight and serious. Needs two or three years to soften." (7/2015)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is a much more friendly, supple, fruit-forward style of wine with loads of créme de cassis, plum, licorice and spice. This opulent, full-bodied wine is certainly going to be a big hit with consumers. It is broad, savory and pretty much everything one wants in a delicious Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Bring on the grilled meats! This wine should drink well for 10-15 ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A lightly textured wine that suggests lemon chiffon, this has plenty of body to make it feel rich on the palate, along with ample acidity to keep it refreshingly crisp. Apple and pear rise to the fore, maintaining the fruitiness from start to finish." (12/2015) K&L Notes: Chardonnay has been called the "Queen Bee" of white grapes. With roots in the prestigious soils of Burgundy, this singular varietal has gained renowned status the world over. Chardonnais is a cleverly named French-inspired Chardonnay from Napa Valley. The wine is made to be rich and full bodied, wi... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* An appealing touch of coconut water adds some richness to the peach, melon and citrus flavors, with accents of floral, citrus zest and mango. Drink now." (11/2015) K&L Notes: Honig sources fruit primarily from their sustainably farmed vineyard in Rutherford along with some other nearby vineyards. This blend is 93% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon, with 1% Muscat. Robert Parker offers in reference to the 2012 bottling: "This winery has a long and impressive track record working with Sauvignon Blanc and continues to produce a classic/textbook example of th... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An absolutely amazing value, the 2013 Proprietary Red is a great blend of 49% Syrah, 38% Petite Sirah and 13% Barbera (11,000 cases produced). The wine, which was aged in French oak, displays a dense ruby/purple color and an attractive nose of blackberries, licorice, tar and a touch of subtle smoke. It is medium-bodied and has surprising density as well as intensity for a wine at this price range. It should drink nicely for another 2-3 years. (RP)" (8/2015)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a hearty Meritage employing all five red Bordeaux varieties. The color is black and the fruit equally dark and rich, offering muscular tannins around rich notes of blackberry, cedar and herb." (3/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Proprietary Red Meritage, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, reveals surprisingly soft, round, easygoing flavors of black cherries, black currants, spice and earth. Medium-bodied, charming and more sensual and seductive than the more expensive 2010 Signature, the Meritage can be ...Read More »
96-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Joseph Phelps’ flagship wines include the incredibly ageworthy Insignia. The 2012 Insignia Proprietary Red is composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, all aged 24 months in 100% new French oak. The vintage was of such high quality and quantity that 17,500 cases were produced. A magnificent Insignia that will be bottled in several months, it boasts an opaque purple color as well as fabulous notes of graphite, blackberries, blackcurrant liqueur, camphor, barbecue smoke and spice box. Rich, full-bodi ...Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Shows a good touch of bottle age and a notably oaky presence, marked by dill, vanilla bean and coconut notes wrapped around a rich, authoritative, full-bodied core of loamy earth, dark berry, licorice and espresso. Drink now through 2028." (4/2015) K&L Notes: The 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. As always the wine goes to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. From the winery: "Our 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a seamless wine that expresses bright, fresh fruit char... Read More »
We like Groth's Cabernet Sauvignon, and offer several library vintages of perfectly aged Cab that comes direct from the winery's cellar, as well as the current vintage. But for an aperitif before the main course and the Cabernet, try this vibrant Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from the same producer. Blending is the key: fruit from both warm and cool areas of the Napa Valley provide a balance of acidity and ripe melon fruit, and some sur lie aging adds complexity.
92 points James Suckling: "A solid cabernet with mineral, black currants and Asian mushroom. Full body, firm tannins and and long finish. Shows tension and style. Drink or hold." (7/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A classic, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon offers plenty of crème de cassis and spring flower characteristics as well as beautiful density, sweet tannin and good underlying structure as well as definition. Aged 18 months in French oak, it is a beautiful example of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that can be drunk young, but will be even better in 3-4 years. It should age effortlessly for 12-15 years. (RP)" K&L Notes: The 2... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Deeply coloured. Very intense nose: blueberry and blackberry fruit, bramble, sweet saddle leather and oak spice with cocoa. Elegant mouthfeel with very tight but integrated tannins despite its youth. Intensity continues on the palate with consistent flavours. An elegant, Old-World-style restraint and excellent balance. Very long, complex and big but still elegant finish. (MD)" (4/2015)
This Sonoma County bottling from Martin Ray is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Dry Creek, Alexander and Sonoma Valley appellations. The wine was aged for 18 months in a mix of both French and American oak, both new and previously filled. From the winery: "The blend of these different appellations adds a wonderful complexity to this wine, which shines through as savory spices, woodsy earth tones and sweet, baked cherries alongside wild boysenberry jam. This medium-bodied but full Cabernet has a rich front and mid-palate, which is concentrated by ... Read More »
Famous for their wildly popular "Prisoner" Zinfandel blend, Orin Swift also produces some seriously structured Cabernet. This vintage of "Mercury Head" is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 16 months in 50% new French oak. The winery's note: "A deep hue of dark garnet is almost opaque. The weight of the wine is evidenced in the long and rich legs that coat the sides of the glass. Aromatics of ripe cherry and gooseberry mingle with the scent of newly toasted oak and freshly baked croissants. The entry of the wine is both soft and massive all at once. It coats ... Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dry and tannic in youth. It’s not a particularly ripe wine, but subtle in meshing blackberry fruit flavors with sweet dried herbs and bitter coffee. They strove for balance and harmony, and succeeded." (3/2005) K&L Notes: Winery-direct Cabernet from a famous longtime Napa Cab producer. At this price this is a tremendous opportunity to try a great Cab with a few years on it. We won't have this around forever so take advantage.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Rich, with tiers of explosive dark berry, plum, blueberry and melted black licorice flavors. This is tight and focused, maintaining a laser beam of flavor that pushes past the gripping tannins. Best from 2015 through 2025." (11/2014)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* A substantial, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the producer’s own vineyard, as well as others like Stagecoach, this wine is juicy in black cherry, blackberry and plum, and exceptionally silky and smooth on the palate. High-toned on the finish, with a compelling minerality that is allowed to shine via a well-ma ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Newton’s 2012 Chardonnay Unfiltered exhibits lots of honeysuckle, tropical fruit and marmalade, good minerality and excellent acidity that buttresses and provides uplift to the full-bodied, lavish, extravagant nature of this Chardonnay. As this wine ages, it will undoubtedly take on more Burgundy, Bâtard-Montrachet-like characteristics, but it is hard to resist young (which I know from personal experience). Enjoy it over the next 6-10+ years. This cuvée has been one of California’s great classic Chardonnays for over two decades. It also has remarkable ag ...Read More »
94 points Wine & Spirits: "George Hendry once helped farm the Brandlin Ranch on Mount Veeder, where he took cuttings of the old-vine Zinfandel when the property was sold in 1995. He grafted that budwood onto St. George rootstock at his benchland vineyard west of Napa and north of the San Pablo Bay, where morning fog and offshore breezes in the afternoon help to cool the vines. This 2012 parallels the hearty depths of an old-vine Zin, the ripe sour-cherry flavors driven by alcohol but not heated by it, the tannins buzzing with energy. It’s brisk and bright, complex and joyous. ...Read More »