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Heavy Hitting Napa Cabs to Celebrate the Season - 12/18/2017 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

With the holidays now upon us, there’s no better time of the year to open a truly special bottle of wine to share with family and friends. Given their broad appeal and name recognition, Napa’s elite Cabs are always an excellent go-to option when selecting wines to celebrate the season. Assembled here is the crème de la crème of Napa’s elite. From the highly lauded vintages of 2013 and 2014, these are monumental efforts that will reward for decades to come. A centerpiece of the group is the 2013 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard Reserve" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon. This fiftieth anniversary bottling earned high marks from the critics offering everything one would expect from this historic site. Wonderfully polished and beautifully adorned with ripe, fleshy fruit it is a classic example of the heights Oakville can achieve. All of the wines featured below are guaranteed to impress and will delight both the seasoned collector and the neophyte alike.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2011 Bryant "Bettina" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $300) 98 14 Price: Hidden View
2014 Caymus "Special Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 91 >36 $169.99 View
2014 Chappellet "Pritchard Hill Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 99 33 $229.00 View
2014 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $230) 98 >36 $199.00 View
2014 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 95 >60 $69.99 View
2013 Inglenook "Rubicon" Rutherford Bordeaux Blend 97 >36 Price: Hidden View
2014 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 97 >36 $199.00 View
2014 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 99 10 Price: Hidden View
2014 Lokoya Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 100 10 Price: Hidden View
2014 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 97 >36 $309.99 View
2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 97 >36 $159.99 View
2014 Paul Hobbs "Nathan Coombs Estate" Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon 98 19 Price: Hidden View
2014 Quintessa Rutherford Bordeaux Blend 97 >36 $174.99 View
2013 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard Reserve" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 96 >36 $119.99 View
2013 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 97 19 $239.99 View
2014 Vérité "La Joie" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend 97 12 Price: Hidden View
2014 Vérité "La Muse" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend 100 10 $409.99 View
2014 Vérité "Le Désir" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend 99 12 Price: Hidden View


2011 Bryant "Bettina" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $300) Price: Hidden

98 points James Suckling: "Fabulous blackberries, fresh mushrooms, wet concrete and oyster shells. Full-bodied, dense and wonderfully textured. Fantastic mouthfeel. Great finish. Goes on for minutes." (01/2017)

98 points Wine Spectator: "Fabulous blackberries, fresh mushrooms, wet concrete and oyster shells. Full-bodied, dense and wonderfully textured. Fantastic mouthfeel. Great finish. Goes on for minutes. (JL)" (01/2017)

94-97 points Vinous: "Tasted from a preliminary blend, the 2014 Bettina speaks to finesse, elegance and purity. Sweet red cherry, cranberry, mint, cinnamon and rose petal all grace the palate in an utterly exquisite, translucent wine endowed with magnificent pedigree and class. Where will the 2014 go? The sky's the limit. (AG)" (10/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Proprietary Bettina has a much more saturated purple than the DB4 (I believe all of this comes from purchased fruit from David Abreu's various vineyards in Napa). Loads of forest floor and graphite, blackberry and blueberry fruit dominate the complex set of aromatics. Like most 2014s, there is a softness and lushness, a full-bodied opulence and a long, long finish. This is impressive and beautifully approachable already, but promises to keep for 12-15 more years. (RP)" (12/2016)

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2014 Caymus "Special Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($169.99)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Pure and rich, well-centered on melted black licorice, spice, cedar and dark berry flavors. Deep and complex, if short on finesse and grace, ending with musclebound tannins. (JL)" (10/2017)

90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brawny tannins meet mild acidity in this powerful, rich wine that's full-bodied and decadent. Chocolate, mocha and caramel notes are etched into its soft, rounded layers of generous red fruit. (VB)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: Caymus's "Special Selection" is the pride of the Wagner family. It's their flagship wine, is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage, and is not produced in years where the quality just doesn't meet Chuck Wagner's standards. The "Special Selection" is approachable both in its youth as well as in its maturity.

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2014 Chappellet "Pritchard Hill Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($229.00)

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The flagship wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill, 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec, is a stunner and one of the great, great 2014s. Inky purple with blueberry and blackberry fruit, cassis, licorice, graphite and white flowers, the wine is stunningly concentrated, full-bodied and seemingly one of the greatest of the 2014s. Still youthful, with at least 25-30 years of upside potential at the minimum, this is a wine for patient connoisseurs. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2050. (RP)" (12/2016)

98 points James Suckling: "This shows great structure and muscle with a firm and flexing tone. Full-bodied, tight and reserved. Currants, black truffles and espresso. A classic structure that harks back to the great Chappellets of the 1970s. Savory. What length. Will improve with many years, but it's still a dream to drink now." (01/2017)

94-97 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill might turn out to be better than the 2013, as it has a bit more focus, delineation and energy. Although it is quite early, the 2014 offers superb potential. The flavors are intensely mineral and savory today, while the wine possesses magical translucence and tons of personality. The sample I tasted was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the final wine may included blenders. Winemaker Philip Corallo-Titus adds that 2014 is a low tannin vintage at Chappellet, so the wines spent a bit longer than normal on the skins. (AG)" (10/2015)

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2014 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $230) ($199.00)

98 points James Suckling: "Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and lots of flavors of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021. *Top 100 of 2017*" (01/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Dominus, which is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot really struts its stuff. Moueixs belief in dry farming seems to be paying off with stronger and stronger vintages, each successive year, and the 2014 is a sexy, opulent, layered, multidimensional wine with notes of red and blackcurrant, cedar wood, tobacco leaf , spice box and licorice. The color is a dense plum/ruby/purple, much like the Napanook. This is a beauty that is already drinking gorgeously as most 2014s are and will continue to evolve for 25 or so years. (RP)" (10/2016)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from their valley floor site in Yountville, the 2014 Dominus is a rich, concentrated red, especially in 2014. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, it sports a deep ruby/plum color as well as a ripe nose of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, lead pencil, licorice and smoked earth. With a ripe, full-bodied, concentrated style, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it has some similarities to the 1990 and will evolve for three decades or more. Theres 4,300 cases of this beauty." (12/2017)

96 points Vinous: "The 2014 Dominus is endowed with tons of depth, power and muscle. Black cherry, plum, smoke, menthol, licorice, chocolate, dried herbs and dark spices are all pushed forward. Deep, pliant and exquisitely layered, the 2014 possesses tons of concentration and mid-palate depth. Like so many wines in this vintage, the 2014 comes across as a hybrid of 2013 and 2012. I very much like the energy and focus in this wine. This is a fabulous wine in every way. With time in the glass, the flavors gain in brightness and focus. There is certainly much to look forward to. (AG) 96+" (12/2016)

95 points Decanter: "An initially reticent bouquet opens in the decanter and glass to reveal notes of blackberry, rich spice, tobacco leaf, elderberry and lily pollen. On the palate, fine, powdery tannins frame an elegant, deep wine with a lovely core of cool fruit. This will require some time in the cellar to reveal all its potential. (WK)" (05/2017)

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2014 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($69.99)

95 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous aromas of sweet tobacco, iodine and oysters. Blackcurrants, too. Subtle. Medium to full body, elegant and refined tannins, and yet there's also delicious, understated complexity. Savory. A joy to drink now, but this will improve with age." (01/2017)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "From the producer's Yountville estate, this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc is dusty with thyme, stone and black pepper flavors and leathery with tannin. Concentrated and structured, it further shines with black currant and tobacco notes that give it a distinct herbal undertone. *Editors' Choice* (VB)" (08/2017)

93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Napanook is, once again, a very serious wine. Dark, powerful and brooding, the 2014 possesses remarkable intensity packed into its mid-weight frame. Smoke, scorched earth, tobacco, graphite, savory herbs and menthol add to an impression of gravitas. The 2014 doesn't quite have the depth or power of the 2013, but it leans in that direction. I would give it a few years in bottle to settle down. This is an impressive showing. (AG)" (12/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Napanook is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot, showing notes of loamy earth, Christmas fruitcake, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit and underbrush in a supple, fragrant and lush heady style. It is another successful wine that should drink beautifully young and age nicely for up to 20 years. (RP)" (10/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Graceful and harmonious, with a supple mix of loamy earth, dark berry, licorice and savory herb flavors, all well-proportioned and focused throughout. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2028. (JL)" (09/2017)

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 11, 2017

At a recent staff tasting, this outclassed the rest of the table in a way that you'd imagine a grand cru to perform at a table of village wines. Not only is this full of class, refinement, and structure, but I've really enjoyed how 2014 Napanook has developed over the past few months since release. Coming from the same exact vineyard as the grand vin Dominus, Napanook is still the poster child for value in collectible Cabernet. Very few Napa wines this good are still found at this kind of price-point, and this fact is exemplified beautifully in the 2014 vintage.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 05, 2017

This is just a superb wine and I wish that all of Napa could take notice stylistically and balance. The nose of this wine is so complex, so many layers, green olive, leather, spice along with deep, concentrated blackberry. On the palate you immediately see the lift, while this wine has depth, power and structure its light on its feet, fresh and finishes on an up note. Years of aging will just add to the nuance of this wine although it is a delight to drink now.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 20, 2017

I wasn't sure I wanted to jump onto the bandwagon, but I'm definitely on board now... Elegant aromas of some sort of violet-y-black-olive-marmalade give this wine a sophisticated sense right upon pulling the cork. Full bodied, but balanced, flavors of blueberry, plums, blackcurrant, and coffee align with a perfectly ripened core. Awesome now, even better in years to come.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 19, 2017

An excellent and seductive Napa red wine. It has nice fruit and structure but what is the most important is that it is packaged together with elegance and finesse. It is full bodied and delicious and should please anyone who wants a Napa red that will go well with food.

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2017

I love it when wine surprises me! I went in thinking the Napanook was going to be this BIG, RICH, FULL-bodied monster. What I got was an elegant, medium-bodied wine. With wonderful savory and mineral notes, with a host of graphite, floral and dark berry fruit that open up in the glass. Graceful acidity, which is a good indicator that this wine is in for the long hall! So if you can give it a couple of years you will be rewarded.

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2013 Inglenook "Rubicon" Rutherford Bordeaux Blend Price: Hidden

97 points James Suckling: "An aromatic and complex red with currant, white-chocolate and rose-petal character. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Fine and long. Beautiful now but will improve in time." (05/2017)

97 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon emerges from the back part of the property, which lies on the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Here the wines are dense, powerful and structured. That is exactly what comes through in the 2013. Layers of dark fruit built into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures laced with mocha, espresso, gravel and dark spice overtones. The new oak that was so prominent at the outset has begun to integrate and in so doing is allowing the fruit to come through to a greater degree than in the past. This is a tremendous showing for the 2013 Rubicon. (AG)" (12/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "Very fresh nose terribly tempting to say it smells like young Ch Margaux! Aromatic and complex. Bone dry and appetising. Very racy. Extremely classy and dusty plus bordeaux plus beauty. Minerals aplenty and very fine tannins. More energy than the 2011 but with very similar tannins to the 2011. 18/20 Points (JR)" (02/2015)

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2014 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.00)

97 points James Suckling: "The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards." (05/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc coming from six vineyards and reared for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2014 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of crushed blackberries and fresh blackcurrants with touches of cigar box, sandalwood, dried lavender, beef drippings and mocha plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and incredibly elegant and fine in the mouth, the lively fruit is well structured by grainy tannins and seamless acid, finishing long and earthy. 97+ points. (LPB)" (10/2017)

97 points Vinous: "The 2014 Insignia has turned out beautifully. Finely sculpted, nuanced and classic in structure, the 2014 is built on a core of energy and brightness. There is a level of purity and delineation in the flavors that is remarkable. Bright red cherry, lavender, rose petal and graphite add to the wine's sculpted personality. The 2014 is not an obvious or especially opulent Insignia, but rather a wine that makes its case with its impeccable balance. A closing flourish of bright, floral notes adds the final shades of nuance. (AG)" (03/2018)

96 points Wine Enthusiast: "This fine vintage of Insignia combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Soft, supple and seamless, it offers rich but balanced cassis and milk chocolate flavors, with supportive and complementary oak. It should do well in the cellar and will be best from 2024-2034. *Best of 2017, Cellar Selection* (VB)" (12/2017)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide: "Insignia has been a remarkably consistent performer over the years and always manages to find a prominent place at the head of the class, and its high standing is affirmed once again with this outstanding version from 2014. This wine is both rich and remarkably refined with a great sense of depth, and its forceful themes of currants and black cherries are framed with beautifully matched creamy oak and deft touches of sweet spice. As with past efforts, it is uncannily potent and polished at one and the same time, and the one small caveat to its enthusiastic endorsement is that, if involving now, it is years away from reaching its full potential and should be hidden away and its manifold charms ignored until reaching its tenth anniversary." (12/2017)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia checks in as 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc and was brought up all in new oak. This beauty comes from six estate vineyards and offers a gorgeous bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, Asian spice and white chocolate. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, opulent, yet balanced texture, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it's a gorgeous 2014 that's already hard to resist, yet will cruise for two to three decades in the cellar." (12/2017)

95 points Decanter: "No Merlot in this vintage, with a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc. The nose is more subdued than on the Napa Cabernet, although there is abundant toasty oak. It's very rich and tannic, concentrated and taut, but remains youthful and reserved. It needs a good deal of time. Very long, with mocha tones on the finish. Of remarkable quality, given that more than 170,000 bottles were produced. Drinking Window 2020-2045. (SB)" (03/2018)

Jancis Robinson: "87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc. Meaty, interesting nose and wonderfully smooth texture -- though not sweet. This works well. Is it the Petit Verdot spice perhaps? Very well put together and already pleasing. Not too sweet and not too alcoholic. (JR)" (03/2018)

2014 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - 10 available Price: Hidden

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the micro-terroir of the W. S. Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is pushing perfection. Its incredibly opaque color is followed by notes of lead pencil shavings, mulberry, blackberry and dark raspberry fruit, some background oak and minerality, and profound richness in a full-bodied, multi-dimensional style. It is gorgeously ripe, and sexy already, with a lush and voluptuous texture. Drink it over the next 25+ years. One of the top-of-the-charts, special, rare superstars of the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wine scene is Lokoya. Its hard to believe that 2000 was the first vintage for winemaker Chris Carpenter working at Lokoya. He has had a succession of world-class, truly magnificent wines from different mountain sites in Napa. There are four cuvées from Lokoya in 2014, representing four separate mountain sites Diamond Mountain in the northwest, Spring Mountain behind the town of St. Helena, Howell Mountain on the eastside in the Vaca Mountains, and Mt. Veeder southwest of Oakville. Production of these wines ranges from a low of 509 cases for the Spring Mountain to 1,460 for the Mt. Veeder. Theyre expensive, but generally in line with what you would expect to pay for a great first-growth from Bordeaux, which is where they compete qualitatively. These wines are all 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and are aged in 89 to 100% new French oak prior to being bottled unfiltered. The 2014s have put on weight and thats reflected in. (RP)" (10/2016)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is flat-out sensational and literally jumps out of the glass. Blackcurrants, crème de cassis, bay leaf, scorched earth, graphite and kiss of spring flower nuances give way to a powerful, concentrated, yet ethereal 2014 that glides across the palate. It's one of the more structured, tannic wines from Chris and really need 3-4 years or cellaring to shine, but it's going to evolve beautifully." (12/2017)

93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is laced with the essence of graphite, cured meats, crème de cassis, smoke and licorice. Unctuous and deep, but with grippy Howell Mountain tannins underpinning the fruit, the 2014 has a lot going for it. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2014 for at least a few years. The Howell is a step up from some of the other wines in this range. All of the fruit for this wine came from Keyes. (AG)" (12/2016)

2014 Lokoya Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon - 10 available Price: Hidden

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder is beautifully complete, with a layered, multi-dimensional, elegant profile that's more structured than the Diamond Mountain, yet more seamless and approachable than the Howell Mountain. Crème de cassis, Asian spice, smoked earth, incense and sandalwood note all flow to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has no hard edges, ultra-fine tannin, incredibly purity of fruit and a great finish. As with all these 2014s, it's not about huge richness and opulence and more about purity, nuance and balance. It's a damn near perfect wine that will only get better with 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for three to four decades." (12/2017)

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Usually my favorite in many vintages, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is the most backward of the 2014s and actually seems to require 4-5 years of bottle age. The wine has the telltale signs of Mt. Veeder blackberry and blueberry fruit infused with considerable floral nuances. This wine has all that, then hits the palate with a cascade of glycerin, fruit extraction, and layers of blackberry and blueberry fruit. It is full-bodied and opulent, but finishes with some structure and ripe tannin. This is a magnificent wine full-throttle, extremely pure, and incredibly well-balanced. Give it 5-6 years of bottle age and drink it over the following three decades. (RP)" (10/2016)

93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder is a dense, tightly wound wine. Bright red cherry, iron, pomegranate, chalk, mint and white pepper abound. Deep and layered, in the medium-bodied style of the year, the 2014 exudes Veeder personality and tension. The mid-palate needs time to develop, but this is another highly expressive wine from Lokoya. There is plenty of punch and mountain intensity here. Veeder Peak is the fruit source. (AG)" (12/2016)

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2014 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($309.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Mesmerizing aromas of flowers, bark, currants and blackberries. So perfumed. You just want to smell it. Exquisite tension and finesse with an almost Burgundian texture, yet its Napa in its soul with ripe fruit, stones, spices and Chinese tea leaf flavors. Savory and delicious. Drinkable but better in 2020. Available on October 2017. (JS)" (06/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the Opus One 2014 Proprietary Red Wine sports an inky purple color and nose of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of underbrush, sautéed herbs and pencil shavings plus a waft of spice box. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and with an energetic line lifting the red and black fruits, it has a bold frame of grainy tannins and a very long, earth and spice-layered finish. (LPB)" (10/2017)

95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Opus One is super-classy, elegant and polished, with mid-weight structure and tons of pure class. This is one of the more restrained recent vintages of Opus One and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. The flavors are bright, precise and beautifully delineated. Even so, the 2014 is not an easy or immediate Opus One. I wouldn't touch a bottle for at least a few years. (AG) 95+" (01/2018)

93 points Decanter: "A cool bouquet of fruit compote and wild plum mingles with notes of clove, incense and lilac. On the palate the wine is youthfully taut, with a good line of acidity and fine but assertive tannins. It's quite a serious, savoury Opus which will need a few years in the cellar to unwind. Drinking Window 2020-2037. (WK)" (05/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Rich and creamy, intense and layered, featuring a mix of blackberry, licorice, mocha, cedar and tobacco flavors, with a touch of gravelly earth. The tannins are firm and gripping, standing out a bit from the core texture. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2018 through 2030. (JL)" (09/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Savoury nose. Very lifted and almost leafy - very far from a fruit bomb. Very much a food wine. Very, very different from wine bar syrup. Not obviously high alcohol. After pretty ripe cassis some black olive flavours dominate. Rather bordeaux-like build but with a richer finish than a bordeaux would have. Obviously there's a fair amount of tannin here but it's well handled and dominated by the fruit. Good peacock's tail finish. I could imagine some Americans asking 'where's the beef (stew)?' but this should definitely appeal to (well heeled) Europeans. 17+/20" (08/2017)

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 06, 2017

Another fantastic bottling from Opus One. I had the pleasure of trying the 2014 vintage at our Grand Domestic tasting this past Saturday. This was easily the dark horse winner of the ten wines we featured. Classic bouquet of black currant, plum, and dark cherry with subtler expressions of earth and graphite. The palate is where this wine really shines. Flavors of black currant are expressed once more, along with blackberry, savory qualities, clove, vanilla bean, and a touch of espresso. The tannins are silky and velvety; a luxurious mouthfeel all throughout. Decanting this wine will do wonders. Drinkable now; I would recommend holding for at least five more years. Will age gracefully for 20+ years

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2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend ($159.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Fantastic aromatics with blackberries, blackcurrants and iodine. Licorice, too. Medium to fulll body, fine and velvety tannins and a very polished and gorgeous finish. Caressing and dialed in. Why wait? An intellectual wine here. Lovely now." (01/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator: "A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements.Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. (JL)" (06/2017)

94 points Decanter: "The juicy black cherry nose is wrapped in smoke, and that same generous, luscious ripeness fills the mouth and rolls its heady richness around your senses. Alcoholic heat tingles at the edges, while cinnamon notions glisten. This is bold, rich, layered and muscular. Worth waiting for. Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drinking window 2025 - 2035. (AK)" (05/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Proprietary Red Wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, again, showing slightly less depth than its two surrounding siblings, but beautiful pure fruit, silky, velvety tannins, a layered mouthfeel and deep blackcurrant and black cherry fruit intermixed with cedar wood, fruitcake and smoky oak. This is a terrific wine as well and it will be the fastest out of the gate in terms of evolution - drinking beautifully for the next 15+ years. Pahlmeyer certainly has one of the most consistently superb resumés for the last 30 years that any winery could desire. (RP)" (12/2016)

92 points Vinous: "Pahlmeyer's 2014 Proprietary Red is a highly attractive wine with the mid-weight structure of the vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, mint and new French oak notes abound. The 2014 has more than enough depth and density to drink well with minimal cellaring, although my sense is that the wine will be at its best once it has dropped some of its baby fat. (AG)" (12/2016)

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

This is what a perfect Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend is supposed to taste like and Pahlmeyer has become my benchmark against which I measure all others. There is incredible depth and complexity in this wine, while being simultaneously velvety and soft. Most importantly, this wine is just incredibly delicious, balancing strength and elegance and present, but not jammy fruit. A phenomenal wine that I would feel privileged to drink again and I think people will find this vintage turned out much better than some expected.

Staff ImageSal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

Effortless beauty and finesse. If you're looking for an aromatically expressive Bordeaux blend that doesn't quit, that has a lovely, spicy, brightly acidic, velvety mouth-feel on the palate, then this should be at the top of your list. Loads of dry flowers, bright fruit, and graphite on the nose. Delicious fruit, light minerals, lifted acidity, and fresh herbs play well together on the palate. This is one of my favorite players in the short list of wines that have achieved cult-like status. While many others in this category are much less approachable, the Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend offers up lots more freshness and appeal a lot sooner. An iconic wine indeed!

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 11, 2017

The 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux blend really hits the mark when it comes to luxury, elegance and balance, just what we'd expect from a high-end Napa producer. Fabulous aromatics fill the glass of black cherries, cocoa powder, licorice and cedar box. On the palate this wine is super silky and concentrated with bold flavors and balanced out with tannin and mid-palate acidity. This wine is sure to age well, but could be enjoyed young as well.

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 07, 2017

Rich and luscious are the first words that come to mind when trying this 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend. Consisting of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot in decreasing percentages, each harvested and vinified separately in more than 50 individual lots. This wine also sees 85% new French oak; a selection of Seguin Moreau Icone and Taransaud barrels. Initial aromas of ripe blackberry and dark cherry are followed by a bouquet of cigar, clove, and graphite. On the palate, intense black currant, dried dark fruit, and dark chocolate permeate through the finish along with silky tannins. This wine possesses both power and elegance

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 04, 2017

The 2014 Pahlmeyer Bordeaux is a beautifully balanced and elegant blend of all five varieties, with delicious aromas of candied raspberry and strawberry, balanced by a waft of dense spice, with anise taking the forefront. One of the wonderful characteristics of the 2014 vintage in Napa is the dark, herbaceous quality that seems to be ever-present, and it shines through in the Pahlmeyer, tempering the fruit and creating a fascinating counterpoint. With well-integrated, supple tannin and a thread of bright acid, this wine will definitely age well, but can be easily enjoyed today.

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2014 Paul Hobbs "Nathan Coombs Estate" Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon Price: Hidden

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate is on another level. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a site in Coombsville which is a cooler terroir in the southern part of the Valley and spent 20 months in all new French oak. Sporting an inky purple/blue color and incredible notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, damp earth and leafy herbs, it incredibly concentrated, opulent and decadent, yet always balanced and pure. It's a real Wow wine that's going to knock your socks off over the coming 2-3 decades." (12/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Having tasted this wine since the inaugural 2012 vintage, one of the aspects I most love about this vineyard is how clearly it stands stylistically apart from Paul Hobbs' St. Helena and Oakville single-vineyard wines--with red fruits entering the mélange, this incredible energy plus a very particular tannin texture--and yet the quality is right up there on the same par. Containing a dollop (2%) of Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate has a deep garnet-purple color and a vibrant nose of red currant and red plum compote, blackberry preserves and mulberries with underlying suggestions of garrigue, Mediterranean herbs, damp earth, lavender and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the tannins on this wine are oh-so-finely pixelated, with a refreshing backbone cutting through the intense flavor layers, finishing with an invigorating lift. I could sit down and drink this right now, but it promises much more to come with 10-15 years cellaring and should hold considerably longer. 97+ points. (LPB)" (10/2017)

96 points James Suckling: "Aromas of cloves and currants with hints of rose petals. Iodine and oyster shell. Full body and polished and velvety tannins. Very linear and focused. A real backbone of fine tannins and acidity and mineral tension. Pinpoint clarity with immense density. Muscular. Needs time to soften. Fantastic. Drink in 2021." (01/2017)

95 points Vinous: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate Vineyard is the most dynamic and intense of these wines. Stylistically, the Nathan Coombs is most similar to the Piedras in its tannic and structural profile. A rush of dark red cherry and pomegranate punctuate the vibrant finish. I very much like the sense of energy here. I will not be surprised if, over time, the Nathan Coombs becomes the top Cabernet for Paul Hobbs, as it is the only estate vineyard in the range, and being in control of all aspects of production is increasingly critical for winemakers who strive to be at the very top. (AG)" (12/2016)

K&L Notes: From the winery: "Situated on gently sloped terrain, this estate Coombsville AVA vineyard produces wine of great character with its moderate climate and unusual soil composition. An inky black color with a vivid purple rim, this wine invites with seductive aromatics of lavender, dried herbs, black cherry and cassis. The palate is vibrant with finely sculpted layers of dark chocolate and blackberry tart interwoven with moist earth and crushed granite. Bold, chewy tannins and balanced acidity complete this wine that offers focus, complexity and powerful structure."

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2014 Quintessa Rutherford Bordeaux Blend ($174.99)

97 points James Suckling: "Aromas of spearmint, sweet tobacco, cigars and blackcurrants follow through to a medium to full body, very polished and refined tannins and an intense finish. Extremely fine and long. Savory. Extremely long finish. Biodynamically grown." (01/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The three red wines are represented best by the flagship wine, the 2014 Quintessa Proprietary Red from their vineyards in Rutherford. A beautiful floral, black raspberry and blackcurrant nose soars from this dense ruby/purple wine. Medium-bodied, beautifully rich and layered, the emphasis is on discreet yet intense flavors, power allied with elegance, and wonderfully supple, lush tannins. This wine has great balance, purity, and presence on the palate and should evolve beautifully for two decades or more.This is probably the best set of wines I have yet tasted from the Huneeus family, who own this beautiful property off the Silverado Trail south of the Meadowood Resort. (RP)" (10/2016)

93 points Decanter: "Very ripe, juicy and expressive black plum is joined by savoury notes of tobacco leaf and woodsmoke. The herbal notes hint at the exotic addition of Carmenere and spicy Petit Verdot. The body is full, smooth and ripe, the firm and fine mesh of tannins supple and elastic. This charms with generosity and warmth alongside its firm but approachable structure. (AK)" (05/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A potent, distinctive style, with loamy earth and graphite details amid the rich dark berry, licorice and savory herb notes, ending with repeating flavor themes and a foundation of firm, fine-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenère. Drink now through 2032. (JL)" (11/2017)

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 04, 2017

Make some room in your cellar for this spectacular Rutherford blend. Premium Napa blends are made for aging, and this one will do so beautifully. At this early stage in its long life, you will taste powerful, fresh black fruit and violets, minerally graphite, peppers and anise with just a hint of menthol. The tannins are perfectly extracted to be powerful but silky as they drift across the palate, and the acid balances and heightens all the flavors on the back end. Truly a wine that matches the stunning aesthetics of the winery itselfwhich is impressive.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 04, 2017

I tasted this wine during a vertical tasting of 2011-2014. This wine is simply beautiful. These are elegant, classic structure and complex wines. The only thing I can add to the 2014 vintage is that the fruit is more pronounced but the still contained. Fans of Quintessa will not want to miss out on this one. Superb!

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 02, 2017

Quintessa's 2014 portfolio is unquestionably the best set of wines they have ever released. Perhaps it's their rock-star winemaker, Rebekah Wineburg (tremendous name too, I know) they have employed, or the amazing vineyards they have, or the state of the art winery they built, or the culmination of all of these factors. Frankly, I don't know. What I do know is their proprietary red blend is an absolute knock-out. Medium to full bodied, dark fruited, complex, ethereal - it's got it all. Drink it this evening or cellar it for twenty years. This is one of the most versatile wines I've ever had the pleasure to taste.

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2013 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard Reserve" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($119.99)

96 points James Suckling: "Aromas of black currants, violets, lavender, and stone follow through a full body, chewy tannins and toned muscular structure. This is a Mondavi reserve that harkens back to the great years of the 1970s. A tribute to the 50th anniversary of the winery. Try in 2022." (05/2016)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the To Kalon Vineyard celebrates the 50th anniversary of the great Robert Mondavi and his extraordinary vision to create something special in the heart of Napa Valley. A beautifully polished wine, with a dense ruby/purple color, it is still tightly knit and showing high-quality oak. The wine is full-bodied and rich, with outstanding depth, ripeness and purity. There is plenty of backbone and tannin for 25-30 years of cellaring. The wine shows notes of chocolate and plenty of blackcurrant fruit and blackberry. This is a beauty and certainly a great reserve and worthy homage to the legendary Robert Mondavi. (RP) 95+" (12/2015)

95 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve comes across as quite restrained today, with most of its power lurking in the background. There is no shortage of depth or intensity, though. Hints of iron, smoke, leather and savory herbs open up gradually, but the 2013 needs at least a few years to uncoil and will drink well for another two decades or so beyond that. This is an especially refined expression of the famed To-Kalon vineyard. (AG)" (10/2015)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A wine marking the 50th anniversary of Robert Mondavi Winerys founding, this shows the grandeur of the man, the vineyard and the vintage. Full bodied and robust, its intense in bark, tar and black licorice, with dottings of coconut. Aromatically inviting, its dusty and soft, with acres of complexity and structure. Enjoy it in 2023 and beyond. *Cellar Selection* (VB)" (02/2017)

93 points Wine & Spirits: "A defining element of the greatness of Napa Valleys 2013 vintage is apparent in the wines that were not pushed and hyper-extracted: They show their provenance with clarity. This wine does not lack for extract, but carries it with the effortless grace of a classic Oakville Cabernet. Geneviève Janssens selected the fruit for this Reserve from her favored blocks at To Kalon, Mondavis estate vineyard behind the winery in the western benchlands of Oakville; this vintage comes from blocks replanted between 1996 and 2000. The black plum fruit is almost tarry in its warm, smoky tannins, but theres a red core that emerges, a pungent center that darkens and deepens at the edges. Decant it if you open this now, to serve with dry-aged beef." (12/2016)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright, saturated ruby. Very dark, highly perfumed aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, cassis, licorice, minerals and spices, lifted by a peppery nuance (winemaker Geneviève Janssens noted that Robert Mondavi always liked Cabernet Franc, even back in 1966). Extremely tight and savory, showing an herbal element and conveying an impression of strong acidity. This strikes me as not especially ripe in the context of the vintage but it's extremely backward today. Finishes with big, mouth-clenching tannins and a note of youthful bitterness. Decant this if you plan to open it in its youth--or, better yet, forget it in the cellar for six or seven years. This large-scaled but rather opaque wine is almost painful today but holds out considerable potential and may ultimately merit a significantly higher score. (ST) 92+" (05/2016)

Jancis Robinson: "88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Toasty dark aromatics. Dense palate with all dark notes -- blackcurrant, dried herbs, black olive, and a dark rocky minerality accented by iron and dry cocoa all clothed in a body of crushed dark velvet -- would prefer a bit more freshness. Incredibly dense and taut palate currently. Allow time in the bottle to open and reveal more. 17.5/20 points (ECB)" (06/2016)

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2013 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($239.99)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 is backward, but concentrated, with beautiful blue, red and black fruits, spring flowers, a touch of toasty oak, relatively noticeable tannin and a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel. This is coiled tight compared to the 2012, but has fabulous upside potential. Forget it for another 3-4 years and drink it over the following 25-30 years. 97+ (RP)" (12/2016)

96 points Vinous: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CASK 23 is another total knock-out from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Sculpted and nuanced, the 2013 presents a striking mélange of typical Stags Leap notes. Violets, lavender, mint, cloves, graphite and dark spice are some of the signatures in a Cabernet that achieves a compelling balance of power, finesse and overall intensity. This tightly coiled Cabernet is going to need a few years to fully come together, but it is terrific and a great example of what Stags Leap Cabernets are all about.New owner Chateau Ste. Michelle, along with minority partner Antinori, has done a magnificent job with these 2013s. In fact, the wines are so brilliant and such a significant departure from the past that I tasted through the range twice. New winemaker Marcus Notaro has introduced a more contemporary, fruit-driven style at Stag's Leap. More importantly, these 2013s show none of the flaws that marred some wines in the past. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see where things go, but one thing is clear; the three flagship Cabernets are all fabulous. (AG)" (12/2015)

96 points Wine & Spirits: "Marcus Notaro came to SLWC from Col Solare in Washington State. He blended the 2012s and worked on the 2013s with Kirk Grace, who manages the two estate vineyardsS.L.V. and Faythat come together in Cask 23. Fay is an alluvial wash on the valley floor below the Stags Leap escarpment, with some blocks higher up the hillside, where the soils share more of the volcanic rock of S.L.V., a less fertile and faster draining colluvial mix fallen down from the hills above. Notaro uses those upper blocks of Fay and S.L.V. to build structure in Cask 23, as well as selections from vines on the lower, silty soils that offer a lighter, more fragrant Cabernet. Whats remarkable about this 2013 is how those elements combine in a wine with the textural richness and polish of great Stags Leap District Cabernet and then expand into fragrance. Its a wine with forward motion, what senior editor Luke Sykora described as a torrent of fruit in the middle, propulsive fruit that pushes the oak to the side. The lasting impression is savory and bright, a wine that looks up to the future, one that will live long among the greats of the 2013 vintage in Napa Valley." (12/2016)

2014 Vérité "La Joie" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend - 12 available Price: Hidden

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The estates Cabernet Sauvignon dominated release is the 2014 La Joie and its an incredible wine based on 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot. Reminding me of a top vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou (the 2010?) with its incredibly classic Cabernet character, it offers thrilling notes of crème de cassis, exotic flowers, liquid rock-like minerality, and graphite and lead pencil nuances. Deep, concentrated, and backward, it has perfect balance, good acidity, and an undeniable Bordeaux-like weight and texture. Its nowhere near primetime and needs 5-7 years of cellaring and is going to keep for three decades. 97+" (12/2017)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "97+ points. The 2014 La Joie has a spicy black purple color and a big, sweet kiss of camphor, black truffle, pen ink, blackcurrants and unsmoked cigar tobacco, followed by layers of fruit and glycerin in an opulent, beautifully savory, pure and multidimensional wine. The final blend Seillan produced in 2014 was 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This is a compellingly great effort once again. It should be given 2-5 years of bottle age, then drunk over the following three decades. This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillans choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jacksons holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley. There are three Bordeaux-inspired cuvées made, with La Muse the Right Bank Pomerol style of wine dominated by Merlot, La Joie a Médoc-like blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, and Le Desir a St.-Emilion-oriented wine dominated by Cabernet Franc. Percentages of these principal grapes all change with the vintage, but those varieties are clearly the strength of each cuvée. Kudos once again to Pierre Seillan! (RP)" (10/2016)

97 points Vinous: "The 2014 La Joie exudes freshness, energy and intensity. Black cherry, plum, licorice, lavender espresso and expressive spiced notes are all beautifully delineated in the glass. Raspberry jam, wild flowers, mint and gently spiced notes are laced into the super-expressive, silky finish. A final kick of Cabernet Sauvignon intensity adds lift in the 2014 La Joie, Vérité's Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. (AG)" (03/2017)

2014 Vérité "La Muse" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend - 10 available ($409.99)

100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 La Muse (2,800 cases) is a legendary effort. The wine offers an opaque purple color and a gorgeous nose of lead pencil shavings, blackberry, incense, Asian spice, cocoa, plum, and a touch of chocolate and barrique. On the palate, more cassis and blackberry come to the forefront. The wine is unctuous, with adequate acidity and a stunning energy underneath the massive fruit and body. This is a spectacularly fragrant and, at the same time, dense wine, with enough structure (somewhat surprising in this vintage) to last 35-45+ years. The final blend was 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillans choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jacksons holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley. There are three Bordeaux-inspired cuvées made, with La Muse the Right Bank Pomerol style of wine dominated by Merlot, La Joie a Médoc-like blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, and Le Desir a St.-Emilion-oriented wine dominated by Cabernet Franc. Percentages of these principal grapes all change with the vintage, but those varieties are clearly the strength of each cuvée. Kudos once again to Pierre Seillan!(RP)" (10/2016)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A gorgeous effort as well, the 2014 La Muse is a Merlot-dominated cuvee blended with 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. This deep ruby/purple-colored beauty boasts a terrific perfume of black raspberries, cassis, graphite, chocolate, and a beautiful earthy minerality. This isnt your over the top, opulent Merlot and shows incredible class and purity, as well as full-bodied richness, high, yet integrated tannin, impeccable balance and a great finish. Its not anywhere close to primetime (which is rare for a 2014) and needs 4-5 years at a minimum. Its going to be incredibly long-lived. 97+" (12/2017)

96 points Vinous: "A huge, opulent wine, the 2014 La Muse wraps around the palate with tons of super-ripe dark red fruit, chocolate, spice and menthol. La Muse often shuts down after bottling, but the 2014 is still remarkably intense and voluptuous, with soft contours, silky tannins and exceptional balance. The purity of the flavors here is remarkable. (AG)" (03/2017)

2014 Vérité "Le Désir" Sonoma County Bordeaux Blend - 12 available Price: Hidden

99 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A blend of 53% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Malbec, the 2014 Le Desir is monumental stuff that has a Château Ausone-like character thats hard to describe. its vibrant purple color is followed by a to-die-for bouquet of blackcurrants, black raspberries, cedar, tobacco leaf, and charcoal. This gives way to a concentrated, rich, yet incredibly delineated wine that has fine, fine tannin, notable freshness and purity, and a great finish. While blockbuster stuff, its for consumers with cold cellars and lots of patience. Id hide bottles for 7-8 years and its going to keep for another 3+ decades." (12/2017)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Le Désir (53% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec) has an inky purple color and a sweet kiss of chocolate, black truffle, forest floor, black raspberry and black currants. Opulent, but again structured and super-dense and pure, this is another massively concentrated wine meant for the long haul (and for our grandchildren). Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 35-40 years. Remarkably, Pierre Seillan told me that 2014, while a drought year, was not actually that hot in the micro-terroirs he was working, but in terms of quality, it turned out to be the most surprisingly positive vintage hes ever witnessed. This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillans choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jacksons holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley. There are three Bordeaux-inspired cuvées made, with La Muse the Right Bank Pomerol style of wine dominated by Merlot, La Joie a Médoc-like blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, and Le Desir a St.-Emilion-oriented wine dominated by Cabernet Franc. Percentages of these principal grapes all change with the vintage, but those varieties are clearly the strength of each cuvée. Kudos once again to Pierre Seillan!(RP)" (10/2016)

97 points Vinous: "The 2014 Le Désir is the most inward of these 2014s from Vérité. Dark raspberry jam, wild flowers, spice, pencil shavings, mocha, lavender and licorice infuse this deep, powerful, structured Cabernet Franc-based blend. The interplay of dense, sumptuous fruit and aromatic freshness makes for an absolutely compelling wine. (AG)" (03/2017)