2010 Vine Hill Ranch "VHR" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1152582 96 points Vinous

 The estate's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon literally bursts from the glass with juicy dark cherries, mint, spices, orange rind, tobacco and dried herbs. Like so many wines of the vintage, the 2010 is bright, focused and very tightly wound. It will require considerable patience, but is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The 2010 brings together the fruit density and darkness of the 2008 with the textural refinement of the 2009, a pretty terrific combination in my book. The 2010 has shut down quite a bit since I first tasted it this spring, and is probably best left alone for at least another two years. 96+ (AG)  (12/2012)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of crushed blackberry, cassis, licorice, violet and crushed rock. Densely packed but remarkably light on its feet, with lightly peppery acidity giving a taut texture and outstanding verve to its dark fruit, expensive oak and saline mineral flavors. Really insidious, urgent intensity without any heaviness. Wonderfully complex and expressive wine, with an explosively long, slowly mounting finish that saturates the palate with suave tannins and a powerful impression of extract. This delicious, exciting cabernet, made by Francoise Peschon, long-time winemaker and still consultant at Araujo Estate, is built to age. The 2009 release was superb but this one is at a more exalted level. This site in the western hills of Oakville is also the source of Bond's Vecina bottling. 95(+?) (ST)  (6/2013)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This has the makings of a great classic from Napa Valley. There is lots of structure as well as deep, concentrated, rich fruit, a heady perfume of black currants, licorice, spring flowers and toasty oak, a full-bodied, powerful, well-delineated style, and terrific purity as well as aging potential. Still young and tightly wound, but loaded, this 2010 will benefit from a few years of bottle age, and should keep for 20+ years. Kudos to Vine Hill Ranch. 94+ (RP)  (10/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Combines a tight core of focused berry with a measure of opulence and finesse, delivering tiers of blackberry, mocha, crushed rock and jazzy oak. Ends with firm, gripping tannins, giving the flavors traction. Drink now through 2024. (JL)  (10/2013)

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Price: $199.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

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

United States

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


- 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.