2010 Larkmead "Solari" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1168348 98 points James Suckling

 This is like Mouton 1982 on the nose with lead pencil, blackberry, mint and asphalt. Iodine, iron and blood, too. Toasted oak and coffee. Full body with an incredible depth of fruit and structure to this red. The texture of velvet is compelling and makes you contemplate all great wines. A pinnacle of pure Napa Cabernet. Reserved opulence. Please give this at least three to five years to soften with bottle age: Try in 2018.  (10/2014)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The compelling 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) boasts an opaque purple color as well as notes of black currants, licorice, graphite and charcoal, sweet black fruits on the entry, and hints of pen ink and toast. The terrific aromatics are followed by a textured, multidimensional wine with a 45-second finish. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of crushed rock and spice box also emerge. This complex, intriguing effort should drink well for 25+ years. (RP)  (10/2013)

96 points Vinous

 Black fruit, smoke, lavender, graphite, tobacco and incense are some of the many notes that appear in Larkmead's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari. A massive, hulking wine, the 2010 comes across as imposing, with huge tannins and tons of pure density. Here, alongside fifteen other first-class Napa Cabernets, the Solari comes across as a bit rustic in its tannin profile. That may just be the wine's youthful period in which the tannins have yet to fully soften, as the 2010 was a bit more polished from barrel and just after bottling. Time will tell. 96+ Points (AG)  (6/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby-red. Subtle, slightly suppressed aromas of blueberry, licorice, sage and fresh herbs. Precise and intense but youthfully tight and closed; less opulent than the LMV Salon but serious and powerful. The dark berry, licorice, bitter chocolate and crushed rock flavors come across as distinctly dry and uncompromising today but the wine's big, broad, ripe tannins and finishing energy suggest that it will unfold slowly and gracefully with bottle age. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and it shows. 93+ points  (5/2013)

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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.