2014 Cardinale Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $276)

SKU #1323121 98 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2014 Cardinale is another awesome wine from winemaker Chris Carpenter, and I actually like it more than the 2015. A blend from multiple estate vineyards, its deep purple color is followed by a larger than life bouquet of sweet crème de cassis, scorched earth, graphite, tobacco leaf and spicy wood. A big, opulent, sexy wine, it has incredible grace and elegance as well as beautiful purity and a great finish. This is a tour de force in Cabernet Sauvignon that does everything right. It's approachable today (as are almost all 2014s) yet is going to cruise in the cellar for another two decades or more. Bravo!  (12/2017)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A magnificent wine made the by the brilliant winemaker Chris Carpenter, who also works for the Kendall-Jackson empire at Lakoya and a handful of other estates, this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot is sourced from multiple vineyards owned by the Jacksons, from Veeder Peak to Spring Mountain to Howell Mountain. In 2014, it reminded me of a great vintage of Pontet-Canet from Pauillac, but slightly bigger than life. The inky purple color, the stunning nose of cedar wood, unsmoked cigar tobacco, graphite, crème de cassis and subtle new oak is followed by a multi-layered, profoundly concentrated, large-scaled wine with sensational levels of blackcurrant fruit moving toward blackberries. A wine of great intensity, silky tannins and adequate acidity, this is clearly one of the great, great wines of the vintage, and another tour de force in winemaking from Carpenter. It is a 15- to 20- year wine, but the window for drinking it is probably that big as well. (RP)  (10/2016)

96 points Vinous

 A powerful, unctuous wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is striking. Intense, expressive aromatics make a strong first impression. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark red cherry, plum, mocha, spice and leather. Deep, unctuous and beautifully layered throughout, the 2014 Cabernet is a fabulous wine in this vintage. All the elements simply fall into place effortlessly. (AG)  (12/2016)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

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

United States

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

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.