Each year, the Napa Valley Vintners Association pulls out all the stops to host its annual fundraising event known as Premiere Napa Valley. Not to be confused with its star-studded charity auction in the spring (known as Auction Napa Valley), Premiere Napa Valley is a more focused event. All the bidders are ostensibly in the wine trade (retailers, distributors, etc.), while other attendees include the media and winery staff, and the proceeds from the auction of 225 unique lots of wine go to help fund the Vintners Association.
The auction action at Premiere always serves as something of a barometer for California wine, measuring both the strength of the Napa brand in the marketplace, as well as the interest in the upper echelon of fine wine (many auction lots sell for well over $2000 per bottle).
Last Saturday, the Vintners raised a record $6 million dollars at the auction, suggesting that times are indeed good for fine wine in general, and Napa in particular. This total was just slightly higher than last year’s $5.9 million haul, which had blown the previous record of $3.1 Million in 2012 out of the water.
The event is good fun, and represents quite a collection of Napa wine celebrity, but for me Premiere has an entirely different purpose. Each of the 225 auction lots usually represents something approximating the best possible wine that the winery can make in the vintage. Many wineries select their very best barrel, or make a unique blend specifically for the auction. All of these wines are available for tasting as barrel samples prior to the auction, and consequently offer a unique window into the pinnacle of quality for that particular vintage.
Every year, I attend Premiere with the goal of tasting as many of these wines as I can in the effort to get a bead on the vintage as a whole in Napa.
In the case of last weekend’s event, the vintage in question was 2013, which by almost every account was one of the highest quality, most successful harvests in decades. Only slightly smaller than the bountiful 2012 harvest, the 2013 harvest also saw just slightly cooler temperatures heading into harvest, which led (as a slightly dangerous, sweeping generalization) to slightly higher acidity levels than 2012.
So what does the best of 2013 Napa Cabernet taste like? In a word, glorious. While I happened to love the cooler flavors and lower alcohols of 2010 as well as 2011 (for those who avoided the dreaded over-green pyrazines of that rain-soaked harvest), there’s no denying that 2013 provided truly superior growing conditions across the board. The most successful wines have an incredible brightness thanks to super-juicy acidity, and their tannic structures are wonderfully fine and smooth.
Tasting this year’s barrel samples, in addition to the extremely high quality of the wines I was struck by something different than in previous years. I don’t entirely know what to make of it. Almost none of the wines had extremely overt oak signatures. Now these are generally young wines with a good 8 to 12 months or more left of barrel aging to go, in which they will undoubtedly pick up some more oak, but in past years of tasting the presence of oak has been a much greater element in the profile of Premiere auction lots, at least to my palate.
Several plausible explanations exist for this situation. As exciting as it might be to contemplate a backing off on the use of new French oak in Napa (something I believe would improve most of the wines made in the valley) I find it hard to believe that some sort of wholesale change is taking place in the oak aging regimes of Napa wineries. More likely would be a more concerted effort on the part of the wineries involved to select second- or third-use barrels for their auction lots this year. But even that notion approaches too closely a level of oenological conspiracy that I don’t think possible in Napa.
The most plausible explanation I can think of, one which nicely adheres to the principle of Occam’s Razor, may be simply that this vintage’s qualities deal with oak better than ever — the combined acidity, phenolics, tannins and fruit have made for a wine that subsumes its wood better than most.
Whatever the reason, the wines are tremendous, and to the extent that they presage the quality of 2013s across the board, we are looking at one hell of a year.
Here are my tasting notes for everything I tasted (I did not get to try every wine). Note that anyone interested in getting ahold of the wines below can discover their availability through Premiere Napa Wines, a web site designed to connect successful bidders with consumers who may want to purchase the wines.
WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 10
1989 Schramsberg Vineyards “J. Schram Late Disgorged” Sparkling Wine, Napa Valley
Medium gold in color with faint, fine bubbles, this wine has an incredible salty brioche aroma mixed with a breath of sea air. In the mouth, a stunning soft mousse delivers faintly sweet and salty flavors of biscuits and seawater and lemon shortbread. Totally outstanding and a triumph of aging. Please sir, can I have another?
WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9.5 AND 10
2013 PATEL Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
This wine wafts gorgeously floral and pure berry out of the glass. In the mouth it is bright and very, very juicy, soaring with cherry and forest berries for a long time across the palate. Fantastic acidity. Faint athletic tannins. Incredibly light on its feet. Stunning.
2013 Notre Vin “Twin Brothers” Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
Bright and beautifully aromatic with floral and red fruit. In the mouth, gorgeously juicy cherry and mulberry fruit lingers for a long time. Fine grained supple tannins and stellar acidity. Exotic flowers. A stunner.
2013 Davies Vineyards “Jack & Jamie’s Blocks” Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District
This wine presents a phenomenally crystalline aspect with stony cherry aromas on the nose and then equally bright crystalline fruit on the palate. As if someone squeezed cherry juice through quartz. Pure and long and shot through with fine-grained tannins.
2013 Continuum Estate “Proprietary Blend” Red Wine, Napa Valley
This is certainly the best mouthful of Continuum I’ve had. Juicy and bright cherry fruit is bedded down in voluminous, velvety tannins that give way to a deep earthy aspect in the wine. Fantastic acidity, great length.
WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2013 Somerston Estate “Celestial | Block 96” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Really beautiful cool cherry, and black cherry fruit aromas give way to the same intense fruit on the palate dusted with a faint cocoa powder complexity. Great acidity and very fine tannins. Exceptional finish.
2013 Bello Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
This wine smells like the most archetypal essence of cherry, carrying a purity that is quite stunning. In the mouth, wonderfully bright and juicy, pure cherry fruit is clasped firmly in tight, taut tannins, even as it bursts with fantastic acidity. With time this wine will blossom beautifully.
2013 Clos Du Val “Thirteen Leaps” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
Beautiful and refined with an incredible elegance. Bright cherry and stony earthy notes are wrapped in supple tannins and linger with a long finish.
2013 Stony Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This wine has been made in a fantastic claret style, and bursts with a deep mineral and berry purity of fruit thanks to exceptional acidity. Fine powdery tannins dust the palate, and linger through a very long finish.
2013 Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
This is a gorgeous, serious wine. It is showing more oak than usual in its current youth, but the boisterous cherry and cola notes beg forgiveness quite well. Excellent acidity and length.
2013 Joseph Phelps Vineyards “Backus Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Beautifully bright and aromatic, featuring a crescendo of floral and cherry aromas with a long, yummy finish. Delicious.
2013 Memento Mori “RTL” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Gorgeous, plush tannins wrap around a core of cherry cola that is lovely and deep. That deepness of fruit is matched with a deeper earthy rumble that plays a wonderful bass clef to the tenor of pure fruit. Excellent acidity.
2013 Paul Hobbs “Nathan Coombs Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
This gorgeous wine took me a little by surprise with its dark, juicy cherry and fantastic acidity without a trace of oak. Powdery tannins counterpoint the juicy fruit notes that linger in the finish.
2013 Chappellet Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Beautiful bright cherry fruit sits on a bed of very plush, velvety tannins. Better to say it languorously lounges in its bright juicy sexiness. Great acidity and oh, so long.
2013 Tournesol Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
Wonderfully juicy fruit of cherry and plum strut about proudly wrapped in a gown of velvet tannins that trail out behind the fruit long and rippling. Great acidity.
1997 Domaine Chandon “Vintage Brut” Sparkling Wine, Napa Valley
OK, so I’m a sucker for aging on the lees. Beautifully fine bubbles through a golden hue smell of yeasty crackers and sea air. In the mouth fantastically fresh brioche and seawater flavors have a wet chalkboard lemon zest freshness that lingers for a long time in the finish. Gorgeous.
2013 Farella Vineyard “Terrace Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
Positively bursting with juicy bright cherry cola out of the glass, this wine tastes of cherry, cola nut, and cocoa powder layered over deep stony depths. Fantastic acidity and great length. Yum!
2013 BURE Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Unusually smoky, this wine has a deep black cherry and plum aspect, under a skein of fine-grained, muscular tannins. Great acidity and length.
2013 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
Smells quite ripe but in the mouth the wine remains very juicy, with great acidity. Deep cherry and cassis fruit are nestled against a backdrop of fine, muscular tannins. Excellent finish.
2013 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This wine is mouthwatering before you even put your lips to the glass. Super juicy cherry cola leaps out of the glass, and when it finally hits your palate, it delivers everything it promised. Juicy cherry, cedar, and cola notes linger for a long time under a gauzy haze of tannin. Outstanding acidity and a great finish.
WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5
2013 Corison Winery “Premiere Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Graphite. Hint of tangy funk that is pretty unusual for this wine. Juicy, cherry, long, very young. Tight.
2013 Shafer Vineyards “Sunspot Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
Tight juicy cherry and tobacco aromas. Long cherry and forest floor. Muscular tannins. More savory than normal?
2013 Robert Mondavi Winery “Monastery Block, To Kalon Vineyard” Red Wine, Oakville
Beautiful cherry cola and dark cherry aromas. Cassis emerges too on the palate with thick muscular tannins. Savory herb notes on finish.
2013 Duckhorn Vineyards “Three Palms Vineyard Barrel Selection” Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
A cool stony Cab with bright cherry notes, great purity and great acid. Fine tannins.
2013 The Hess Collection Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
Juicy bright blue fruits and black cherry. Very fine tannins. Great length.
2013 Paraduxx “Premiere Blend” Red Wine, Napa Valley
Juicy bright blackberry and dark cherry. Fine tannins, distinctive. Great acidity.
2013 Cliff Lede Vineyards “Wild Moon” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
Juicy black cherry, great acidity, long and smooth. Fine taut tannins.
2013 Ancien Wines “Haynes Old Block” Pinot Noir, Coombsville
Very pretty raspberry and cranberry fruit. Super juicy. Fine tannins. Great acid.
2013 Howell at the Moon, Kelleher Family, Peacock Family “Three Sum” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Keenan Winery “Black as (K)night” Merlot, Spring Mountain District
Gorgeous black plum, juicy, smooth. Excellent acidity.
2013 Blackbird Vineyards Red Wine, Napa Valley
Juicy bright plum and cherry aromas. Silky, cocoa, cherry, and cedar flavors with a nutty finish. Great acidity.
2013 Gemstone Vineyard “Fantastic Four” Red Wine, Yountville
Smells of cocoa, cassis, and cherry. Super smooth, seamless cherry and boysenberry on the palate. Very smooth tannins. Certainly the best this wine has tasted to me in years.
2013 Snowden Vineyards “Melchior Kemper Vineyard” Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
Very pretty, gauzy tannins wrap around cherry and plum, with a cocoa note on the finish.
2013 Madrigal Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Juicy and bright. Flavors of cherry, boysenberry, with fine, fine tannins. Great acid.
2012 Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards Cabernet Franc, St. Helena
Bright and juicy, with a plummy note wrapped in fine grained tannins. Excellent acidity and a nice mineral aspect.
2013 Gandona Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Smells of dark cherry, raisins, and oak. But smooth, juicy cherry, chocolate milk, and cedar, linger for a long time.
2013 Amuse Bouche Winery “Right-Hand Blend” Red Wine, St. Helena
Juicy, dark cherry wrapped in supple tannins. Long cedar finish. Wow. Great length.
2013 Parallel Napa Valley “Black Diamonds” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Smells of boysenberry/ Flavors of cherry and cocoa powder. Powdery, muscular tannins, great acidity and a long, long, long finish.
2013 Gallica Red Wine, Napa Valley
Bright cherry, plum, cocoa powder. Great acidity, and voluminous tannins.
2013 Mira Winery “Stags Leap Dream” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
Wonderfully bright cherry wrapped in leathery tannins. Great acidity. Long.
2013 Fairchild Napa Valley “Stones No. 2” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Beautiful nose of cherry and crushed cacao nuts. Flavors of cherry and tobacco are wrapped in supple tannins, great length.
2013 TEXTBOOK “Boulders, Barrels and Bruises” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Juicy and bright with a slightly sweet aspect. Cherry fruit, and cherry cordial, but not candied.
2013 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Bright cherry and plum with fine grained, faint tannins. Great acidity.
2013 Barbour Wines “Man Cave Blend” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Plummy cherry cola and cocoa. Juicy with bright acidity.
2013 Raymond Vineyards “Masquerade” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Bright cocoa powder and red fruits wrapped in leather and earth.
2013 Courtesan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Cherry purity with cocoa powder, and juicy acidity. Long finish.
2013 Terra Valentine “Crown Jewel” Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
Juicy and deep cherry fruit is quite pure, though it is wrapped in thick tannins. Hint of cedar on the long finish.
2013 Rocca Family Vineyards “Collinetta Vineyard, Block One Barrel Select” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
Super juicy and bright cherry cola and cocoa fruit wrapped in a suede vest of long supple tannins.
2013 Anomaly Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Great acidity makes cherry fruit pop, while cedar, leather and earth accompany smooth tannins tannins in the finish. Nice minerality.
2013 PlumpJack Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Super juicy cherry, long. Yum.
2013 Inglenook “Creek” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
Wonderfully elegant, smooth, fine grained tannins. Perhaps slightly less acidity than I’d like, but deep dark cherry and velvet are hard not to love.
2013 Cornerstone Cellars “The Premiere Cornerstone” Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
Super juicy and bright. Long finish. Smooth, even silky. Yum.
2013 Vineyard 29 “Power, Elegance, Perfection” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
Bright cherry and mocha flavors. Good acidity, very supple tannins. Long.
2013 Robert Biale Vineyards “The Pet Project” Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
Wonderfully juicy, dusty licorice and boysenberry fruit. Juicy boysenberry, muscular tannins, super yummy acidity, delicious and distinctive.
2013 La Jota Vineyard Co. Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2013 LATERAL Merlot, Los Carneros
Super juicy. Plummy, cherry, delectable. Great acid.
2013 Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards “St. Rutherford” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Smoky, with deep cherry and cedar made bright with excellent acidity. Long finish and velvety tannins.
WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2013 BRAND Napa Valley “Double Barrel Elevation 1588” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Dark cherry, cocoa. Juicy cherry, long, deep, missing some acidity for me. Long long finish.
2013 Antica Napa Valley – Antinori Family Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
Lean juicy cherry, thick tannins cedar.
2013 Lail Vineyards “Henry VI” Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Lemon brightness, vanilla silkiness. White flowers.
2013 Davis Estates “Number One: Going The Distance” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Cherry cola, juicy, raisin. Ripe. Juicy, thick, velvet tannins.
2013 BRYTER Estates “Inspired” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Bougetz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 THE GRADE Cellars “10” Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga – Massive.
2013 Clos Pegase “The OG” Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
2013 Freemark Abbey “York Creek Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2013 Foley Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
2014 Saintsbury “Stanly Ranch” Pinot Noir, Los Carneros
2013 PEJU “BIG Red Blend” Red Wine, Napa Valley
2013 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Renteria Wines “Beller Bench Blend” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2013 Beaulieu Vineyard “Eleven” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Monticello Vineyards “The French Connection” Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville
2013 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain – Sweet
2013 Volker Eisele Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chiles Valley District
2013 Hudson Vineyards “Alexander’s Field” Chardonnay, Los Carneros
2013 William Cole Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Stags’ Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2013 Trefethen Family Vineyards “Lost & Found” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley – Very smooth.
2013 William Hill Estate Winery “Benchmark ” Red Wine, Napa Valley
2013 Cairdean Vineyards “Acquaintance Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
2013 Nemerever Vineyards “Hillside Clone 337” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2013 Laird Family Estate “Flat Rock Proprietary Blend” Red Wine, Yountville
2012 Leto Cellars “The Elder” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Larkmead Vineyards “Three Centuries” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Spoto Wines “East Meets West” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Spring Mountain Vineyard “Old Vine” Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2013 Lewis Cellars “Premiere Blend” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Aloft Wine Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2013 Sequoia Grove Winery “Healy Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Paradigm Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Hartwell Estate Vineyards “Distinction” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2013 Coho “Michael Black Vineyard-North Ave.” Merlot, Coombsville
2013 Titus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Del Dotto Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville – A bit sweet
2013 Goosecross Cellars “State Lane” Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville – Juicy. Nice.
2013 Dos Lagos Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak – Super ripe.
2013 Kata “Benny’s Blend” Red Wine, St. Helena
2013 Michael Mondavi Family Estate “Animo Barrel Selection” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 White Rock Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Pride Mountain Vineyards “Summit Select” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Chateau Boswell Winery “Green eNVy” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Alta Napa Valley Red Wine, Napa Valley
2013 Peter Paul Wines, LLC “Where’s Mary?” Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2013 Ghost Block and Markham Vineyards Red Wine, Yountville
2013 Mount Veeder Winery “40 Acres Above the Fogline” Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
2013 Whitehall Lane “Six Shooter” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Black Stallion Estate Winery “Unison” Red Wine, Napa Valley
2013 Honig Vineyard and Winery “Westside Trio” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Jamieson Ranch Vineyards “Cordes Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
2013 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars “The Judgment” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2013 Newton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Celani Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Signorello Estate “Cuvee Athena” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Ca’ Momi Napa Valley Pinot Noir, Napa Valley
2014 Coquerel Family Wine Estates Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
2012 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards “Block 3 Single Barrel Selection” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Merryvale Vineyards “Schlatter Family Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Louis M. Martini Winery “254 Meritage Blend” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 CONSTANT, David Arthur, Italics, Reynolds Family Winery “The Calling” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Tierra Roja Vineyards “Katharine’s Blend” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Twomey Cellars “First Kiss” Merlot, Napa Valley
2013 Cain Vineyard and Winery Petit Verdot, Spring Mountain District
2013 Kuleto Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Arrow&Branch Red Wine, Napa Valley
2013 VinRoc Wine Caves “Coyote’s Howl” Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
2013 Vellum Wine Craft Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Rutherford Hill Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Chimney Rock Winery “Ganymede ” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2013 Sterling Vineyards “West Side Story” Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
2013 Ideology Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
2013 Farm Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Wallis Family Estate “Seraphim” Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District
2013 ROY Estate “Voix Basse – “A Whisper”” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Alpha Omega “Dr. To Kalon” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2014 Lang & Reed Wine Company “Shaken & Stirred” Chenin Blanc, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
2013 Young Inglewood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Summers Estate Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
2013 Girard Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2013 St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Silver Oak Cellars “Red Baron” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Rombauer Vineyards “Stice Lane” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Miner Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
2013 Croze Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Franciscan Estate “Generations” Malbec, Oakville
2013 Amici Cellars “Missouri Hopper Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Groth Vineyards & Winery “Sweet Spot” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Coup De Foudre Winery “Lightning Bolt” Red Wine, Calistoga
2013 Round Pond Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 RD Winery “Just One More Sip” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Villa Del Lago “Villas del Lagus Arilius Vl” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Turnbull Wine Cellars “Fortuna Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2013 Tamber Bey Vineyards “DCV Sandbox Blend III” Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville
2013 Sullivan Vineyards “Blend 198” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Hoopes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Bell Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2013 Keever Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville
2013 Red Mare Wines “Hestia Farm’s Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Palmaz Vineyards “Tortuga” Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville
2014 Madonna Estate “Dolcetto” Red Wine, Los Carneros
2013 Faust “Liberation” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Waterstone “Study in Red” Red Wine, Los Carneros
2013 Mario Bazán Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Varozza Vineyards “The Centennial” Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2013 Oakville East Exposure “MAJEK” Cabernet Franc, Oakville
2013 Benessere Vineyards “Cabernet Sauvignon / Aglianico Blend” Red Wine, St. Helena
2012 Hestan Vineyards “Proprietary Red ” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2013 Spiriterra Vineyards “Leverette Vineyard” Muscadine, Napa Valley
2012 Tetra “Mountain Song” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Way overripe.
2013 Paoletti Estates Winery Malbec, Calistoga
2013 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Way too ripe
2012 PureCru Napa Valley “The Newest Secret” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Taplin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena