Whitehall Lane 2021 Malbec

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

It’s not that Malbec is a forgotten grape, it’s that it doesn’t get the love it deserves, and too often wineries seem to want it to taste like Cabernet. Enter Whitehall Lane, who makes this impressive Malbec that you will love - a Malbec that tastes like a Malbec should. The fruit is supported by a tannic structure that provides an earthiness and rusticity to it. Blackberry brambleberry, huckleberry and boysenberry all work together to create a rich wine that’s not over the top but not subdued either. The mid-palate reveals the wines’ acidity with notes of sandalwood and cocoa powder.

Turnbull 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Amoenus Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

Comprised entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon, this differs from many Napa Cabernet in that there is a quiet rusticity to this wine. Rather than bright up front fruit, the fruit here is rather muted, offering blackberry, light blueberry, Rainer cherry, cocoa powder and white pepper. The tannic structure is fairly tight with a dusty, earthy quality. The light oak aging in all French oak provides the vanilla and campfire notes while giving the tannins room to exercise their importance in balancing the wine.

Acumen 2021 PEAK Cabernet Sauvignon, Edcora Vineyard

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

A rich and opulent style of Cabernet, this benefits from decanting, but it is less about tight tannins and more about letting the fruit open up to show its macerated side. This 100% Cabernet is replete with traditional Cabernet notes; blackberry, black cherry, blueberry and boysenberry. The oak aging brings on the vanilla and fine-grained tannic structure. The rest of the wine fills out with green tea leaf, sandalwood, earthy fruit, wild berries and moderate acidity.

2017 Bevan Cellars EE Cuvée Tench Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$166.00USD

This is a 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc blend from the Oakville District in Napa.  The 2017 vintage is proving to be a good vintage if not great.  That said Russell Bevan is a great producer which counts more than vintage.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, black cherries, slight cigar box, spice and char.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  ON the palate, cassis, black cherries, cedar and chocolate.  Showing a nice complexity but drinking quite well.  Long finish.  This should drink well for another fifteen to twenty years.  Its great on its own and

2021 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon Branding Iron, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oakville district in Napa.  Tasted blind, this seemed a bit older than a current release.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, slight cedar and char.  Full bodied.  Medium  tannins.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  It is more elegant than a big fruit Cab.  Flavors of cassis with spice and char.  Long finish.  Drink over the next eight to twelve years.  It would be an excellent choice if fairly priced at a Steakhouse.  

2021 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Igneous, USA, California, Napa, Calistoga, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from three different vineyard blocks in Calistoga. BA2 | Venge’s Bone Ash Vineyard Block 2, Calistoga, Estate LC9 | Larkmead’s Estate Vineyard Block 9, Calistoga, and CDM | Cavey Vineyard’s Diamond Mountain Estate, Calistoga.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, iodine, iron and chocolate.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is complex.  Young but already accessible.  Flavors of cassis, chocolate with nice minerality.  Good finish.  This is drinking well and should for the next fifteen to twenty years.  It is nice

2019 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

Tasted blind with other wines including the 2013 Bard.  It was close and although I think this is the better wine, I found the 2013 a bit better on the evening.  It is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot.  Inky purple in color and shimmering bright.  Opaque.  The nose is big with cassis, graphite, slight earthiness and char.  A bit tight.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is young and tight.  Very ripe, this needs time.  Flavors of cassis, blueberries, spice and cherries.  Long finish.  Hold for five years and drink for thirty after that.  Bett

2018 Opus One, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$340.00USD

Nice to revisit this wine in a blind setting.  It is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black olives, graphite, chocolate and char.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins. Soft texture.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is complex and deep.  Tight layers of fruit and starting to show tertiary characteristics.  Cassis, earthiness and char.  Long finish.  This is great on its own and with a bit of air, will work with hearty meat dishes.  This should still improve.

2013 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2024
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$1000.00USD

What a fantastic showing for this wine (again)!  It is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is explosive with cassis, graphite, cedar and slight cigar box.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Great texture.  On the palate, this is a big wine with cassis, tobacco, spice and char.  At first, the finish was a bit harsh but that smoothed out with just a bit of air.  Long finish.  This is great on its own and will work well with roasted or grilled meats.  At age 11, it is still young and should have twenty years left ahead of it.  

2021 Mending Wall Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Mending Wall offers some of the "more affordable" Cabernets that Thomas Rivers Brown makes (but prices seem to be rising).  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, crushed gravel, slight cedar and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Great texture.  On the palate, there is juicy cassis fruit with some underlying gravel, char and some spice.  Long finish.  Of course, this is very young.  Cellar for a few more years and then drink for ten to fifteen after that.  Great on its own, it will become more food friendly as it ages.  If drinking soon, go with bigger (and fatty) food

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