Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

2017 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon The Figure, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This is a project by Cameron and Bahaneh Hobel with Thomas Rivers Brown as the winemaker.  They now make, I believe, three different wines.  This is deep ruby in color with a purple core.  The nose is sweet black raspberries, spices and slight oak.  On the palate, this has nice cassis fruit, a hint of cough syrup over a bit of gravel and char.  I think this wine is more sweet than residual sugar which means that it should settle down a bit as it ages.  Medium tannins.  Good finish.  It needs about seven to ten years to all come together and should be good for ten to fifteen after that.  It

2017 William & Mary Cabernet Sauvignon Shifflett Ranch, USA, California, Oak Knoll, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Another winner for this relatively new winery.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, spice, and slight cinnamon.  Firm tannins on the palate.  There is cassis with underlying dry forest floor.  Tightly packed for now, it does unwind a bit in the glass.  Seems just a tad more open than the 2016 but just as delicious.  This will still need about seven to ten years to reach peak and should be good for ten to fifteen after that.  Nevertheless, it is tasty today especially with some air.  It needs bigger foods right now if serving with a meal.  There i

2017 Outpost Immigrant True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+

This is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 29% Cabernet Franc.  Another project made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  This is a gorgeous Bordeaux blend.  I know that many critics have worried about the 2017 vintage and while the fires are a legitimate concern, I have been loving them and especially the Cab Franc and Merlot.  I loved this even more than the 2015 which I scored 97 (reviews are on this site).

2017 William & Mary Proprietary Red Shifflett Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Oak Knoll, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

This is a producer to watch.  A husband and wife team, Will is the assistant to Thomas Rivers Brown on a whole host of projects, and the vineyard is his wife Mary's home where she grew up.  This is a list I highly recommend signing up for.  While I only have had two vintages of these wines, there does seem to be a signature.  It will be interesting to see if this is the terroir or the winemaking, but the wines seem quite concentrated for valley floor wines.  The drink more like mountain fruit.  This is a 60/40 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot .  Deep ruby in color, a bit lighter at the ri

2017 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+

Wow.  Gorgeous wine.  With time, this likely merits a 100 score.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is intense with cassis, blueberries, slight cedar, slight baking spices, and just a hint of Earl Gray tea.  Full bodied.  The fruit is ripe but not over the top.  Cassis, blueberries over forest floor with slight cigar tobacco.  This is already showing tight layering and lots of depth.  Firm tannins.  Long finish.  Of course, to get to peak, this will need at least a decade, but it is likely to drink very well young with a bit of air.  One of the best wines I tasted on a recent Napa trip.  It n

2017 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Always one of my favorite "value" Cabs in Napa.  It is usually a very concentrated wine that takes some time to unwind.  It probably needs to be cellared longer than i typically allow, but its just so delicious young too.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, raspberries, pencil lead, slight floral notes and damp earth.  On the palate there is an elegant concentration to the wine.  Cassis, black cherries with an underlying graphite/earth.  Firm tannins.  Long finish.  This has plenty of concentration that will need some time to unwind.  Perhaps five to seven - minimum.  A

2017 Caterwaul Cabernet Sauvignon Regusci Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Stags Leap, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is from the Regusci vineyard.  It is a step up from the regular Napa bottling.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim but inky at the core.  The nose is tight despite being open for a while.  Cassis, blueberries, a bit of anise with some air.  Also some sandalwood.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Slightly sweet fruit.  Cassis, black cherries intertwined with anise and spice.  A long and persistent finish.  Very tannic right now, this should need about seven to ten years to get to peak but if drinking sooner, a few hours in a decanter.  Certainly some upside here with cellaring.  Drinkin

2017 Caterwaul Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Purple /ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is interesting with cassis, spice and slight mint.  On the palate, this has a juicy texture.  Thick tannins at the moment but those should ease after the first five years.  Nice cassis over a dry earthy dirt.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This is reasonably priced (on Napa Cab terms).  It needs a few years and then should be good for at least a decade.  It is great on its own, but give it  air now.  As a food match, it needs big foods or time.  

2017 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

This is the top bottling from this winery.  This is a gorgeous Napa Cab that should get even better with about five to seven years of cellaring.  Purple in color, deep ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is classic with cassis, spice and char and slight touch of fresh cut lumber (that should fade quickly).  On the palate, this is deep and complex.  Firm tannins at the moment.  Nice juicy acidity/fruit - black raspberries over a bit of char.  Long finish.  This is delicious and really demands ones attention.  If opening before 2027, give it a good decant.  This will work with gril

2017 Jones Family The Sisters Jones Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries and an interesting iodine note.  This is of course young with firm tannins.  On the palate, black cherries over a bit of charred wood.  A very long finish with some warmth.  This wine should start opening up around 2023 and be good for around ten years after that.  If drinking before, give it a good decant.  It will drink well on its own but will need bigger food for now.  Think roasted meats.  

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