2016 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc East Block Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$177.00USD

During a recent visit to the Napa Valley, I had a chance to meet with Tom Garrett.  Tom is part of the Detert Family of wines who own a portion of the historic To Kalon vineyard.  The Detert's and the MacDonalds are cousins whose lineage goes back to a common owner of a parcel of the vineyard from the early 1950's.  The Detert's portion grows mostly Cabernet Franc although there is some Cabernet Sauvignon.  This particular bottling is their top Cabernet Franc and it is as good as any made anywhere.  Although still very young, this is a wine that has great concentration and will age graceful

2017 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

What a treat.  On a recent visit to Napa, we go to walk the vineyards with Alex MacDonald and learn so much about this venerated vineyard and hear about the "newer" winemaking at MacDonald.  And to top it off, we got to try the recently bottled 2017 Cabernet (not yet released).  The story is worth Googling , but the short version is that at the heart of the To Kalon Vineyard in Napa are some very old Cabernet Sauvignon vines.  They have been owned by the MacDonald family since 1954.  These have been used in the top Mondavi wines since before there was even a Mondavi Winery.  Due to some cop

2014 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$475.00USD

There are a few reviews of this wine posted on this site but this wine, or at least this bottle, seemed much tighter than prior bottles.  It was spectacular but tight with no decant.  It was opened while visiting friends in Napa, so it could be that due to the bottle having flown 2,500 miles earlier in the day.  Travel shock with wines is controversial but I know I was tired, so why wouldn't the wine?  After all, it is a living breathing thing too.  Anyway, this bottle was opened as we were visiting the property the following day, and it gave a nice reference point to one of the great wines

2014 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

The home winery for winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.  This Cabernet is exceptional if still young.  Deep purple in color.  The nose has plums, cassis, coffee and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Lots of cassis, some plums intertwined with some char and earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs about five more years to sort things out and should be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It will go well with grilled meats and roasted fowl, meat or veggies.  It may still get a bit better.  

2018 Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc Soliloquy, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (44%), Chardonnay (41%), Malvasia (10%), and Pinot Gris(5%).  The name comes from a proprietary clone of Sauvignon Blanc that Flora Springs utilizes in the Crossroads vineyard.   It is an interesting white that really needs some air when opening.  Silvery/green in color with pale yellow/gold.  On opening the oak is dominant and that did not work well.  Of course, this is just being released and that will cure itself.  In any event, patience is rewarded.  After about an hour of breathing the tropical fruit came out.  A slight bit of grassiness, in a good wa

2014 Meyer Family Cabernet Sauvignon Spitfire, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is a nice almost old school California Cabernet.  Thought there is plenty of fruit, I would not call it a fruit bomb.  More of a middle ground style of wine.  It is aged for two years in American oak, 50% new.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cloves, and nutmeg.  On the palate, this has cassis over a dried wood quality.  Good acidity.  Medium to full bodied.  13.8% ABV.  Good finish.  This is still young but is drinking well.  It works a bit better with food though its fine on its own.  Think stews and casseroles.  It should continue to mture for five to seven m

2016 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$465.00USD

So, after an amazing wine dinner with two other couples and my wife, we did the mistake of opening this.  It was amazing but this just arrived a few weeks ago and really needs time.  That said, it really was great, it just needs at least a few more years and really five to ten.  Oh well, it was fun.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, tobacco, smoke and cedar.  On the palate, this has big fruit and big tannins.  Not so much a fruit bomb as the intensity.  It must be like barrel tasting Latour in a great vintage.  The finish goes for for hours.  Give this some time and

2014 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$330.00USD

This was my WOTN in an evening with a lot of stellar bottles.  It is everything I could ask for in a Napa Cab.  It is still young and no doubt has a couple of decades left.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, spice, graphite, clay and moist earthiness.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is deep and complex, it unwinds in the glass beautifully showing cassis, tobacco with underlying earthiness.  Despite the tannins, this wine has a softness that makes it approachable.  It is delicious.  It will need big foods or drink on its own.  

2013 Dalla Valle Maya, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$499.00USD

This took a while to open up in the glass and then it was gorgeous.  It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Cabernet Franc (43%).  One of the Iconic California wines.  Inky purple in color, magenta at the rim.  The nose is beautiful with cassis, cedar, anise, some charcoal and slight blueberries.  With air a woodsy quality emerges as well.  On the palate, this has nice depth and complexity.  Firm tannins.  Sweet cassis fruit with some fresh tobacco notes intertwined.  Very deep.  It needs a few more years or a nice decant now.  It requires big food but will work with it or as a glass

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Station, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was an outstanding Napa Cabernet.  It might be hard to find, but this bottle was purchased recently for $53 and it's a shame we didn't buy more.  Deep purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is classic with cassis, slight blueberries, dust and cedar.  On the palate, this has silky tannins.  It is young but delicious.  Cassis fruit mostly but some blueberries.  Nice ripeness without being over the top.  Good balance.  This should continue to get better over the next five to seven years and be good for at least a decade after that.  It will need bigger and heavier foods or drink on

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