Cabernet Sauvignon


Rive di Cimarossa Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cimarossa, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rive di Cimarossa. Vintage 2011. ABV 14.20%.

This wine is deep ruby with garnet secondary hues. On the nose this wine has medium(+) intensity of developing aromas. Aromas include blackberry preserves, black cherry, dried prune, fig, also black pepper, molasses, cedar, tobacco, mocha, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, earth, and wet moss. On the palate this wine is dry. It has medium acidity, a full body, high alcohol, firm (high) tannins, and medium(+) intensity of flavors consistent with the nose but with delicate vegetal notes. The baking spice is also very prominent. The finish is long.

The 2011 vintage in Napa Valley was on the wetter and cooler side, which offered an extended growing season allowing the grapes to ripen and develop slowly. This wine comes from a vineyard located in Howell Mountain, on the Northeastern side of the Vaca Mountains, which afforded it additional exposure to winds that kept the vines dry and sunshine which aided in the ripening process.

Fun fact! Howell Mountain legally became its own appellation in 1983, the year of my birth, making this Howell Mountain Cab a fine choice for a Birthday weekend (there’s always a connection).

In addition to owning this spectacular winery, owners Corry Dekker and Dino Dina both come from an impressive background in medicine and biotechnology and have left, and continue to leave, an indelible impact on the vaccine industry. Cheers to that!! And cheers to Mia Kline for her excellence in winemaking and fruit expression.

This label features an image of the yellow monkeyflower, a wild flower that grows along the edges of the vineyard from which this wine comes.
— 2 days ago

with Deked1
Deked1, Daniel and 19 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

This is a killer visit. Wonderful atmosphere. And their 2011 wines are some of my favorites.


@Shay A Love it! We’d love to visit the next time we’re in Napa. This wine has complexity, intensity, and impeccable balance. We shall revisit!

Heitz Cellar

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Not sure I’ve actually had Heitz before, which I realize is a bit odd especially considering I worked in Napa. But it felt like a nice choice at the classic Smith and Wollensky for my mother in law’s bday. Definitely needs an hour plus of air - but once it does, nice deep red fruit with surprisingly good acid to keep it in balance. Not quite at the Mayacamas level - but obviously different price point. — 2 days ago

Severn, Andrew and 4 others liked this
Michael Greene

Michael Greene

@Pooneet K visited the winery a few years ago. Their single vineyard wines are pretty nice and a good step up from their standard bottling....very classically styled. They made a pretty fun port-like fortified wine too, as I recall.
Pooneet K

Pooneet K Premium Badge

That’s fun, @Michael Greene. The only California places I regularly buy from are Mayacamas, ridge, ceritas, mathiasson, and sometimes Arietta.

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

A controversial wine for Moss Wood, one of the icons of Margaret River. See previous notes - better than the 87 points I gave it 7 years ago in 2014. Ripe blackberry and cassis / lovely perfume. Sweeter, riper and more “South Australian “ than the normal Margaret River Cabernet and the traditional herbaceousness. This was a better showing. — 6 hours ago

Scott, Anthony and 8 others liked this

Beta Wine

Vare Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

My first experience with the 2015 “Vare Vineyard” and the first of my three allocated bottles. Ketan mentioned this was his best “Vare” bottling to-date and while I can’t speak to that (since all of my previous experiences with Beta have been the Montecillo Vineyard in Sonoma), I can verify that it has Ketan’s signature all over it. I did not decant this bottle though, it probably would have benefited from it. Never the less, the bouquet was bursting with character: predominately black fruits, anise, eucalyptus, coniferous forest floor, Anaheim pepper…the overwhelming message of freshness and one of the most unique noses I’ve ever encountered from a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, things were a little more subdued with black currants, tart black cherry and black bramble fruit with a little hint of baking spices. It seemed a touch green, to be completely honest. Bone dry and endowed with substantial structure; medium+ tannin, medium+ acid, all the while framed by a medium- body; a welter weight of a wine.

This seems right in-line with what I have come to expect from Ketan Mody’s approach and, while I don’t expect anyone to peg this as Bordeaux in a blind tasting, it certainly has some Old World sensibilities and reminds me of the way Cabernet Sauvignon was made in California 40+ years ago. And, after drinking a few 40 year old Napa Cabernet’s this past week plus the aforementioned balance of fruit/structure, I believe this has a long life ahead of it with a rather exciting upside. Drink with patience or cellar. FWIW, I don’t have any immediate plans to open my second bottle before 2025.
— 5 days ago

Ira, Arden and 12 others liked this


The Panorama RED BLEND 2017

This is a very enjoyable Bordeaux blend from Napa Valley.

Showing black fruits with wood, earth, light vanilla, tobacco, peppercorn, espresso, pencil lead, herbs and spices.

Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity.

Dry on the palate and good by itself or with food.

Tangy finish with fine grained tannins and tangy cranberries.

Needs a couple of hours to open up properly, so better be patient.

Smooth and elegant with a nice mouthfeel. Spicy and tangy.

Feels like a right bank Bordeaux from a hot vintage. Will age nicely in the next 5 years.

I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit verdot, Merlot and Malbec.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

92 points.

— 7 days ago

Ira, John and 14 others liked this

Stonestreet Estate Vineyards

Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

In 1989, Jess Jackson acquired the Zellerbach winery and renamed it in honor of his late father, Jess Stonestreet Jackson. Aged for 19 months on 37% new French oak. Aromas of red/black fruits with citrus, spice and herb mint. On the palate cherry and blackberry flavors, currant, cacao, bell pepper, vanilla and herbs. Fine tannins, still tight, good balance on long finish ending with oak and earthy herb character. Great value, should gain with short term cellaring! — 8 days ago

Ken, Alex and 1 other liked this

Nik Pegasus

Mystic Pearl Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

This is a very tasty Cabernet Sauvignon from Central Coast in California. Showing blackberries, coffee, chocolates, tobacco, licorice, oak, vanilla, plums, black cherries and light vegetables.

Dry on the palate and fruit forward.

Full bodied with medium acidity and a nice mouthfeel.

Tangy finish with fine grained tannins.

Still young, but already enjoyable, even by itself. Will age nicely in the next 5 years.

Good right out of the bottle and better with some airtime.

Spicy and tangy. Tasty and easy drinking with mild complexity.

I paired it with cheeses and crackers.m by the pool.

13.8% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

— 11 days ago

Dawn, Jason and 15 others liked this

Cliff Lede Vineyards

Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

About as classically structured as you can get from a big Napa Cab. Deep purple color with light garnet highlights in the glass. The bouquet is highly expressive upon entering with dark fruit aromas all over it. Baked raspberries combine with blue and black berries along with crisp notes of citrus fruits. Menthol and chocolate open up after considerable time decanting.

Mostly wonderful Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Very stately and far too young for maximum benefit, however there is plenty to love already. Exquisite balance and perfectly structured right now. The palate explodes with crush herbs, spice, and smoke. Those ripe fruits are highlighted here with blackberry cobbler. Kool cigarettes and absolutely luscious chocolate. The finish is quite long and gives you a bit more spice to remember it by. Cliff Lede plus Stags Leap fruit equals brilliance.
— 2 days ago

Jody, ESF and 3 others liked this
Willie Carter

Willie Carter

@Jody Scharf i definitely need to go
Willie Carter

Willie Carter

@Trixie You are the best
Willie Carter

Willie Carter

@ESF Beautiful


Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Opulent, ornate. A deep ruby with thick viscous legs: 15.5 ABV. The nose is a bit dominated by new oak, leaning towards cedar. Otherwise, blueberry and blackberry are quite present, as are floral (rose) notes. On the palate it's quite delicious, big juicy fruit with a slight acidic bite. Medium plus bodied, quite hot on the alcohol. Nice subtle tannins, and a super long finish.

This is very very good now, especially stacked up against massive fat (e.g., ribeye). Over time it will be a competition between the high alcohol and the soft tannins. I say hold for 2-3 years for maximum benefit.

P.S. This is my first exposure to this winery. I have a case and will update notes over time. So far I really like it... But not enough to do housework for
@Ron R

93 points
— 2 days ago

Shay, David and 3 others liked this

Hall Wines

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Last ‘12 in my cellar! Blend of 97% Cab Sauv, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cab Franc, aged for 20 months in French oak (55% new), deep Ruby with aromas of dark dried fruit with notes of floral and spices. An ideal growing season in 2012, the palate shows dense ripe dark berry fruit with a touch of leather, cinnamon, espresso, mushroom and cacao. Well integrated with fine structured tannins, the wine is complex yet enjoyable, aged well still has room to run. Long finish ending with ripe fruits and oak. — 8 days ago

Alex, Juan and 3 others liked this