Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Ladera

Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

David T
9.3

I coravined a taste of this last weekend and had my first major disappointment with Ladera. That all changed with a 45 minute decant & food tonight.

This bottling & for many vintages in the early 2000’s was the steal of Howell Mountain producers. I was buying it at Costco for $41-$45. Now & for some time, you can’t find a bottle of this at Costco regardless of price.

The nose as I was decanting it was very perfumed florals with potpourri. Now, the nose sings with the blue & purple fruits that identify wine as a Howell Mountain producer. Blackberries, blueberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, mulberries, dark cherries, black plum, plum, stewed strawberries, raspberries haunt the background, sweet tarriness, dark, berry cola, black licorice, dry & fresh herbs-bay leaf driven, limestone, dry crushed rocks, softly laid baking spices; clove, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg, dark spice, dark chocolate bar, dry tobacco, some graphite, soft, used leather with spectacular, candied, fresh & slightly withering; dark, red, purple, blue florals framed in soft violets & fields of lavender.

The body is full, rich, lush and round. The tannins are nicely resolved but, still show baby teeth & tarriness. The tension, structure, length and balance are just the other side of peak. Blackberries, blueberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, mulberries, dark cherries, black plum, plum, stewed strawberries, raspberries haunt the background, sweet, very dark, tarriness, cherry kirsch liqueur, dark, berry cola, black licorice, dry & fresh herbs-bay leaf driven, limestone, dry crushed rocks, moist clay, softly laid baking spices; clove, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg, black tea, dark spice with comfortable palate heat, dark chocolate bar, expresso roast, dry tobacco, some graphite, soft, used leather with spectacularly floral, candied, fresh & slightly withering; dark, red, purple, blue florals framed in soft violets & fields of lavender. The acidity is near perfect & holds back the slightly higher ABV. The finish is; rich, round, elegant, sexy, gorgeous, velvety, well balanced and persist endlessly.

Not as outstanding as their 2002 but, very good & still has another 8 years & possibly plus of good drinking ahead. Proper storage of course.

Photos of; Ladera & their beautiful flowered Estate, barrel tasting room, entrance sign with Estate vines & a visual of why Howell Mountain is such a great terroir. It’s above the fog-line and therefore gets more sun than the Napa Valley floor. More sun and cooler temperature at elevation means longer fruit hang time & more even fruit ripening.
— 5 days ago

jesus, Julie and 24 others liked this

Theorem Vineyards

Hawk's Prey Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Shay A
9.3

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

Theorem was one of our highlights last year, so we made sure a return visit was lined up this year. Base of Diamond Mtn with one of the most beautiful properties I’ve seen. Over the last 12 months, they’ve added a couple new wines (with more to come from Moon Mountain). TRB is the winemaker.

This is Theorem’s “entry level” cab. 100% Cabernet from young vines on their diamond Mtn estate. Just like the 2016 vintage, this is made in a decadent and ripe style. Showing the entire fruit spectrum from red, blue and black with baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg), sandalwood, and freshly dipped dark chocolate fruits are all on display. Soft yet well built structure allows this to be very approachable early on but can hold easily for a couple years and still be quite youthful. Not quite as chalky/dusty as the 2016. This 2017 shows more concentrated fruit and a slightly more sweet finish compared to the structured and slightly more tannic 2016.
— 3 days ago

David, Bob and 29 others liked this

Trivium

"Les Ivrettes Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

It is time for my #FridayCabernetfix. Here is a very tasty Napa Cabernet.

Dark ruby in color with a short reddish rim.

Fruity nose of blueberries, black plums, cherries, wood, cloves, vanilla, spices, espresso, vegetables, coffee, light alcohol, cola, licorice, chocolates, tobacco, herbs, spices and graphite. Great complexity on the nose.

Full bodied and elegant with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with black plums, blueberries, currants, vanilla, cedar, licorice, cloves, light vegetables, herbs, peppercorn, pencil lead, dark coffee, dark chocolates, coke, leather and tobacco.

Long finish with fine grained tannins and tangy red cherries.

This is a great Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Still young and needs another few years in the bottle to mature properly. Already delicious, though.

Showing great complexity on the nose, with a great mouthfeel. Spicy and tangy as it opens up.

This 8 year old from the great 2012 vintage, is drinking very nicely now.
I would love to revisit this in 3 to 5 years.

This Single Vineyard needs a couple of hours to open up properly and show some tannins.

Thank you Barry for sharing.

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

14.8% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$75.
— 5 days ago

Alex, David and 16 others liked this

Low Places

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Deep purple in color with a short brick rim.

Fruity nose of blueberries, cherries, black plums, currants, oak, vanilla, earth, licorice, spices, coffee, cola, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry and tangy on the palate with plums, cherries, sweet strawberries, oak, light vanilla, spices, dark chocolates, light vinaigrette, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Long tangy finish with fine grained tannins and tangy cranberries.

This Napa Cabernet is very enjoyable. Showing a nice mouthfeel with mild complexity.

Good right out of the bottle and doesn't change much as it opens up.

Tangy and spicy. Tastes like a good quality Napa Merlot. Very tasty.

Thank you Wendy for sharing.

I paired it with a Charcuterie Board of meats and cheeses.

14.8% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

$48.
— 8 hours ago

Martijn, Ira and 11 others liked this
Trixie

Trixie

Always nice photos and excellent reviews from you. Cheers!🍷

Hourglass

Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Shay A
9.3

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

We returned to Hourglass after our visit in 2018 as the wines are just so enjoyable, but the tasting cave may be one of the coolest spots to enjoy a glass of wine.

Against the Blueline cab, this showed more ripe and rich. A true balance of red, blue and black fruits. Blueberry compote, graphite, soft oak integration, and a warmer profile. More nutmeg and espresso here compared to the Bluelines vanilla and herbal flair. Fig and Andes mint are added on the palate with a touch more silky profile. Possibly more approachable than the Blueline counterpart.
— 4 days ago

Tom, Bryan and 26 others liked this

Hayfork

Lewelling Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Shay A
9.3

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

Our trip ended with a tasting of Lewelling & Hayfork, courtesy of daughter Haley at their family home in the vineyard. Although I’m not posting pics of the Lewelling cabs (2017s and didn’t have labels yet), they are impressive, and the Wight vineyard cab is flat out delicious!

The fruit here is the same as Lewelling’s wines, but there is usually a splash of petit Verdot to give more color and structure compared to the 100% Cabernets that Lewelling bottles. Dense, ripe and chewy. Very dark in the glass showing sweet smoke, blackberry compote, baking spices, and espresso aromatics. Whereas the Lewellings have a beautiful red and black cherry liqueur type profile, this is decidedly darker, but every bit as tannic and age worthy. Added notes of graphite, currant, creme de cassis and mixed berry pie at the finish.
— 2 days ago

Ryan, Arden and 38 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Ron R : I need to know where you get your Lewelling (if it’s not off the list). They were sold out of all Lewelling wines, and I’d love to get some Wight vineyard.
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Shay A, I get the regular cab for $49, and the Wight 2016 for $69. Let me know how I can help.
Peggy Hadley

Peggy Hadley

@Shay A nice notes. Thanks

Hourglass

Blueline Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Shay A
9.3

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

We returned to Hourglass after our visit in 2018 as the wines are just so enjoyable, but the tasting cave may be one of the coolest spots to enjoy a glass of wine.

Compared to the Estate cab, the Blueline seems more dusty and tannic. Tart currant, baking spices, baked mixed berry pie, herbal spice and graphite. Very compact and dense. Coats the entire palate with fruit, smoked meat, vanilla pipe tobacco and cedar. Hold.
— 4 days ago

Ryan, Tom and 26 others liked this

Detert Family Vineyards

Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Shay A
9.4

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

Here is the other wine that I claimed may have been the red wine of the trip, and also may have been one of the top winery visits of the trip! Loved tasting in the family home and hearing the connecting stories between them and the Macdonalds. I’ll forever be grateful that Carl Fischer introduced me to Detert years ago, and he helped make an intro so that I could visit this time around.

Detert also makes a small amount of Cabernet (but who am I kidding, all the wines are small production). The fruit comes from about an acre next to the old family home in Oakville near To Kalon. There was a wonderful note of smoked meat on the nose here that I loved. Savory up front with added peppercorn, herbal spice and graphite, but lush fruit on the palate such as blackberry cobbler, rhubarb, chocolate dipped raspberries, nutmeg and cedar. At 8yrs, this was drinking well with a couple hours of slow ox’ing.
— 2 days ago

Hermes, David and 40 others liked this
Tom Garland

Tom Garland

No prob..though I would have luv to take credit for the wine😁
Deborah M

Deborah M

I am hopefully on their waitlist 🤞
Bryan Kesting

Bryan Kesting Premium Badge

@Shay A : I love the Detert wines. I believe the next release is this week. 150 cases of the Cab Franc and 95 cases of the Cab. Not much to go around.

Moone-Tsai Vineyards

Cor Leonis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Shay A
9.4

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

It was my first time trying Moone-Tsai wines aside from their widely distributed Napa Valley Cab, so some of these were totally brand new to me. Melka is the winemaker.

Much more rich and dark fruited compared to the Howell Mountain. This is a blend of vineyards from Pritchard Hill, Caldwell (Coombsville) and St Helena. Very Pritchard Hill like on the nose with herbal crunch, savory graphite and cassis, oozing blackberries and cherry liqueur. Once on the palate, it channels its Coombsville fruit displaying a touch of licorice, candied blue and black fruits, baking spices and espresso. Big, but slightly more approachable than the Howell.
— 7 days ago

Tom, Eric and 32 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Love the rich, dark style of this bottling.
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@David T : Gorgeous wine.
Stephen Pierron

Stephen Pierron

Beautiful wine.... the wine my wife and I shared at our wedding!

Theorem Vineyards

Voir Dire Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Shay A
9.6

Finally getting around to posting wines from my annual Napa trip from two weeks ago. Always goes by quick! Lots of fun new stops this year.

Theorem was one of our highlights last year, so we made sure a return visit was lined up this year. Base of Diamond Mtn with one of the most beautiful properties I’ve seen. Over the last 12 months, they’ve added a couple new wines (with more to come from Moon Mountain). TRB is the winemaker.

In the running for red wine of the trip. When visiting last year, I preferred the ‘14 (ripe, balanced, savory) over the ‘15 (more acidity, touch lighter, high toned)...this ‘13 takes the best of each and marries them. This is a classic high end TRB Cabernet from a stellar vintage. Truffles raspberries, candied black cherries, cocoa dusted mixed berry pie and graphite aromatics accompanied by sweet blueberries, freshly squeezed blackberries, toffee and espresso, baking spices, and fine grained tannins. Built like a tank. Superb.
— 3 days ago

Brandon, David and 30 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

This so damn good but, I am looking forward to opening a bottle in 2025 or so.