Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Cliff Lede

Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

David T
9.5

On the nose; very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet.

The body is full and lush. Fine meaty, tarry, tannins. Very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, suede leather, dry clay, dry top soil, dry underbrush, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet. The acidity is very nice. There is good structure, tension, length and balance that needs 10 years plus to flush out. The finish is good, well balanced with fine powdery sticky tannins.

Photos of, Cliff Lede tasting facility, wire woven sculptures that decorate the grounds, Owner David Lede and the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard.

Producer history and notes...Cliff Lede Vineyards (pronounced LayDee) was founded in 2002 on what used to be S. Anderson Vineyard, a winery that was founded in 1971 by Stanley and Carol Anderson primarily known for their sparkling wines.

Cliff Lede is from Leduc, Alberta a small town just south of Edmonton. The reason you see a Canadian flag in front of the parking next to the US Flag. David and Cliff helped run their father’s construction company he founded in 1947, Leduc Construction. Later the company was renamed to Ledcor Construction in 1982. They ultimately built the business into one of the world’s largest construction companies. Through Cliff, the company established business in the Napa Valley focusing on wineries, restaurants, premium resorts and private residences. Some of their more notable works include; Morimoto Restaurant, Davis Estate Winery, Lokoya Winery, Marciano Estate and the Riverfront Residences in downtown Napa.

After several decades at Ledcor, Cliff decided to pursue his passion for wine. His first introduction to wine was helping his mother make wine at home. Later he began collecting wines from Bordeaux, and even considered purchasing property there. However, he fell in love with Napa after business took him to Northern California.

Cliff Lede owns 60 acres of vineyards in the Stags Leap District. This includes the Twin Peaks Vineyard surrounding the winery and tasting room. The Poetry Vineyard was acquired a year after Cliff established Cliff Lede Vineyards. It is planted on steep hillsides down to the Silverado Trail. It’s planted with red Bordeaux varietals, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils there are extremely rocky. Despite being so close to the Poetry Vineyard, the soils in the Twin Peaks Vineyard are dramatically different. They are gravelly loam.

From a viticulture aspect, this diversity of terroir is a good representation of what the Stags Leap District has to offer, ranging from its upper most reaches of 400 feet to the valley floor. Even among their two Stags Leap properties, there are micro-climates. The west facing vineyard hillsides become quite warm during the day in the summer but cool off significantly in the evenings. This diurnal temperature swing is important for growing premium grapes including maintaining acidity.

The winery also owns a 20 acre vineyard in Calistoga at the base of Diamond Mountain planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a small block of Sauvignon Blanc.

Further to the north in Mendocino County is their Savoy Vineyard, which is a 42 acre site in Anderson Valley. It is planted mainly to Pinot Noir along with Chardonnay. It provides fruit for their FEL Wines (a name that Cliff chose to pay homage to his mother, using the first three initials of her full name Florence Elsie Lede.

Cliff’s love for all things “Rock and Roll”, he named all their blocks in their Stags Leap District Vineyards after famous rock and roll songs or albums such as “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Walk on the Wildside”, “Light my Fire” and “American Girl. ”Collectively these are referred to as the “Rock Blocks.”

David Abreu quickly realized the exceptional terroir of the Poetry Vineyard as did Cliff when they initially tried some of the S. Anderson wines from this site. Abreu oversaw its replanting and clonal material sourced from a number of premiere Napa vineyards. While Abreu was the original vineyard architect, he is no longer involved in the management of the their vineyards. They are now controlled by their in-house vineyard team.

The winery, tasting room and the nearby luxury Poetry Inn all opened around 2005. Architect Howard Gillam was hired to design the winery. Cliff’s background in construction and architectural preferences certainly influenced its design. The tasting room has a more contemporary feel rather then some of his more rustic looking designs. It features beautiful views of the Napa Valley. Inspired by the shape of tanks during a visit to Château Latour in Bordeaux, Cliff commissioned Missouri based Paul Mueller Company to create special truncated tanks for fermentation to help submerse more of the cap. Each tank corresponds to a specific vineyard block. During harvest, a specially designed crane gently moves and lowers a hopper full of whole berries into each tank.
Sorting is a big part of their attention to detail before fermentation. After the grapes come into the winery, they are sorted by hand, then run through an optical sorter and then finally put through an additional final hand sorting. Nearby is a 20,000 square foot cave that connects directly to the winery. World famous Michel Rolland was brought on in the early years as a consultant. Philipe Melka also made Cliff Lede wines for several years and today Christopher Tynan is the Winemaker. He was formerly Assistant Winemaker at Colgin.

Total annual production is between 18,000 and 20,000 cases depending on what Mother Nature gives them. The majority of this is comprised of their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and their Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon.
— 4 days ago

Paul, Dawn and 24 others liked this
Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum

I think you mixed up your wine review with your Whole Foods grocery list,
Peggy Hadley

Peggy Hadley

@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum either that or he has a fruit stand.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

David T
9.1

The 2015 Napa has a much more expressive nose than previous vintages. The mid red fruits are brighter and more dominant. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dark turned, rich earth, light dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals.

The body is also much lighter in the 15 than other vintages. It’s still very fresh. At this stage, it’s like a well extracted Pinot. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dry clay, stems, mint, Provence fresh herbs, dark turned, rich earth, dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals. The acidity is light a waterfall. The finish is bright fruit that is well balanced with earth. However, as it cellars, I predict this wine with flush out, put on weight and gain complexity. Much better palate experiences 10-15 years plus down the road for this 15 Napa.

Photos of, the terrace view from JPV’s visitors center, the JPV annual members party small bites, the lounge area in their visitor center and estate vineyard off their terrace.
— 6 days ago

Ryan, Dick and 25 others liked this

Chappellet

Signature Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Here it is hump day and I wanted to enjoy a nice Cabernet. Colder weather is setting in and this 2014 Chappellet Signature Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon does not disappoint. The blend for this vintage is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot delicious!

On the nose is very expressive dark luscious fruit, black cherry, black raspberry, black currant, strawberry, chocolate, leather, sweet oak and dusty soil.

On the palate the dark fruit shows through with black raspberry, black cherry, black currant, green bell pepper, black pepper, clove and graphite.

We have a full bodied wine here and a velvety smooth mouth feel with a medium + electric acidity and medium + mouth gripping tannins that leads to a long pleasing finish. A beautiful wine that fits the bill to lead into the weekend. Have a great rest of the week and be safe. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷
— 4 days ago

Sharon, Shawn and 32 others liked this

Seavey Vineyard

Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

David T
9.7

The nose reveals; dark currants, blackberries, heavy black plum, black raspberries, dark cherries and some blueberries. Black tea, expresso roast, anise, crushed dry rocks, big vanilla, clove, a little nutmeg, dry underbrush, sweet tarry notes, leather, woody notes with dark fresh & withering flower bouquet.

The body is big and lush. The tannins are big, meaty and tarry. Very dark currants. Blackberries, heavy black plum, black raspberries, dark cherries and some blueberries & strawberries as they open up. Black tea, expresso roast, steeped fruit tea, anise, crushed dry rocks, dry clay, big graphite, big vanilla, dark spice, clove, light dry herbs, a little nutmeg, dry underbrush, sweet tarry notes, leather, cedar with violets dark fresh & withering flower bouquet. The acidity is round, fresh and beautiful. The big, long, well balanced finish is excellent and look forward to having this in 15-20 years. This one will be a stunner!

Photos of, the barn where they make wine and hosts tastings, our private tasting area inside William’s old office. William desk and their outside terrace area.

Producer history & notes...Seavey Vineyard is located along Conn Valley Road in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, about 15 minutes from the valley floor.

This historical property was originally a cattle ranch. However, records indicate grapes were planted on some of the hillsides as early as the 1870’s. The stone dairy barn, still in existence, was built in 1881.

William & Mary Seavey purchased this property in 1979. The estate was originally founded by the Franco-Swiss Farming Company in 1881 which, closed down when Phylloxera destroyed their grape vines and the Volstead Act (Prohibition) went into effect. At the time of their purchase, they were a horse and cattle ranch. They quickly planted the slopes with grapes and initially sold their fruit to Raymond Vineyards. They have never purchased grapes, all their wine is made from estate grapes. Their vineyards are separated into 20 plus individual blocks.

Today, the property is about 200 total acres of which, 40 acres are planted to vine. Their hillside vineyards produce low yields of rich concentrated fruit. A small block of Chardonnay grows in a cooler lower part of their property. Besides grapes, they also raise cattle which are used to graze the hillsides. They feed the vineyard with the cattle cuttings. In 2003, they were one of the first Napa wineries to install solar.

Mary passed away in 2008 and William died in 2016. There daughter Dorie returned to the family business and now oversees the winery operations. Her brother Arthur also handles national and some small international sales, primarily to restaurants. However, most of their wine is sold direct to consumers.

Seavey’s first commercial vintage was released in 1990 a year after they renovated the stone dairy barn into a working winery. Today this stone building is the centerpiece of the property and is where tastings are hosted.

Since 2011, Jim Duane has been their day to day Winemaker. He’s worked at Robert Mondavi and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It should also be noted that Philippe Melka Winemaker/Consultant has been with Seavey since 1995...one of Philippe’s two initial wine making jobs in the Napa Valley were with Seavey and Lail Vineyards.

Seavy makes about 3,200 cases annually depending on what mother nature brings. They make around two hundred cases of Chardonnay, slightly more Merlot and the rest is of the production is comprised of their Caravina and Estate Cabernets.
— 5 days ago

Daniel, Paul and 24 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Shay A Their wines were all good. This one outstanding. However, these wines are made to cellar. A long decant for these wines isn’t going to cut it. They need 10 years plus. For this one, longer. Their Merlot was one of the biggest I’ve had.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Peggy Hadley Thanks for your note. Appreciate it! There wines are definitely worth it but, need a good amount of cellar time.
Michael Bleszynski

Michael Bleszynski

@David T great write up. First time I have seen Anise as a wine descriptor!

Seavey Vineyard

Caravina Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

David T
9.3

On the nose; bright red & dark fruits, dark currants, coffee roast, boysenberries, blackberries, dark dry cherries, heavy black plum & black raspberries, limestone, dry herbs, dark rich soil, the core of anise, tobacco leaf, graphite, dry stems, mixed berry cola, black tea, violets, lavender and dark mixed fresh floral bouquet.

The body is full. The tannins are big & sticky. The structure and tension are big as well. The length and balance is nice for a wine this young. Very dark currants, coffee roast, boysenberries, blackberries, dark dry cherries, heavy black plum & black raspberries, limestone, dry herbs, dark rich soil, the core of anise, tobacco leaf, loads of graphite, leather, wood shavings, underbrush, dry clay, dry crushed rocks, mixed berry cola, black tea, very light baking spices, soft dark spice, fresh violets, lavender and dark mixed fresh floral bouquet. The acidity is round & beautiful. The big, long finish is elegant with palate sticky tannins and goes on for minutes. This one will be even better with another 12-15 years in bottle.

Photos of, the barn where they make wine and host tastings, the staircase that leads to Williams old office and showcases that late 1800’s architecture...now a private tasting room, dining room for small events & tasting and a very old piece of equipment converted into a planter box that decorates their grounds.
— 5 days ago

Daniel, Bob and 18 others liked this

Purlieu

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

David T
9.3

On the nose; dark cassis in a slight candied or syrupy style. Hint of smoke, nicely soft layered baking spices; vanilla, cinnamon, light clove & star anise. Boysenberries, blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plums and plums with violets, lavender, and dark fresh florals.

The body is medium full. The tannins are soft and round. Boysenberries, blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plums and plum, hint of smoke, nicely soft layered baking spices; vanilla, cinnamon, light clove. Star anise, dark medium spices dry crushed rocks, limestone, suede leather, violets, lavender, and dark fresh florals. The acidity is beautiful. The long finish is juicy, balanced, well polished, elegant and last minutes. Very easy to drink now but, 5-7 years patience will be rewarded.

Purlieu means, “the edge of the forest” or “an outlying area.”

Photos of, Coombsville Vineyard, Winemaker Julien Fayard tasting the wine in barrel, their beautiful Cabernet fruit and their new winemaking facilities.
— 3 days ago

Jason, Shay and 15 others liked this

Le Pich

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

David T
9.2

The nose reveals; dark, floral currants. Ripe; blackberries, black plum, black raspberries blue fruits & dark cherries. Black licorice, lots of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, steeped dark fruit tea, soft volcanic minerals, soft leather, crushed dry rocks, blue & purple flowers with dark fresh & withering dark florals bouquet.

The body is full. The tannins nicely round & soft. The wine is juicy, delicious & easy to drink now. Ripe blackberries, black plum, black raspberries blue fruits & dark cherries. black licorice, lots of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, steeped dark fruit tea, soft volcanic minerals, soft leather, crushed dry rocks, suede leather, dry underbrush, mint, hints if dry herbs, woody notes, blue & purple flowers with dark fresh & withering dark florals bouquet. The acidity is well executed. The finish is round, balanced, juicy and delicious.

Photos of, their lobby, labels of the assorted different producers that make their wines there and their tasting bar.

For those of you not familiar with Le Pich, I took this from their site...Le Pich, which is the Wappo Indian term for "golden eagle," is the sister label of Napa Valley's esteemed Purlieu Wines. The wines are crafted by rising star winemaker Julien Fayard. Originally from France, Julien has lived in the Napa Valley since 2006, when he and his wife agreed to settle down by “meeting halfway” — between his home in France… and hers in Sonoma. In France, Julien worked in both Provence and Bordeaux, where he defined his core winemaking style at the exalted first growth Château Lafite-Rothschild (he even lived in Lafite’s grand château for a period) as well as at Smith Haut Lafitte. In Napa, Julien worked at Quintessa before joining Atelier Melka, where he spent five years as the Director of Winemaking. He has worked with the likes of Lail Vineyards, Gemstone, Dalla Valle, and more and his Le Pich wines are some of the best values we've found in Napa Valley.
— 3 days ago

Shay, Ryan and 11 others liked this

Caymus Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

David T
9.4

I only have have a 1/2 dozen bottles of vintages that predate the 2012 vintage when Caymus still made wines in a style I appreciated. More; tannic, spice, earth and complexity.

Now, they are amongst the last to pick fruit, which translates into higher brix levels and much sweeter wines. They pick just as the grapes start to show the slightest raisin shrivel.

I thought I might be early on the 2007. Instead, it’s right around its peak form.

The nose reveals dark black currants. Ripe; blackberries, black plum, black raspberries, stewed plum, dark cherries, stewed strawberries and creamy raspberries. Dark spice, black tea, mixed dark berry cola, limestone minerals, rich dark soil, some dry crushed rocks, vanilla, cinnamon, sweet tarry notes, just a touch of eucalyptus with blue, purple and dark red fresh & withering flowers.

The body is full. Tannins round, grainy, tarry, sticky and meaty...60% resolved. Still lots of life in this 07....another 7-10 years of good drinking left. The wine is delicious. The structure, tension, length and balance are in a great spot. Ripe; dark black currants, blackberries, black plum, black raspberries, boysenberries, stewed plum, dark cherries, stewed strawberries and creamy raspberries. Dark spice with some palate heat, soft, understated and well integrated baking spices; light vanilla, clove and cinnamon. Black tea, mixed dark berry cola, black licorice, limestone minerals, rich dark soil, some dry crushed rocks, vanilla, cinnamon, sweet tarry notes, just a touch of eucalyptus with blue, purple and dark red fresh & withering flowers. The acidity is round and perfect. The flavors glorious. The long finish is extremely well balanced, seamless, it glides over the palate effortlessly and last minutes.

Photos of; Caymus Estate vines, the front entrance to the winery, the grounds around their tasting room and their tasting bar.

@The Restaurant at CIA Copia
— 7 days ago

Shay, Eric and 27 others liked this
Ryan Vento

Ryan Vento Premium Badge

I thought I’d chime in and say ‘07 SS has been my favorite vintage thus far.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum Won’t open my 07 SS for awhile yet. 3-5 more years.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Paul Treadway Huntington Beacher Bum 94 my favorite vintage of that. Fantastic!!!

Karl Lawrence

Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Time for my #FridayCabernetfix. This week it's a nicely aged, 16 year old, Napa Cabernet.

Deep purple in color with a purplish rim. Not showing age at all.

Fruity on the nose with black currants, blackberries, figs, smoke, licorice, oak, light vanilla, spices, espresso, cola, chocolates, graphite, vegetables, bitter herbs and peppercorn.

Full bodied, bold and smooth, with medium acidity and nice legs.

Dry and still extremely fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, cooked cherries, oak, vanilla, licorice, cloves, herbs, spices, dark chocolates, coffee, cola, earth, light vegetables, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Long finish with fine grained tannins and tangy cherries.

This is a wonderful cabernet from Napa. Showing great balance with a nice mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety with nice complexity.

This Single Vineyard is very fruity for its age and could age nicely for another 5 to 10 years.

Needs 3 hours to open up properly, when big tannins come in.

I paired it with cheeses and light appetizers.

14.2% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$150.
— 3 days ago

Phil, Craig and 27 others liked this
"Odedi"

"Odedi" Influencer Badge

Right back at you feel
"Odedi"

"Odedi" Influencer Badge

Right back at you@Phil A

Gemstone Vineyards

Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

@Delectable Wine this is more specifically the alluvial selection cabernet from 2015 . I did not see it in the database . This was a selection at the Gemstone tasting arranged graciously by Al Buis. My rating of this wine at the present time is a 93. I certainly think it is capable of more. TRB wine sourced from the upper blocks of the Gemstone Vineyard. I would say this wine is more medium to full-bodied. Red and black fruits are certainly present. There is a little bit of plum, hint of chocolate, lead pencil, flinty. Finishes with a red clay sort of note. Almost a touch metallic. Loads of tannin here. Not really sweet, just stiff. I look for that to take a decade to blow off. I took about 300 ml from a partially consumed bottle. Plan on trying this again in a couple of days, when I feel this one may be drinking very differently. Very nice wine. 20 years left at least. — 2 days ago

Dan FitzgeraldBenjamin KeatorKeith Fisher
with Dan, Benjamin and 2 others
Shay, Dawn and 20 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

This Alluvial Cab was tasted alongside the Heritage Cab, and I found this to have less of a sweet, crunchy red fruit nose and more of a peppercorn and dark chocolate nose. Tannic and dusty with graphite and Mark’s comment of red clay is spot on. Extremely well made and has many years ahead
9.4