Oak Knoll, Napa Valley

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

Forthright Winery

Oak Knoll District Merlot 2013

Superb. Cannot recall where we got this. 2013 — 18 days ago

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. — 7 days ago

Alex, Juan and 3 others liked this

Ashes & Diamonds Winery

No 1 Red Hen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Delicious, fruity and earthy — 6 days ago

Alex, David and 3 others liked this

Robert Biale Vineyards

Clementina Greco 2015

There's been a huge conspiracy to hide this wine from me. Napa Valley Greco di Tufo. Fabulous. — 24 days ago

Eric, Shay and 3 others liked this


Reserve Right Bank Red Blend 2016

This is a pure right bank representation from Materra. Merlot dominate. A team material. — 20 days ago


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
— a day ago

Shay, David and 3 others liked this

Trefethen Family Vineyards

Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Well-made Cabernet Sauvignon, if perhaps too young to consume now. I would wait for 2026 for this wine. Currently, it is elegant and smooth, and there are no harsh tannins. The attack is quite sweet, which overwhelms the entire palette, and the sweetness lasts long into the finish. I suspect this sweetness and fruitiness will diminish after aging. — 14 days ago

Nickel & Nickel

Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

First five minutes was prune and barn. 10 minutes was so balanced and such nuance of age and beautifully aged fruit. — 20 days ago

Frank Fredericks Estate

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2014

Frank Fredericks Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, California

It's time for my
#FridayCabernetfix. Here is a gorgeous one from Napa.

Dark ruby in color with a nice brick rim. Pretty color.

Strong nose of blueberries, black cherries, black plums, earth, oak, light vanilla, licorice, peppercorn, tobacco, chocolates, spices and graphite.

Medium plus in body and elegant, with medium plus acidity and nice legs.

Dry on the palate with black plums, currants, oak, vanilla, licorice, spices, dark chocolates, coffee, peppercorn, earth, tobacco, light green vegetables and herbs.

Nice tangy finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Showing nice complexity, especially on the nose, with a nice and easy mouthfeel.

Good right out of the bottle and better with airtime. I gave it 3 hours to open up. As it opens up, it becomes spicier with more earthy notes.

Still young, but already enjoyable even by itself. A new world wine with a touch of Bordeaux. Very interesting.

Would benefit from 5 to 10 years of bottle time, and will continue to age nicely in the next 20 years.

A good quality wine that shows good potential to become a 95+ point wine.

Paired very nicely with a Charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon,
2% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. Aged in new French oak for 27 months.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$275 (upon release).
— a day ago

Bob, Diane and 11 others liked this