This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous

Welcome to this week's Vinous Top Ten! Each week we compile a list of top ten wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! All of the wines listed in this feature are available for purchase on Banquet . This week's must-try wines are from Stephen Tanzer’s article Vintage Retrospective: The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernets . Enjoy an excerpt from his article and his notes for this week's top ten below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ “Sandwiched between three cool years and three growing seasons affected by late-season heat spikes, 2001 has proven to be a Napa Valley classic for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. The better wines are in fine form today. By coincidence, the two Napa Valley Cabernet vintages that I re-evaluated in depth this spring are two of my all-time favorites: 2010 and, in this article, 2001. Both deliver glorious Napa Valley fruit ripeness leavened by an element of Old World restraint. Both were characterized early on by suave, integrated tannins, and fully ripe—even sometimes liqueur-like—fruit, but neither was a blockbuster, and both sets of wines showcased their balance from the start. Although many ‘01s went through a reticent stage at some point between about ages 4 and 15, today virtually all of them have embarked on their windows of peak drinkability, and they are showing beautifully.” --Stephen Tanzer, Vintage Retrospective: The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernets, May 2020 1. Barnett Vineyards 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 2. Bond 2001 Vecina 3. Chateau Montelena 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate 4. Dalla Valle 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon 5. Harlan 2001 Harlan 6. Hourglass 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon 7. Opus One 2001 Opus One 8. Philip Togni Vineyard 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon 9. Pride Mountain Vineyards 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 10. Ridge 2001 Monte Bello

Barnett Vineyards

Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
8.9

Good dark red. Subdued, rather loamy aromas of red plum, currant, mocha and tobacco leaf. Fine-grained, supple and vinous, but its moderate fruit sweetness is reduced by menthol and herb character. The wine's substantial broad, dusty tannins turn a bit dry, even peppery, on the back end. But this Cabernet still retains good savory energy, and a subtle sweetness to its red fruit flavors. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Dalla Valle Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
9.3

Moderately saturated dark red. Slightly violety aromas of blueberry, raspberry, menthol, milk chocolate, leather and coffee bean. Juicy, intense and a bit tightly wound, with dark fruit, mineral, violet and licorice flavors framed and extended by sound acidity. Finishes firmly tannic, juicy and long, with repeating floral lift. Clearer and more youthful than a first sample I tried, which was creamy and sweet but a tad rustic and less transparent to its site. This bottle is just now ready to drink. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Spencer liked this

Opus One

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2001

Delectable Wine
9.1

Healthy dark red with ruby tones. Mature, sauvage, expressive scents of blackberry, truffle, leather, violet, game and spice cake, along with a whiff of Band-Aid. A fairly plush, alluring midweight with lovely breadth and grain and a distinctly wild, mature character to its savory dark berry, leather and meat flavors. Nice restrained sweetness and texture. Finishes with a broad dusting of substantial tannins and good length. A tad dry-edged but still quite good, although fans of more polite wines may want to give this a pass. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

www. and Spencer liked this

Ridge Vineyards

Monte Bello Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2001

Delectable Wine
9.6

Full, bright ruby-red. Initially reserved, youthful nose opened slowly to reveal aromas of blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, graphite, tobacco and spices. Wonderfully ripe, almost liqueur-like on entry, then plush and thick but vibrant in the middle, with highly concentrated black fruit, bitter chocolate, tobacco and mineral flavors framed by perfectly integrated acidity. A wonderfully complete, sweet, youthful wine with the added creaminess--but no loss of energy--from a strong dollop of Merlot. This was the 40th anniversary bottling for this California classic, and its listed alcohol of 14.2% was the highest to date. Finishes with big, ripe tannins and outstanding persistence. In the context of Monte Bello, this wine is remarkably ripe, sweet and rich, and it should still go on in a cool cellar for at least another couple decades. (the 40th anniversary bottling for this wine) (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Spencer liked this

Bond

Vecina Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
9.4

Dark ruby-red. Aromas of cassis, black cherry, blackberry, mocha and licorice. Concentrated, dense and fully ripe, conveying a much more pliant texture today than the 2002. But this is also sappy, fine-grained and nicely delineated, with its dark berry and black cherry fruit flavors given shape by a brooding element of savory minerality. Not hugely sweet, though, and clearly less liqueur-like than the 2002. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins that should carry this wine for at least another 15 years. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Spencer liked this

Harlan Estate

Napa Valley Proprietary Red Blend 2001

Delectable Wine
9.6

Deep medium ruby with no sign of development. Musky aromas of blackberry, blueberry, soy sauce and licorice; almost liqueur-like. Huge, savory and utterly silky on entry, then plush and superconcentrated in the middle palate, boasting blackberry, licorice and mineral flavors of incredible intensity and penetrating sweetness. Utterly palate-staining in its breadth. Leaves the palate vibrating with black fruits and licorice pastille. When I originally tasted this wine from barrel, I noted that it was one of the greatest California Cabernets I had tasted to that point. This massive, three-dimensional wine finishes with huge, noble tannins and outstanding rising length. I suspect it's just embarking on its plane of peak drinkability, which might last another two decades. This may be the longest Cabernet of the 2001 vintage. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Spencer liked this

Pride Mountain Vineyards

Reserve Napa & Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
9.4

Full bright ruby to the rim. No-holds-barred nose of crushed blackberry, licorice, tropical dark chocolate and espresso. Wonderfully dense, thick and sweet; an utterly mouthfilling, generous wine with a plush 3-D texture and no edges in spite of its mineral lift. This classic large-scaled, briary mountain wine boasts terrific fruit retention. Finishes very long and powerful, with huge but integrated tannins and palate-staining black fruits. Not the last word in nuance but this unflagging, utterly captivating, slightly high-toned wine delivers almost liqueur-like mountain berry sweetness. It's at its peak right now, but with its firm underlying spine of acids and tannins it should go on for a while. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Chateau Montelena

The Montelena Estate Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
9.5

Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Captivating floral lift to the very primary aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals and earth, plus subtle notes of coffee and mocha. Tactile and sharply delineated, delivering a wonderful balance of sweet fruit and salty mineral and soil elements. Still linear but not at all angular, this penetrating wine finishes firmly tannic, classically dry, subtle and very long, with echoing mineral complexity. Really complete Cabernet here--and stuffed with flavor. (the estate began using a new Delta destemmer as of 2001) (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Spencer liked this

Hourglass

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
8.8

Healthy bright, dark red to the rim. Musky nose combines dark raspberry, mocha, chocolate, shoe polish, mint and licorice, plus a suggestion of rocky minerality. Fine-grained and smooth but distinctly minty, conveying good concentration, healthy acidity and a slight greenness to its midweight dark fruit and licorice flavors. A tad sour on the end, with a repeating suggestion of eucalyptus, but the tannins are dusty and fine-grained. I'd drink this soon, before its remaining fruit disappears. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago

Philip Togni Vineyard

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Delectable Wine
9.3

Full, bright ruby-red! Pure and complex if subdued on the nose, offering scents of plum, briary dark berries, spice cake and dark chocolate. Densely packed, fine-grained and concentrated, conveying a lovely restrained sweetness and excellent depth of texture. No rough edges here in spite of the wine's seriously firm structure. Intense, sharply delineated mountain berry flavors convey a medicinal reserve, a distinctly savory quality and lovely juicy energy. This Cabernet is still a bit ungiving but its acid backbone and firm but harmonious tannins promise more positive evolution ahead. An excellent showing for this palate-staining wine, which will be long-lived and may yet gain in breadth. (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)
— 9 days ago