Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 82

US NEW RELEASES
CABERNET SAUVIGNON

517094

94 | Shafer

$295

2014 Stags Leap District Napa Valley Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon ^ John Shafer helped define the voice of Stags Leap
District cabernet sauvignon with the early
releases from the knolls he and his son,
Doug, planted under the escarpment in
southeastern Napa Valley. The first release,
from 1978, was dark, layered and rich, soft
enough that people questioned him about
how much merlot there was in the blend.
The cabernet went on to become a cult phenomenon in the 1990s, and Elias Fernandez,
who has made the wine since the early 1980s,
continued to push the limits of richness and
ripeness, even as his other cabernet (One
Point Five) remained relatively restrained.
While we regularly recommend One Point
Five, our panels have passed on the recent
releases of Hillside Select since 2010. Then
this 2014 came along, integrated in its richness, merlot-like in its graceful power, with
zesty fruit one panelist described as "fresh
crushed marionberries and blackberries."
That freshness was still intact three days
later, the fruit lasting as it infused the tannins
with color. If you loved the early vintages of
Hillside Select (think 1978 or 1991 for two
great examples), and even if you loved the
most recent heady styles, this is a 2014 you'll
want in your cellar. (2,400 cases) -J.G.

track record, consider that Michael Keenan's Reserve has earned 94 points or more
in every vintage since 2011. This 2015 is
close to that level, a tarry, concentrated cabernet from 17-year-old vines at Keenan's Big
K vineyard, high up Spring Mountain, with
a small contribution of cabernet franc. It's
intensely spicy, with coriander, anise and red
pepper pricking the wine's dark earthiness.
The fruit emerges over the course of several
days, adding a taste of fresh-picked cherries
in the midst of the black extract. It's zesty
and racy, with the energy to age, and the flavor concentration to repay patient cellaring.
(350 cases) -J.G.
517014

91 | Davies Vineyards

88 | Oblivion

$18

2017 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
(Best Buy) ^ This dark cabernet leads with
notes of ash, black raspberries and sundried tomato and finishes with firm, ferrous
tannins. It needs a decanter and a steak.
(3,000 cases) -P.J.C.

MERLOT

$70

2016 Diamond Mountain District JD Cabernet Sauvignon ^ The Davies family farms
several parcels in the southern end of the
Diamond Mountain appellation, including
two blocks originally planted by Jacob Schram in 1862. This is the second selection
from those vineyards, a wine that retains its
cherry freshness in the context of the chocolate richness of oak. It has a classical minty
and cedary cigar-box scent, the texture soft
and generous, easy to enjoy with prime rib.
(650 cases) -J.G.
516917

91 | Robert John

ander Valley: generously fruited, tightly
built, delicious with a salad of duck confit.
(4,790 cases) -J.G.
516977

$55

2016 Napa Valley Bold Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ Patrick Saboe makes this
sumptuous cabernet from the Kitchak and
Tsiliani Vineyards in Coombsville, the cooler
southern district of Napa Valley. Unless you
want to emphasize the bold, give this plenty
of time in a decanter to get past its initial
tarry tobacco intensity. As it opens, it glows
with red fruit and deeper blues, still grippy,
but more clearly defined. Then pour it with
a steak. (500 cases) -J.G.

516906

93 | Frog's Leap

$40

2016 Rutherford Napa Valley Merlot (Best
Buy) ^ Hmm. Dry-farmed merlot in Napa Valley? John Williams and his team at Frog's
Leap grow some of the freshest, prettiest
merlot in a region where the variety is mostly
irrigated and taken to extremes of richness.
They focus this wine on fruit from their estate
vineyard surrounding the winery on the east
side of Rutherford, where the cool clay soils
near the Napa River provide shelter for the
vine roots while the heat of the day ripens
the fruit. One taste of this wine may have
you wondering why more growers don't follow their lead. I don't think I've ever written
"sing-song merlot" to describe the variety in
Napa Valley, but there it is in my notes on this
red-fruited wine, a mouthwatering depiction
of red plums, savory chewing tobacco and
light, brisk, gentle tannins. -J.G.

PETITE SIRAH

516799

91 | Sebastiani
516948

93 | Keenan

$110

2015 Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ^ If you're
looking for a cabernet with an exceptional
82

WINE & SPIRITS

AUGUST 2019

$40

2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ Floral currant scents flatter this wine with gamey sweetness even as
its structure is lean, with some bitter mineral intensity gripping the finish. It's tightly
wound and red fruited, with a cactus-like
green edge-a substantive take on the Alex-

516996

92 | Robert Biale

$48

2016 Napa Valley Royal Punishers Petite
Sirah ^ This is a vinous, red-fruited petite
sirah from deep soils on the east side of the


http://www.shafervineyards.com/wine/hillside-select.php https://www.frogsleap.com/our-wines.php https://www.sebastiani.com http://wine.keenanwinery.com/product?productid=362CF9B0-985F-49FF-A00B-8782753950BB https://shop.biale.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=productdetail&product_id=1303

Wine & Spirits - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - August 2019

Contents
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 1
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 2
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 3
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 4
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 6
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 7
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - 8
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Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - August 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2018_winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/fall2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/drm_test
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/winespirits/201110
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com