Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 58

YEAR'S BEST US CABERNETS & BLENDS
vineyards in Mount Veeder (60 percent) and
Oakville (20 percent); the rest came from
the Giuliani Vineyard in Yountville. Working at the winery in Berkeley, he allows the
wine to ferment spontaneously, ages it for
18 months in French oak (75 percent new),
and bottles it without fining or filtering.
The wine's vibrant purple-plum sweetness
is immediately appealing, as is the textural
purity, not so much smooth as it is complete
and sleek. - J.G. §
521554

92 | Essere Franco

$65

92 | Essere Franco

$150

2016 Napa Valley Essere Mi ^ A spicy, Italianate blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and malbec, this edges its flavors of black
cherries and sun-dried tomatoes in notes of
balsam, rosemary and hibiscus. Its hightoned fruit would take on pork short ribs,
marinated and grilled. - J.G. §
521555

Road. This first release of Expedition combines power and grace in a generous cabernet, lasting on the transparent depths of
cherry skins and pomegranate seeds. The
tannins follow a darker line, with black plum
and smoky intensity marrying the fruit with
a perk of volatility from its time in oak. The
wine is available to members who join the
mailing list on the company's website. - J.G. §
521314

92 | Silverado

$56

2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ^
This estate-grown cabernet focuses on Silverado's vineyards in the Stags Leap District
and Coombsville, the SLD portion contributing to the wine's blueberry-and-espresso richness, refreshed by cooler cherry notes from
Mt. George to the south. It seems simple at
first, before the wine's tannic density begins
to open with air, its floral detail more apparent. -J.G. (W&S 10/20) §

2016 Napa Valley Winemaker's Blend
Number 1 ^ Fragrant, with blueberry-skin
density, floral notes and gingery spice, this
wine blends cabernet sauvignon, malbec and
petit verdot into the rich savor of unsweetened dark chocolate. The warmth of alcohol drives its intensity, built for long-braised
beef. - J.G. §
521553

92 | Etude

$90

2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ^
More about moonlight than sunlight, this
wine has cool bass notes of tannins under
dark shades of mushrooms, carrot tops and
black-fruit intensity. It's earthy, savory and
bold, a wine for roast wild boar. - J.G. §
521301

92 | Heitz

$125

2014 Napa Valley Trailside Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon ^ From an organically
farmed estate vineyard in eastern Rutherford, between the Silverado Trail and Conn
Creek, this is a complex and mature cabernet ready to drink on release. The tight structure marries gentle tannins and kirsch-like
cherry fruit while the secondary aromas of
cigar tobacco and roses last long into the finish. It's a refined style, with enough luscious
fruit to keep it firmly rooted in Napa Valley.
-J.G. (W&S 10/20; 2,500 cases) §
521702

92 | Seven Apart

$135

2018 Napa Valley Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon ^ Andy Erickson makes this
wine from the Stags Ridge Vineyard, rising
to an elevation of 1,400 feet on Atlas Peak.
He blended in fruit from the project's Base
Camp Vineyard, planted adjacent to the winery on the Silverado Trail at Soda Mountain
58

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

521780

92 | William Hill

$75

2016 Napa Valley The Notch Winemaker's
Series ^ This wine features merlot (60 percent)
in a blend with cabernet sauvignon (28 percent), franc and malbec. The flavors are rich
and savory, at the intersection of black currant and pure anise spice. The savor takes
it toward carrot tops and woodland mushrooms, as if it's focused on dinner, perhaps
thinly sliced flank steak over caramelized
root vegetables. - J.G. §
521724

92 | Yao Ming

91 | Beaulieu

$65

91 | Beringer

$170

91 | Beringer

$50

91 | Cornerstone

$75

2017 Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve ^ Tapestry focuses on cabernet sauvignon while
bringing in four other Bordelais varieties. In
2017, it's heady and concentrated, layering
ripe fruit flavors that range from sour cherries to deep-toned blueberries. There's a hint
of smoky persimmon to highlight the wine's
massive build. - J.G. §
521580
2017 Napa Valley Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ^ An elegant vintage of Private Reserve, this is nearly two-thirds from
Howell Mountain, specifically the iron-rich
red soils of Steinhauer Ranch and the white
volcanic tuff of Bancroft; another quarter of
the blend comes from St. Helena (Beringer's
Home Vineyard and Chabot). The wine is
tight and green at first, needing air to gain
and lengthen its fruit scents of black cherries
and blackberry seeds. Tense and floral, with
subdued ripeness, this should age well. - J.G. §
521577
2017 Napa Valley Distinctions Cabernet
Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ From a range of vineyards up and down the Napa Valley, this wine
starts off floral, vibrant, warm and prickly in
its blackberry and blueberry notes. Then,
with air, the elements come together, opening like a rose, bright and rich. Give this a
year in the cellar or a few hours in a decanter,
then serve it with Provençal lamb. - J.G. §
521712
2016 Napa Valley Benchlands Cabernet
Sauvignon ^ Scents of violets and blueberries rise off this wine's rich fruit. It's silken
and ripe, the cocoa-like tannins parting in
the finish to let the fruit shine. This is dark
and saturated, ready for roast duck. - J.G. §

$258

2017 Napa Valley Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ^ As massive as this wine may
be when first poured, it immediately shows
its lively flavor details. And those details
keep flowing out of a fountain of purpleplum fruit, touching on green olives, bitter
flower petals and vibrant blueberry notes.
Justin Leprevost of Brava in Lenox, Mass.,
compared it to "almost-falling-apart blueberries as you're mixing in the sugar for jam."
Another panelist described the fruit as fresh
and alive. "The wine tastes expensive," he
said, "in a getting-what-you-paid-for way."
- J.G. §
521721

522019

91 | Crosby Roamann

$60

2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ^
Austere with bright red-currant flavors
and ironlike tannins, this wine shows some
youthful reduction in its tight green notes.
It's a mineral take on cabernet, needing some
cellar time to mellow and integrate. - J.G. §
522028


https://www.williamhillestate.com/wines/benchland-series/2016-winemaker-series-the-notch-red-blend https://www.crosbyroamann.com/Wines/current-releases

Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 8
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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