Wine Advocate | Rating: 98The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot and was bottled in August 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts out of the glass with exotic spice notes of star anise, fenugreek and cumin seed over a core of blackberry pie, wild blueberries and warm cassis with hints of kirsch, cigar box and mocha plus a waft of smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with vibrant black, blue and red fruits plus tons of spicy sparks, framed by wonderfully ripe, fine-grained tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing long and perfumed.Drink Dates: 2022 - 2052Author: Lisa Perrotti-BrownIssue: Interim December 2018 Week 2
Vinous | Rating: 97The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful, brooding wine, and yet stylistically it still falls within Bart and Daphne Araujo's conception of a more classic style of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Plum, bittersweet chocolate, lavender, new leather, menthol, spice and grilled herbs infuse this super-expressive, racy Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2016 is a bit firmer and more vertical than the 2015 tasted alongside it. I imagine it will take a few years to come into its own, but all the elements are in the right place for that to happen. This is a fabulous example of the year at its very best.Drink Dates: 2023 - 2041Author: Antonio GalloniIssue: Dec 2018
James Suckling | Rating: 97This is very tight and precise with dark berries, dark chocolate, spice and hints of hazelnuts. Full body and a solid center palate. Lots of sage, rosemary, and lavender. Beautiful balance. Fine finish. Very approachable now, but better after 2022.Drink Dates: 2022+Author: James SucklingIssue: Friday, May 3, 2019
Wine Spectator | Rating: 96Richly layered, with ripe and caressing cassis, plum preserves, boysenberry reduction and açaí berry fruit flavors. There's a chocolate backdrop and alluring toast notes throughout, with a subtle graphite edge on the very fine-grained finish to keep this red honest. A beautiful display of fruit and very Oakville in style. Drink now through 2035. 1,240 cases made. — JMDrink Dates: 2019-2035Author: James MolesworthIssue: Oct 15, 2019
California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like , , , and in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. and continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the and in , and and in .
The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.
Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with , which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this . These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. producers such as , , and consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.
New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like , , and .
All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety.