Our Top 10 Wines From Last Week

So much amazing wine in such a short period. Even though there are 10 wines on this list, there are so many more that could be added. 

2013 Eleven Eleven ‘Laki Vineyard’ Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley  |  Order Online

imgresWine Spectrum 95+, Robert Parker 95: An absolutely brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from southern Napa Valley and the Oak Knoll area, this 2013 tips the scales at 15% alcohol. It has a dense purple color, a gorgeous nose of crème de cassis, graphite, blackberry and a touch of oak and a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuous texture, great purity and a stunning finish. This is sensational stuff and a terrific 2013. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. 630 cases produced.

Kirk Venge is one of the most recognized and sought-after winemakers in Napa and Sonoma. He is the owner and winemaker of Venge Estate Vineyards and Winery and the new label, Croix Estate. He is also the Consulting Winemaker for several boutique producers throughout Napa Valley, including B Cellars, Bacio Divino Cellars and the Janzen label, Beau Vigne, Entrepreneur Wines, Hunnicutt Wines, Jax Vineyards, Macauley Vineyard, Renteria Wines and Trespass Vineyards.

2013 Peirson Meyer

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley

pmw-wineimage-2013csWine Spectrum 95, Robert Parker 95+:  The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in 75% new French oak for 20 months prior to bottling. This wine, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, shows the classic blackberry and creme de cassis nose, with licorice, graphite and underbrush. Mostly from the Kenefick Ranch in Northern Napa, it has a rather viscous, thick, juicy mouthfeel, but with great acidity, purity and overall balance. This is another winner, as are virtually all the wines being made by Peirson Meyer. Drink this Cabernet over the next 15+ years. 

2012  ‘Perseverance’

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley

unknownWine Spectrum 95, Robert Parker 94+: The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Perseverence, which comes from a steep mountainside vineyard is a much more limited bottling. This ratchets up the level of concentration on the straight Cabernet Sauvignon label with expansive blueberry and blackberry fruit, licorice and camphor. Complex, full-bodied and stunningly pure and rich this is intriguing and rather authoritative example of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at its best. Give it a couple years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15 or more years.  100% Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Stanton ‘Estate’

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley

StantonLabelCabSauv2013Wine Spectrum 95: Winemaker Dave Phinney makes his own Orin Swift wines (Mercury Head & Papillon) and is also consulting winemaker for Cavus, Beau Vigne and Stanton. The Stanton family has been growing grapes in the Napa Valley since 1947 and in 1971 they planted grapes on a 33 acre property in Oakville with gravelly, sandy clay and loam soils producing grapes of rich suppleness and texture. This 2013 Stanton Estate Cabernet is expressively dark and fragrant, with juicy blackberry, cherry, currant and earthy nuances finishing with ample but well-integrated tannins.  This wine promises to be another success from Winemaker Dave Phinney and Winegrower Doug Stanton. 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ~ 520 cases produced.

2013 Peirson Meyer ‘Maquette’

Proprietary Red  |  Napa Valley

imgresWine Spectrum 95, Robert Parker 94: An innovative blend of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2013 Proprietary Red Maquette comes from the Kenefick Ranch up near Calistoga. This is a beauty. Dense purple, with a blockbuster nose of blackberries, blueberries, licorice and incense, the wine has a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, opulence and flesh, followed by stunning purity, richness and overall equilibrium. This should drink well for at least 10-15+ years. Sadly, the production is a small 150 cases. 

Antonio Galloni 92: The 2013 Maquette, a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Kenefick Ranch, is terrific. Bold, racy and juicy, the 2013 offers lovely mid-palate juiciness and pliancy. Sweet red cherry, blueberry, mint and spices are all laced together in a delicious, open-knit, super-expressive wine from Alan Peirson and Robbie Meyer. This is one of the most polished wines I have tasted from Kenefick Ranch, a site that tends to naturally veer towards the darker, heavier end of the spectrum.

2012 Cuvee Claire

Red Wine  |  Napa Valley

wcv_cuveeclaire-onpageWine Spectrum 95, Robert Parker 90-92: Still in barrel, William Cole’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée Claire shows plenty of blueberry and blackberry fruit, sweet tannin, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and impeccable craftsmanship. This young, still primary, beauty should drink well for 20+ years.

“Cultivated primarily from our estate vines, this 100% cabernet sauvignon is the cornerstone of our portfolio. Named after our daughter, the Cuvee Claire is allowed to work its magic slowly, which results in a complex, elegant wine that represents the best of Napa Valley.” – William Ballentine, Winemaker

2013 Parallel

Chardonnay  |  Russian River Valley 

unknownWine Spectrum 94+: Made by Philippe Melka: “Fragrant and complex nose of ripe, juicy pineapple, dry straw and honeysuckle blossom. Rich body that lingers on the palate accentuated by sweet French oak characteristics. Good acidity and freshness balance out the finish with notes of pear and citrus. 536 cases produced.”  100% Martinelli fruit from RRV.  536 cases produced.

2012 Eighty Four

Malbec  |  Napa Valley

Eighty Four MalbecWine Spectrum 94+: Produced by Elias Fernandez & Doug Shafer, of Shafer Vineyards:  Malbec is a newcomer to Napa Valley and we have been loving the challenge of taking on something new. By contrast to Petite Sirah, this wine though quite dark in color emerges from initial fermentation soft, supple and juicy. We only gave it 20 months in 50% new oak to allow it to take on a bit of heft and richness and to speak clearly of its varietal character, a generous mix of black fruit, red fruit and chocolate.  100% Malbec. 600 cases produced.

“Offers complex aromas of violet, wilted rose, crushed rock and graphite amid the dark berry, raspberry and fresh earth notes. A graceful style despite the density and firmness.” — James Laube, Wine Spectator

2012 Russian Hill Estate ‘Tara Vineyard’

Pinot Noir  |  Russian River Valley

unknownWine Spectrum 94: Tara Vineyard, named after the stately residence adjacent to our winery, was planted for us by Dutton Ranch in 1998. Tara Vineyard Pinot noir is on an easterly facing slope, providing protection from direct afternoon heat and sunlight. Tara Vineyard is unique in our area in that its soil type is Huichica loam. Known for its ability to produce high quality grapes, Huichica loam is a “river and terrace” soil type and otherwise occurs on the eastern banks of the Russian River. A highly fragrant wine with a rich bouquet of anise, sassafras, boysenberry and vanilla. The wine is lively and racy with bright flavors of cherry, raspberry and cola. A balanced wine with beauty and elegance. 

2014 Furthermore

Pinot Noir  |  Sonoma Coast

urlWine Spectrum 93+: The Sonoma Coast Pinot from Furthermore is delicate wine in the glass that is both light in body and color but packs a big punch on the nose and in the mouth. Big notes of clove, Chinese five spice but with a gorgeous undertone of cranberry. This is a supple wine that is elegant with a lovely velvety texture . It expands on the palate into a lush fullness. Absolutely delicious and an incredible value.

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