CONTAINS ONE bottle each:
2016 The Debate ‘Artalade Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
JS96 This is a solid cabernet from Pritchard Hill with lots of blackberries, fresh herbs and conifer and crushed-stone undertones. Full body, juicy tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Needs three or four years to soften. Better after 2022.
JD95+ From a vineyard on Pritchard Hill and all Cabernet that saw the standard barrel fermentation and 23 months in 70% new barrels, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Artalade also has a chalky minerality as well as a more structured, concentrated style. Deep purple-colored, with plenty of black cherry and graphite aromas, full body, and silky tannins, it’s another terrific wine from Hoefliger, but this one is going to require some patience. Hide bottle for 4-5 years, and it should drink beautifully over the following two decades or so.
WA95 Coming from Pritchard Hill and composed of 100% Cabernet, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Artalade Vineyard comes charging forth with wonderfully expressive crème de cassis, blueberry pie and Black Forest cake scents plus hints of bay leaves, cloves, underbrush and allspice. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm, grainy frame and oodles of freshness supporting the elegant layers, finishing long and spicy. 100 cases produced.
VIN93+ The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Artalade emerges from one of the best-known sites on Pritchard Hill. Powerful and savory in the glass, the Artalade has a lot to offer, but it also needs time to shed some of its tannin. At this stage, the 2016 is pretty forbidding, its considerable allure notwithstanding.
2016 The Debate ‘Denali Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
JD97 Lastly, and I think the star of the show, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Denali comes from a vineyard in St. Helena and, like all the wines here, was fermented all in barrel then aged just under two years in 70% new French oak. This brilliant wine offers loads of crème de cassis, graphite, scorched earth, and hints of chocolate as well as a seamless, ultra-fine, layered style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. With fabulous balance, full-bodied richness and depth, this beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon is going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for two decades. It’s just another terrific wine from a great vintage and a great winemaker.
JS97 Intense aromas of blackberries and blueberries. Black pepper and some truffle, too. Medium to full body and silky, chewy tannins. A pretty, flavorful finish, showing finesse and complexity. Drink or hold.
WA95 Made from 100% Cabernet, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Denali Vineyard sings of black cherries, warm plums, blackcurrant cordial and mocha with hints of charcuterie, tapenade and dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, it has a lovely earthy/mineral character coming forward in the mouth, with refined, firm, fine-grained tannins and a lively line, finishing long and mineral laced. 100 cases produced.
VIN92 The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Denali is powerful, dense and explosive. A wine of real impact, the Denali is not exactly subtle. That much is obvious. Even so, the 2016 has a lot to offer. Grilled herb, leather, smoke, tobacco and licorice are nicely layered into a Cabernet built on size and structure. I would give the 2016 a few years in bottle to fully come together.
2016 The Debate ‘Sacrashe Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
VIN96 The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sacrashe Vineyard is ample, full-bodied and explosive. There is a sense of dramatic intensity to the Sacrashe that is just striking. Intense aromatics, along with black cherry, leather, spice and licorice all take shape in the glass, and yet it is the wine’s overall balance that leaves the strongest impression. The tannins typical of this site are present, but they are nicely softened. This is a gorgeous wine from The Debate. Perched atop Rutherford and overlooking Lake Hennessey, Sacrashe is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful vineyard sites in all of Napa Valley.
WA95+ The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sacrashe Vineyard (100% Cabernet) is deep garnet-purple colored and comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant black berries, warm cassis, black cherries and mulberries scents with hints of eucalyptus, wild sage and spice box plus a waft of cedar. Medium to full-bodied, it has beautiful harmony with lovely soft, fine-grained tannins and background freshness complementing the bold black fruit flavors, finishing with an herbal lift. 100 cases produced.
JD95 Moving to the Cabernet Sauvignon releases, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sacrashe comes from hillside parcels in Rutherford and was barrel fermented and aged 23 months in 70% new French oak. It has a terrific sense of chalky minerality as well as loads of chocolaty black cherry and blackberry fruits, full-bodied richness and depth, ripe tannins, and more floral and spice characteristics with time in the glass. There are 100 cases of this wine, which has both richness and elegance and should keep for upwards of two decades.
JS93 A firm and chewy red with plenty of dark berries, white pepper and spice. Hints of black truffles. Medium-to full-bodied, polished and delicious. Drink or hold.