2016 Coursey Graves West Slope Syrah Bennett Valley

2016 Coursey Graves West Slope Syrah Bennett Valley

COURSEY GRAVES

2016 WEST SLOPE SYRAH
BENNETT VALLEY

2016 Coursey Graves West Slope Syrah Bennett Valley
Winemaker Cabell Coursey works tirelessly to uncover and illuminate some of Napa and Sonoma’s lesser-known vineyards that are quietly yielding world-class grapes. He seeks out steep hillside plots that experience cool atmospheric conditions and have rocky soils that share similarities to the austere conditions of Bordeaux. These vineyards are capable of producing concentrated fruit with majestic characteristics that are unique to their origin. When I first tasted his 2016 West Slope Syrah last year, my immediate thought was, I’m getting a case of this for my cellar.
 
Coursey Graves Estate Vineyard is located a thousand feet above sea level on Bennett Mountain, where the ancient volcanic soils and unique micro-climate is ideally suited for Syrah. The wine is powerfully compelling, richly layered, and effortlessly elegant. 
 
Burgundy inspired winemaker Cabell Coursey, and he learned winemaking from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. Then he honed his skills in New Zealand and the Willamette Valley before working at iconic producers DuMOL and Kosta Browne. The 2016 release has several stellar reviews, but DougAndrea on CellarTracker may have said it best with his quote, “OMG. Buy more…” 
 
COURSEY GRAVES
2016 WEST SLOPE SYRAH
BENNETT VALLEY
Retails at: $65
 
 
 
“Very savory and smoky, this Sonoma syrah is anything but a fruit bomb. The slightly sappy tannins and smoked-bacon flavor nicely balances the underplayed ripeness. The finish is fresh with plenty of spicy complexity. Drink or hold.”
93 Points
 
“Deep ruby-purple, the 2016 Syrah Estate West Slope has a very pretty nose with scents of violet, stone and graphite with touches of tar and olive over a concentrated core of blackcurrant, warm black cherries and spice box. Full-bodied, it gives up intense, spiced blue and black fruits framed by firm, ripe tannins and good freshness, finishing very long…”
92 Points
 
“This is a thick, rich and unctuously varietal wine, smoky in oak and beautifully wrapped layers of grilled meat and game. A thicket of lavender and licorice gives it complexity and more to ponder.”
90 Points
2014 William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon Windsor Oaks Vineyard

2014 William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon Windsor Oaks Vineyard Chalk Hill

WILLIAM KNUTTEL

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
WINDSOR OAKS VINEYARD 
CHALK HILL 2014

2014 William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon Windsor Oaks Vineyard
William Knuttel produces wines with intensity and finesse, which he achieves through meticulous fruit selection and skilled winemaking. As the former VP and winemaker at Chalk Hill, he has relationships with some of Sonoma County’s most heralded growers. As a veteran winemaker, he allows each featured site to shine brightly under his namesake label. At just $40, his 2014 Windsor Oaks Vineyard Cabernet is deep, firm, and well-defined, showing off his learned skills as a top winemaker.
 
Knuttle’s 2014 Windsor Oak Vineyard Cabernet is sourced from a single block of vines overlooking the Russian River Valley to the West and the Alexander Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains to the East. He’s scrupulous in his selection of only the ripest and most flavorful berries for his single-vineyard bottling, and he vinifies them separately. 
 
The hillside vineyard is quintessentially Chalk Hill and planted over well-drained, gravelly, clay-loam soils with open exposure to brisk Russian River Valley breezes that allow the Cabernet to maintain balanced acidity and fine structure. He produced just 8 barrels of this wine, and after more than 4 years in the bottle, the wine is stunning.
 
WILLIAM KNUTTEL
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
WINDSOR OAKS VINEYARD 
CHALK HILL 2014
Retails at: $45
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
 
“Aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and spiced tea rise unabated from this inky black wine. A well-integrated backbone of velvety tannins and toasty oak highlights cherry and cassis flavors, leading to concentrated fruit in a seamless and assertive finish. Alcohol 14.8%”
2018 Courtney Benham Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

2018 Courtney Benham Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

COURTNEY BENHAM

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2018 RUTHERFORD 

2018 Courtney Benham Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
Courtney Benham wines give tribute to Courtney’s love of terroir and journey through some of Napa Valley’s most distinctive appellations, offering a vivid portrayal of their unique origins. Rutherford is one of the most celebrated terroirs in Napa Valley due to its dynamic complexity, powerful elegance, and dusty tannins. Courtney’s version spotlights each of those hallmark characteristics, as well as the incredible vintage, and at less than $50, it’s one of the best values in the region.
 
Rutherford plays an integral part of Courtney’s terroir expression series, with ideal temperatures coupled with gravel and loam soils and volcanic deposits. These elements produce dense Cabernet Sauvignon fruit heightened with a quintessential earthiness that’s unique to the region. 
 
Winemaker Courtney Benham has three decades of experience, and his talent for selecting vineyards of distinction is highly evident in this wine. The 2018 vintage showcases power and restraint, with concentrated fruit, earthy minerals, and a singular focus.  
 
COURTNEY BENHAM
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2018 RUTHERFORD
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $46
 
 
“The blue fruit, fresh flowers, sandalwood and dust are so beautiful in this. Full body, firm and polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Really linear and tight. Persistent finish…”
94 Points
2015 The Vineyard House Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate

2015 The Vineyard House Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate

THE VINEYARD HOUSE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2015 OAKVILLE ESTATE 

2015 The Vineyard House Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate
The Vineyard House is my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for $500 quality in Cabernet, but at a price that’s less than half that. Surrounding their Estate Vineyard are properties owned by Harlan Estate, Promontory, and Futo, which garner around $500 to $1600 per bottle. Jeremy Nickel owns the winery, and the brand is a tribute to his late father, Gil Nickel, of Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries. The wine is under-the-radar, for now, but based upon the extreme quality inside the bottle and pedigree of the land, the brand will likely be a future cult wine.
 
Jeremy’s property is elevated above the benchlands of Oakville, overlooking To-Kalon and Martha’s Vineyards. The vines are grown in volcanic and sedimentary bedrock and produce fruit with superior concentration, power, and depth. 
 
This stunning wine emerges from one of Napa Valley’s top vintages, which the Wine Spectator describes as producing “significantly lower yields…Quality is high.” After developing for 24 months in oak, this remarkable wine expresses everything that I look forward to in upper echelon Oakville Cabernet. Still, we priced it at less than half of what you’d expect. 
 
THE VINEYARD HOUSE
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2015 OAKVILLE ESTATE
Retails at: $225
 
 
 
“The Vineyard House Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is picture-perfect. Of all the Cabernet Sauvignons I taste every year, The Vineyard House always stands out as one of the best-of-the-best Napa Cabernets that could easily challenge any contender. It’s powerfully brooding, with a linear element that makes it incredibly complex and seamless, along with remarkable purity. It is a towering wine with a mouth-watering combination of wild Burgundy plums, crushed mountain blackberries, smooth blue fruits, and elegant florals. It has a defined presence on your palate, but with all elements perfectly in place. The finish stays on your palate long enough to evolve as it slowly expands, then tapers for over a minute. It’s simply a delight to behold, and you can enjoy it now and over the next couple of decades.”
97 Points
 
“Our 2015 Cab is a case study of power & balance. This reddish-purple wine displays concentrated aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries, redcurrants, crème de cassis, violets, rosehips, tobacco leaf, forest floor, and pencil lead. Its seamless tannic structure and bright acidity will provide the stuffing for great longevity in your cellar. Patience will pay off in dividends, but our extended barrel aging adds a supple nature to the wine allowing for accessibility in its youth. The 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will not disappoint with its polished but intense personality.”
2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles

2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles

JUSTIN

2017 ISOSCELES 
PASO ROBLES 

2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles
Justin pioneered Bordeaux grape varietal blending in Paso Robles more than 30 years ago and named their flagship wine Isosceles for the three varieties that go into it; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Today, they’re one of the most recognizable producers in the region, and Isosceles unwaveringly delivers rich layers of lavish fruits and remarkable complexity. At around $60, it’s a lot of wine for the price.
 
Justin planted their vineyards in the Santa Lucia Mountains, where abundant fossilized limestone and enormous diurnal temperature swings proved ideal for ripening Bordeaux varietals and producing powerfully expressive flavors. 
 
The 2017 release is centered around a core 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, enhanced with Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and then aged in 100% new French oak barrels for an impressive 21 months. If you’re looking for a full-bodied red with deep, enthralling flavors and stunning complexity, this is it. 
 
JUSTIN
2017 ISOSCELES 
PASO ROBLES
Retails at: $76
 
Your Price: $59.99
 
 
“Highly aromatic and complex with lush, ripe black cherry, black currant and boysenberry with vanilla, cinnamon spice, sweet tobacco and savory notes of leather, camphor and cedar; Full bodied and luxuriant with ripe black fruit, mostly cherry and black currant with mixed ripe berries and barrel spice on entry. The mid-palate features continued fruit with subtle savory elements of autumn leaf, leather, and cedar with rounded, plush tannins that extend into a long finish featuring black cherry and camphor notes. The 2017 ISOSCELES is a full, complex and rich wine that is drinking nicely on release and will offer added complexity in a few years. 15% alcohol.”
2015 Together Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2015 Together Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

TOGETHER

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2015 NAPA VALLEY

2015 Together Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Together Cabernet Sauvignon harnesses Mountain fruit’s power through gentle winemaking, barrel age, and time in the bottle and delivers it with supreme elegance, refinement, and balance. The wine is crafted by Grant Long Jr, whom you might know from Witchery, Aonair, James Joseph, and Steps. Grant produced the 2015 vintage in the deeply enchanting style that we’d expect from his wine, and at $80, it’s worth every penny. Of course, at our price, very few wines can even complete.
 
Grant flawlessly merged hillside Cabernet Sauvignon fruit sourced from the surrounding mountains of Napa Valley, then enhanced it with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, which are vital in balancing the distinct Mountain terroirs. 
 
This remarkable 2015 was cave-aged for around 20 months in premium oak barrels, and after blossoming in the bottle for more than three years, the flavors have come together spectacularly. There are very few cases of this boutique Cabernet produced, and priced at 1/2 of the winery retail, you simply can’t order too much of this.
 
TOGETHER
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2015 NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $80
 
 
 
“Following the spectacular 2014 vintage, the Together Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is even more enticing. It begins with a concentrated nose of muddled blackberries, cassis, black plums, fresh lavender, and vanilla spice. The brooding palate has impressive balance with the wine’s deep, dark bass notes in perfect harmony with the brighter red fruit character. The rich, supple texture caresses your taste buds into a blissful, satiated state. It then finishes very long, with a complexity that teases your palate in such a beautiful way, and leaving you absolutely needing that next sip. Then the next. Then the next…” 
94 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
 
2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

GOLDENEYE

2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY

2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
The Duckhorn Group crafts Goldeneye Pinot Noir in a lavishly rich style, yet it presents elegance and charm. Their Anderson Valley Pinot hatched from predominantly Estate vineyards, defined by wind, fog, and a considerable diurnal temperature variation. If you’re searching for a classic Anderson Valley Pinot that’s deep, rich, and is not only enjoyable upon release but has the ability to age, this one is for you. 
 
Dan Duckhorn recognized the potential for world-class Pinot Noir in California’s Anderson Valley AVA in the late 1990’s, and he seized the opportunity to create a Pinot Noir that would stand on its own as one of California’s finest. The winery now produces a handful of Pinots under the Goldeneye label, and with the top-level wines ranging from $80-$125, their Anderson Valley Pinot is a steal at under $50. 
 
Goldeneye winemaker Katey Larwood intertwines fruit from warm and cool portions of the Valley, creating tension from the contrast of styles and flavors, giving this Pinot a classic portrayal of the region. Nesting for 16 months in oak, the 2017 release is a richly textured wine with velvety red and black fruits, wildflowers, and holiday spices.
 
GOLDENEYE
2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY
Retails at: $58
 
Your Price: $49.99
 
 
“Starting with the 2017 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley, which comes from multiple sites in the Anderson Valley and spent 16 months in 60% new French oak, it has a juicy berry-fruited nose as well as ample violets, candied orange peel, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. It’s one of the more approachable wines in the lineup yet still has classic Anderson Valley structure and minerality, medium body, and a great finish.”
90 Points
 
“Capturing the rustic elegance of the Anderson Valley, this wine begins with lively aromas of fresh-picked wild strawberry, dusty earth and sweet tobacco leaf. The dynamic strawberry aromas are echoed on the palate, where they are supported by supple tannins and a bright underlying acidity that adds energy and zest to a long, nuanced finish.”
2016 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2016 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

SILVER OAK

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2016 NAPA VALLEY

2016 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Silver Oak is consistent in its distinctive style of crafting age-worthy Cabernets with extravagant levels of sweet black fruits, vanilla, and savory elements. In exceptional years like 2016, those qualities become even more powerful and pronounced. The brand has dominated the space for high-quality domestic Cabernet Sauvignon over the past four decades, and their 2016 Napa release is among their finest.
 
This wine hails from the remarkable 2016 vintage, which the Wine Spectator ranks as the highest-rated vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet since 1997. The vintage produced powerful wines with superb intensity, balance, and fully-developed favors. 
 
Silver Oak’s distinct style comes by aging their Napa Valley Cabernet for an impressive 24 months in American oak barrels and two more years in the bottle before release. The extended barrel aging and time in the bottle results in a wine with beautifully integrated flavors that’s ready to drink now and will stand the test of time. 
 
SILVER OAK
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2016 NAPA VALLEY
 
Your Price: $125
 
 
“Deep ruby in color, the 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an opulent wine with notes of cassis, ripe raspberry, toasted coconut and shiitake mushroom. This wine has a rich entry, depth through the mid-palate, great structure without being heavy and exceptional length on the finish. Fresh cherry flavors balanced with floral notes and a subtle hint of black pepper add a beautiful complexity. Plush tannins lend to its ageworthiness. Given proper cellaring conditions, this wine will show beautifully through 2040.”
2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap

2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap

SILVERPOINT

2017 CHARDONNAY
PETALUMA GAP

2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap
Silverpoint’s master plan is to remain small and focused on producing tiny quantities of meticulously made wines. Their strategy parallels winemaker Don Van Staaveren’s patient and minimal intervention approach of winemaking. Don is a seasoned winemaker responsible for authoring the Chateau St. Jean wines that made history when his 1996 Cinq Cepages was the #1 wine on the Spectator Top 100 list. This wine proves that when a winemaker perfectly aligns his style with the proprietor’s goals, great things happen, and with a mere 91 cases made, don’t hesitate to secure yours.
 
Silverpoint Cellars sources their Chardonnay fruit from the renowned Rodgers Creek Vineyard, which sits in the heart of the cool-climate Petaluma Gap AVA. The site has maritime winds and heavy fog influences, along with chalky volcanic ash soils, which create an ideal environment for Chardonnay to develop expressive flavors and maintain natural acidity.  
 
Don barrel-aged the 2017 release for nine months sur lie, which played a crucial role in contributing to the wine’s creamy mouthfeel and opulent textures. With just 91 cases made, this pedigreed and micro-produced Chardonnay guarantees to impress.
 
SILVERPOINT
2017 CHARDONNAY
PETALUMA GAP
Retails at: $45
 
 
 
“Rich and pale gold color with a creamy texture balanced by a lively acidity. Hints of melon and white peach. Voluptuous. A long juicy finish lets you linger with this Chardonnay. 91 cases produced”
2015 Maroon Reserve Merlot Single Vineyard Napa Valley

2015 Maroon Reserve Merlot Single Vineyard Napa Valley

MAROON

RESERVE MERLOT
SINGLE VINEYARD
2015 NAPA VALLEY

2015 Maroon Reserve Merlot Single Vineyard Napa Valley
One of the leading factors in Maroon Winery’s success is its ability to identify properties capable of producing world-class grapes. They chose the historic Nichelini property for their Reserve Merlot. Nichelini is the oldest family-owned winery in Napa Valley and is not far from Kuleto Estate, Chappellet, Continuum, and Gandona. The wine perfectly balances power and elegance, and at our price, I recommend loading up. 
 
Nichelini’s vineyard sits at around 1,000′ in elevation, and the temperatures there are cooler than the Valley floor, providing ideal conditions for Merlot grapes to retain their natural acidity. Paul Maroon chose this site because he believed the vineyard’s unique climate was similar to Bordeaux.
 
This stunning Merlot emerges from one of Napa Valley’s top vintages, which the Wine Spectator describes as producing “Small crop… with deep dark fruit and spice flavors.” If you’re looking for a powerful yet elegant Merlot that you probably won’t find in your neighbor’s cellar, this is it. There were just 130 cases produced.
 
MAROON
RESERVE MERLOT
SINGLE VINEYARD
2015 NAPA VALLEY 
Retails at: $60
 
 
 
“Smooth, supple and elegant, this beautiful Merlot from Maroon has aromas of cassis, cherry pie, sage, violets, glove leather, spearmint, and sweet vanilla spice. On the palate, a seamless blend of black plums, crushed cherries, and fresh herbs lead to a balanced and lush finish with bright cherries right at the end.”
92 Points
 
“This delightful Merlot has aromas of fully ripened black cherry and plum intermingled with an appealing ray of slight spice and vanilla. The texture of the wine is very smooth from front to finish with a well-rounded texture on the midpalate. The tannins evolve and soften, resulting in a long, soft finale.”
130 cases produced