2018 Grand Napa Master Red Napa Valley

2018 Grand Napa Master Red Napa Valley

GRAND NAPA 

MASTER RED
2018 NAPA VALLEY

2018 Grand Napa Master Red Napa Valley
Grand Napa Vineyards in Rutherford produces wine in an approachable style that’s keenly balanced, richly textured, with seamless structure. They seek vineyards that produce concentrated fruit, naturally balanced by elegant tannins. Their Master Red combines grapes from warmer and cooler parts of the Valley and harmoniously balances fruit, acid, and structure, tying it all in with soft, velvety tannins. Notably, this wine earned double 92 point scores based on the winery’s $90 retail price, so at our price, it’s an amazingly delicious value. 
 
Dwight Bonewell, the winemaker at Grand Napa, keeps a black book of secret vineyard sources, and he created his 2018 Master Red from top sites in Coombsville and Saint Helena. His 2018 combines 55% Cabernet Sauvignon with nearly equal parts Malbec and Merlot. 
 
The 2018 vintage was an ideal growing season in Napa, virtually uninterrupted by significant heat spikes, providing a prolonged hang-time and allowing the fruit to accumulate intense flavor and complexity. Grand Napa’s 2018 Master Red envelopes your palate in a blanket of juicy red and black fruits, crushed flowers, hints of espresso beans, and a rich, supple mouthfeel.
 
GRAND NAPA 
MASTER RED
2018 NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $90
 
 
 
“Loads of black cherries, currants, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and spring flower notes emerge from the 2018 Master Red. A medium to full-bodied, lightly textured blend with integrated tannins and a clean, classy finish, I’d be thrilled to drink bottles any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
92 Points
 
“Savory aromas of dried mushroom and oyster shell on the nose, layered with dried blackcurrant and tobacco. It’s medium- to full-bodied with sleek, integrated tannins. Flavorful with a juicy, savory finish. Try from 2021.”
92 Points
2018 Acumen Mountainside Proprietary Red Napa Valley

2018 Acumen Mountainside Proprietary Red Napa Valley

ACUMEN

2018 MOUNTAINSIDE
PROPRIETARY RED
NAPA VALLEY

2018 Acumen Mountainside Proprietary Red Napa Valley
Acumen wines have a definitive style similar to Napa Valley’s great Cabernets from the 1960s and 1970s. They craft classically structured, balanced wines marked by complexity and ageability under renowned winemaker Phillip Titus, winemaker at Chappellet for nearly 30 years. At $40, Acumen’s Mountainside Red embodies the soul of their Estate vineyard, their team’s talent, and their proprietor’s drive, offering immeasurable value. 
 
At around 1500 feet elevation on Atlas Peak, Acumen’s Mountainside Blend was wrought from the rocky, volcanic soils and relatively cool climate, perfectly depicting the deep, concentrated flavors that make this region famous.
 
Acumen sells most of their fruit, allowing Phillip Titus to focus on his favorite blocks for Acumen’s estate wines. Phillip created this wine around a core of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Merlot and Petit Verdot for soft, supple characteristics, balancing the power of Mountain Cabernet.
 
ACUMEN
2018 MOUNTAINSIDE
PROPRIETARY RED
NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $45
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
 
“This full-bodied wine starts with fragrant aromas of ripe blackberries, potpourri, freshly turned earth, and Chambord. On the palate, we find mouth-coating flavors of blueberries, Santa Rosa plums, and baking spices with a pleasant grip of ripe tannins coupled with notes of toffee, rhubarb compote, fresh sage and cigar box on the long and pleasant finish.”
2017 Buoncristiani O.P.C. Proprietary Red Napa Valle

2017 Buoncristiani O.P.C. Proprietary Red Napa Valley

BUONCRISTIANI

O.P.C. PROPRIETARY RED
2017 NAPA VALLEY

2017 Buoncristiani O.P.C. Proprietary Red Napa Valle
Re-birthed each new vintage, driven by the synergy of marrying top-quality Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and other Bordeaux varieties by hand, Buoncristiani O.P.C. highlights some of Napa’s most illustrious vineyards, including Hyde, Stagecoach, and Hossfeld. The Buoncristiani brothers created O.P.C. to make a wine unique to them, guided by a shared passion, and precipitated by the amalgamation of skills. As a result, the 2017 vintage is “beautifully textured,” marked by complexity, balance, and absolute value. 
 
Highlighting a New World winemaker’s freedom to create a wine outside the bounds of classic varietal blends, winemaker Jay Buoncristiani merged Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petite Verdot with Syrah, enhancing the layers and textures in the wine.
 
The 2017 release showcases the vintage’s most intense characteristics with focus, enveloping elegance, enhanced with twenty months rest in barrels. At $70, it’s truly stunning, but at under $50, few can compete.
 
BUONCRISTIANI
O.P.C. PROPRIETARY RED
2017 NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $70
 
 
 
“…complex, nuanced style in its mulled plums, black tea, peppery herbs, and orange blossom aroma and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, rich and beautifully textured on the palate, with ripe, mouthcoating tannins, it’s another terrific 2017 from this team that will evolve for a solid 10-15 years, that is, if you can keep your hands off bottles.”
93 Points
 
“…Deep garnet-purple colored, it has black raspberries, warm plums and boysenberries with hints of mocha, anise, black pepper and tar. The palate is full-bodied, rich, soft and plush with loads of spicy sparks and a long, peppery finish.”
92+ Points

“This has a fresh and complex nose with notes of ripe dark fruit and mint. Medium to full body with a fleshy palate and firm tannin structure. Polished and juicy fruit…Drink or hold.” 
92 Points
 
“… supple, forward wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The tannins are a bit stern today, but time in the bottle should take care of that.” 
92 Points
2016 Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch

2016 Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch

MEERLUST

2016 RUBICON
STELLENBOSCH

2016 Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch
Setting in motion a movement of Bordeaux-style blends in Stellenbosch, Meerlust began producing Rubicon in 1980 and unmasked the possibilities of a region with regal stature, historical strength, and timeless intrigue. Exploiting cool ocean breezes and evening mists, Meerlust sits fifteen kilometers south of Stellenbosch, where ancient soils combine with a maritime influence, creating a powerful expression of the region. At less than $40, this pillar of Stellenbosch deserves a spot in your cellar. 
 
Meerlust is a historical estate dating back to 1756, with a rich history of producing classic expressions of the region. Their longstanding traditions and stewardship of their vineyards continue under the guidance of eighth-generation winemaker Hannes Myburgh. 
 
Calling on four of Bordeaux’s top five varietals, Meerlust’s 2016 Rubicon marries 49% Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, aged for 16 months in barrels. The wine is rich with supple fruits and silky tannins, offering great concentration, balance, and old-world-like intrigue.
 
MEERLUST
2016 RUBICON
STELLENBOSCH 
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
 
“Cedar wood, spice, a touch of fynbos on nose and palate. Good acidity and layers of flavour that balance the ripe fruit, with a deft touch. Drinking Window 2021 – 2028”
93 Points
 
“The 2016 Rubicon has an expressive nose of mulberry with subtle oak and red and brown spices… the full-bodied palate is still tight and structured with a grippy, chewy edge, but elegance can be gained with age and this wine ends well structured with focused balance.”
90+ Points
 
“Very Old World in style, with a graceful profile and mouthwatering acidity standing firmly behind notes of cherry, savory mineral, rose hip and rosemary. Supple tannins create good harmony and give this more muscle. Needs a bit more time, but well-executed. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2021 through 2029.”
90 Points
2016 La Sirena Pirate Treasured Proprietary Red

2016 La Sirena Pirate Treasured Proprietary Red

LA SIRENA

PIRATE TREASURED
2016 PROPRIETARY RED

2016 La Sirena Pirate Treasured Proprietary Red
La Sirena’s Pirate TreasuRed is a unique seven varietal blend reimagined each vintage, constructed through Heidi Barrett’s meticulous blending skills and connections for high-quality grapes. The varietal composition changes with each new year, but the exquisite, deep, multilayered, fresh style remains constant. 2016 vintage marks her 10th vintage of Pirate TreasuRed and is one of the biggest, most concentrated versions yet. 
 
Heidi Barrett was immersed in wine from a young age and worked alongside her father, Dick Peterson, at various wineries. She started La Sirena in 1994 after honing her skills at Dalla Valle and Screaming Eagle. 
 
With seven varietals to work with, each plays an essential role in the wine’s aromatics, structure, textures, and fruit characteristics. The Cabernet Sauvignon provides the framework, while Grenache contributes seductive fruits, Cabernet Franc adds power and definition, and the list goes on.
 
LA SIRENA
PIRATE TREASURED
2016 PROPRIETARY RED
Retails at: $65
 
 
 
“The 2016 Pirate delivers a deep ruby colored wine with lush, ripe aromas of black and red fruit like plum and berry, accompanied by notes of fine leather, toast and spice. A complex blend with lots of interesting layers playing off of each other. Flavors persist as does the texture of the wine. Extracted and big but not heavy, with moderate silky structural tannins and a round, well-balanced finish that lingers. A versatile wine that, above all else, is fun to drink! 2016 marks our 10th release of this blend – a picture-perfect vintage known for producing classic expressions of Napa Valley wines.”
2018 Westwood Legend Proprietary Red

2018 Westwood Legend Proprietary Red

WESTWOOD

2018 LEGEND
PROPRIETARY RED

2018 Westwood Legend Proprietary Red
Legends of biodynamic viticulture, Westwood spares no expense raising the highest quality wines possible from their Estate. Their vineyard is one of a handful of Demeter-certified Biodynamic vineyards in North America. Westwood’s winemaker is Philippe Melka, named by the Wine Advocate as “one of the Top 10 Winemakers in the World,” and whose vast experience includes winemaking at Bryant Family, Quintessa, Hundred Acre, Mastery, and Dominus. Jeb Dunnuck writes, this wine has a “notable sense of class and balance,” and simply put, you don’t want to miss it. 
 
Westwood Legend arose from the cool, wind-swept Annadel Gap Vineyard, located between Mt. Hood and Sonoma Mountain, and includes specially sourced organic grapes from Sonoma and Napa Valleys. Formatted to bring out the best qualities of the Estate, the 2018 blend is exquisite.
 
Meticulously made, Philippe and his winemaking team harvest each clone at the pinnacle of ripeness before being carefully sorted by hand and fermented in individual lots. The wine was gravity-fed into French oak barrels, where it spent the next 20 months. The result is stunning.
 
WESTWOOD
2018 LEGEND
PROPRIETARY RED
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $49.99
 
 
“The 2018 Legend Proprietary Red is an interesting blend of 45% Syrah, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Mourvèdre, and the rest Cabernet Franc, Tannat, and a splash of Petit Verdot. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by loads of blackberry and blueberries fruit intermixed with plenty of peppery herbs, menthol, and graphite. This rich, full-bodied effort has a delicious juiciness, polished tannins, and a notable sense of class and balance.”
92 Points
2017 Leto Cellars Proprietary Red Napa Valley

2017 Leto Cellars Proprietary Red Napa Valley

LETO CELLARS

PROPRIETARY RED
2017 NAPA VALLEY

2017 Leto Cellars Proprietary Red Napa Valley
Brad Warner’s half-century of winemaking experience is compounded by each successful vintage and tuned with the trials and tribulations encountered along the way, resulting in expertly balanced, story-telling wines of palpable quality. Calling on his vast experience, Brad created this union of Mountain and valley floor fruit that balances power and grace, and simply put, tastes like it should be at least double the price. 
 
Combining Mount Veeder’s power with the refined complexity of Saint Helena fruit, Brad’s decades in the wine industry allowed him access to some remarkable vineyards. He sourced the Merlot and some of the Cabernet from a steep hillside vineyard, which he balanced with Cabernet Sauvignon from dry-farmed vines in St Helena’s center. 
 
Blending 35%Merlot with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot softens the Cabernet’s tannins, providing supple fruits that balance Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure. After developing for 22 months in oak and two years in the bottle, this wine is gorgeous now and will gracefully age for another decade.
 
LETO CELLARS
PROPRIETARY RED
2017 NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $55
 
 
 
“The 2017 Leto Red Blend is a striking blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, giving it the right balance to drink beautifully now and for many years to come. It begins with a compelling nose of red currants, mountain berries, fresh florals, green sage, and savory, earthy spices. The palate is rich with ripe Burgundy plums, wild currants, hints of vanilla, and subtle spice. It is beautifully concentrated with penetrating fruit that carries the balanced flavors for a long finish, and I highly recommend trying some.” 
94 Points
2018 Arietta Quartet Proprietary Red

2018 Arietta Quartet Proprietary Red

ARIETTA 

2018 QUARTET 
PROPRIETARY RED
 
2018 Arietta Quartet Proprietary Red
Arietta’s specialty is harmoniously balanced Bordeaux-style blends created from top vineyards in Napa Valley. They gain inspiration for their wine from music and believe that great wines should sing with balance, vibrancy, and depth. They’re able to achieve this with the proper instruments (super-premium grapes) and the help of gifted composer/winemaker Andy Erickson. Andy made Screaming Eagle from 2005 through 2010, and he also makes Mayacamas, which in the last two consecutive vintages ranked #2 and #4 on Wine Spectator Top 100. At 95 points and under $100, don’t miss Arietta’s 2018 Quartet.   
 
Cabernet Sauvignon takes center stage in the 2018 Quartet, followed by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. They finely tuned this wine for 20 months in oak, and it makes a grand entrance from one of Napa Valley’s most exceptional vintages. 
 
The winery sources fruit from Meteor and Two Belles Farms in Coombsville, and in Carneros, they call on Lee Hudson’s renowned vineyard. If you’re looking for a stunningly complex and deeply hedonistic blend to add to your cellar, this one is singing.
 
ARIETTA 
2018 QUARTET 
PROPRIETARY RED
Retails at: $75
 
Your Price: $69.99
 
 
“This blends 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot into a cohesive whole of complex structure and grace. Cedar, pencil shavings, iron and crushed rock provide a savory foundation complemented by lush richness in the form of dense blueberry, dark chocolate and nutmeg…”
95 Points
2018 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious Proprietary Red

2018 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious Proprietary Red

JON NATHANIEL

2018 BODACIOUS
PROPRIETARY RED

2018 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious Proprietary Red
Veteran winemakers John and Nat Komes established Jon Nathaniel winery to recapture their creative freedom. They hand-craft each wine with the highest standards of excellence and meticulously select fruit from small parcels that they’ve farmed for decades. John founded Flora Springs winery in the late 70s and helped pioneer barrel fermentation, lees stirring, the use of French and American oak barrels, and proprietary blends in Napa Valley. Nat previously oversaw operations at Flora Springs for nearly 20 years, and together they craft this incredible, high-scoring blend. 
 
This wine gets its name from the iconic rodeo bull, Bodacious, known as The World’s Most Dangerous Bull. The wine Bodacious presents in a larger-than-life, expressive style that captures the winemaker’s creativity and vision for crafting a wine that tells a powerful tale of the vintage and the care that went into it. 
 
They cellared the 2018 release for around 20 months in barrel, and now, right out of the bottle, it’s supple, rich, and inviting. Winemakers Nat and Jon created the 2018 Bodacious by artfully blending Malbec and Petite Verdot, and the sheer quality of this wine is no bull.
 
JON NATHANIEL
2018 BODACIOUS
PROPRIETARY RED
Retails at: $60
 
Your Price: $36
 
 
“the 2018 Red Blend Bodacious checks in as equal parts Malbec and Petit Verdot, all from the Napa Valley. A big, inky, ruby/purple color is followed by rich notes of ripe blackcurrants, blueberries, dark chocolate, scorched earth, and graphite. With sweet tannins, a dense, concentrated, medium to full-bodied style, and nicely integrated oak, this ripe, sexy 2018 can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years.”
93 Points
2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

BEVAN

2018 ONTOGENY
PROPRIETARY RED

2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red
Number one on Jeb Dunnuck’s list of the Top Napa Cabernets Under $100, Russell Bevan’s 2018 Ontogeny is a barrel selection created from Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders, and Sage Ridge vineyards. Russell produces single-vineyard Cabernets that retail for around $200 from each of those coveted sites; however, Ontogeny isn’t just the introduction to Bevans wines’ cardinal quality, but as the least expensive of his big reds, it doesn’t compromise at all in quality. 
 
2018 was a faultless growing season, virtually uninterrupted by significant heat spikes, providing a prolonged hang-time, allowing the fruit to accumulate intense flavor and complexity. The resulting wine is breathtakingly complex and irresistibly engaging. 
 
Ontogeny combines six highly expressive vineyards raised in a variety of top-level oak barrels and with a near-perfect 99 Point score and priced under $100; you can’t have too much of this in your cellar.
 
BEVAN
2018 ONTOGENY
PROPRIETARY RED
 
Your Price: $99.99
 
 
“While this cuvée is one of the least expensive in the lineup, it’s often one of my favorites. The 2018 Ontogeny is no exception and should be snatched up by readers. A classic 2018 nose of ripe, pure blue fruits, cassis, violets, and smoked earth gives way to a full-bodied, dense, concentrated Cabernet with beautiful tannins and length. It’s going to evolve for 20 years or more.”
99 Points, #1 Top Napa Cabernets Under $100