2018 Lancaster Winemakers Cuvee Alexander Valley

2018 Lancaster Winemakers Cuvee Alexander Valley

LANCASTER

2018 WINEMAKER’S CUVEE 
ALEXANDER VALLEY

2018 Lancaster Winemakers Cuvee Alexander Valley
Millions of years ago, volcanic and seismic activity shaped much of Alexander Valley, leaving the area with dozens of unique soil types and microclimates, proven to produce savory and delicious Bordeaux-style blends. Lancaster’s hillside estate soils are nutrient deficient, forcing the vine to concentrate more on survival and less on green leaf growth, ideal for growing grapes with distinct character and varietal expression.
 
Each vintage brings opportunities to learn and improve, so viticulturist Brian Malone and winemaker David Drake work closely to monitor small vineyard changes with satellite mapping and climatic analysis from vineyard weather stations. Every vineyard block is evaluated for each microclimate’s most superior clones and rootstocks, producing wines that boast robust flavors and compete with some of Napa Valley’s finest red wines. 
 
LANCASTER
2018 WINEMAKER’S CUVEE 
ALEXANDER VALLEY
Retails at: $85
 
Your Price: $69.99
 
 
“The 2018 Winemaker’s Cuvee is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Medium ruby, it has pretty scents of Morello cherries, cigar box, lavender and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is approachable straight from the bottle, with grainy tannins, refreshing acidity and a long, mineral-laced finish.” 
93 Points
2017 Gaja Magari Ca'Marcanda

2017 Gaja Magari Ca’Marcanda

GAJA

2017 MAGARI
CA’ MARCANDA

2017 Gaja Magari Ca'Marcanda
Gaja is one of the world’s great wine producers, known for their risk-taking and having outstanding consistency of superior quality since 1859. Ca’Marcanda, or “house of endless negotiations,” is the name of the second property purchased by the Gaja family in 1996, after 18 trips to complete the negotiations for buying the Estate.
 
Ca’Marcanda, located in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany, is planted with Bordeaux varieties allowing Gaja to produce Magari, a sultry Tuscan blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. The vineyard blocks for this blend on the fertile hillsides of Terre Brune, or loamy, clay-rich soils known to provide depth, richness, and minerality to wines, and with Gaja’s top wines selling for more than $500, the Magari is an absolute steal.
 
GAJA
2017 MAGARI
CA’ MARCANDA
 
Your Price: $75
 
 
“The Gaja family at its Camarcanda estate is leading a silent revolution. Certified organic, although this is not mentioned, the winery has overturned Merlot for Cabernets and cordon training for guyot in the vineyards…. The 2017 vintage shines for its bright cassis fruit, melded with blackberry and cherry, then leafy and cedary notes to develop garrigue in depth. The creamy and dense palate has almost firm acidity and shows a bit of a dry finish, but otherwise this is hedonistically supple.” 
94 Points
2018 Frisson Proprietary Red Toucher Vineyard Yountville

2018 Frisson Proprietary Red Toucher Vineyard Yountville

FRISSON

PROPRIETARY RED
TOUCHER VINEYARD
2018 YOUNTVILLE

2018 Frisson Proprietary Red Toucher Vineyard Yountville
Yountville marks the convergence of extremes where cool mornings meet warm afternoons producing vibrant wines with fully developed flavors and rich, diverse soils create dark, intense, and extracted Cabernet Sauvignon. Frisson’s Yountville proprietary blend bears these majestic hallmarks with supple fruits embroidered with earthly hedonism lengthened by fresh, natural acidity. 
 
Winemaker Paul Colantuoni is adept with Yountville terroir, gaining experience at Rocca Vineyards, where he crafts their high-scoring Yountville wines, eloquently revealing the region’s signature characteristics. This wine highlights the vintage’s power by embellishing its best qualities with additions of Merlot and Petite Verdot to a base of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
FRISSON
PROPRIETARY RED
TOUCHER VINEYARD
2018 YOUNTVILLE
Retails at: $65
 
 
 
“The Frisson Proprietary Red Toucher Vineyard 2018 begins with sweet-spice aromas of cinnamon and cloves, leading into vanilla, cherry cola, cassis, black plums, and a savory tapenade. The wine is refreshingly balanced between the fruit and spice components on the palate, leading to a great complexity of flavors that continue to evolve until the finish. This wine is ready to drink now but will display more developed flavors and aromas after a few years.”
92 points
2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy

2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy

CAIAROSSA

2015 TOSCANA IGT
TUSCANY, ITALY

2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy
Caiarossa describes their flagship Super Tuscan as a liberation of the senses, achieved by artfully blending seven varieties, biodynamically farmed and woven into a luxurious tapestry, encapsulating the Estate’s dynamic terroir. Tuscany’s 2015 vintage embellished the wine’s already alluring qualities, naturally producing wines, “Ripe and opulent, with plenty of fruit,” as noted by the Wine Spectator, and with 96 points and priced less than $60, I highly recommend adding this Italian legend to your cellar. 
 
The Estate’s 16-hectare vineyard on the Tuscan coast was resurrected in 2004 by the late Eric Albada Jelgersma of Grand Cru Margaux houses Château Giscours and Château du Tertre. The winery’s deep ties to Bordeaux are present in their wines, telling an authentic tale of their origin. 
 
CAIAROSSA
2015 TOSCANA IGT 
TUSCANY, ITALY
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $58
 
 
“The nose immediately shows a fabulous contrast between riper mulberries and blackberry crumble and freshly ground herbs, citrus and incense. The palate shows much the same polish, carrying bright blue-fruit flavors across a bedrock of muscular tannins and driven acidity. This finishes long and very grainy yet succulent. A blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, sangiovese, petit verdot and alicante.”
96 Points
2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles

2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles

JUSTIN

2017 ISOSCELES 
PASO ROBLES 

2017 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles
Named for a trio of Bordeaux varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, Justin Isosceles is one of Paso Robles’ most distinguished wines, unwavering in delivering layers of lavish fruits, extract, and remarkable complexity. 
 
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 qualities. 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
 
 
“Dark purple. Deep-pitched cassis, cherry-vanilla and pipe tobacco aromas are complemented by a building floral note and a hint of cracked pepper. Rich but energetic as well, showing solid thrust to the dark berry preserve, mocha and rose pastille flavors. Finishes on a smoky note, with strong tenacity, lingering floral oak spice character and steadily building tannins. All new French oak.”
93 Points
2018 Vista Atlas Peak Reserve Proprietary Red

2018 Vista Atlas Peak Reserve Proprietary Red

VISTA

ATLAS PEAK RESERVE
2018 PROPRIETARY RED

2018 Vista Atlas Peak Reserve Proprietary Red
Cementing its spot on my top 5 list in 2020, Vista’s 2018 Atlas Peak Red is the single most extraordinary $23 wine that I’ve tasted. The wine has the concentration, depth, complexity, and balance that you’d expect from a remarkable $50 bottle of high-elevation Napa wine, but at $23, it’s hard to wrap your head around how it can be that good, for the modest price.
 
At 2,000 feet elevation on Atlas Peak, Vista’s 2018 Reserve Blend was wrought from the rocky red Aiken soils and perfectly shows off the deep, concentrated flavors that make this region famous. Predominately Cabernet Sauvignon, balanced with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, if you’re looking for a wine that tastes like it should be at least double or triple the price, this is it.
 
VISTA
ATLAS PEAK RESERVE
2018 PROPRIETARY RED
 
Your Price: $23
2019 Y. Rousseau Proprietary Red Son Of A Butcher

2019 Y. Rousseau Proprietary Red Son Of A Butcher

Y. ROUSSEAU

2019 PROPRIETARY RED
SON OF A BUTCHER

2019 Y. Rousseau Proprietary Red Son Of A Butcher
Thoughtfully uniting earth, elements, and California fruit, Yannick Rousseau captures the spirit of his homeland of Gascony, France, attuned with American winemaking freedom. Calling on Tannat’s intense color and firm structure, elevated by additions of Bordeaux Varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, Rousseau utilizes a gentle hand, sharp nose, and keen taste, creating something truly unique, and offering tremendous value. 
 
Deemed the “healthy grape” due to high antioxidants, Tannat is a grape varietal native to Southern France, revered for power, robust character, intense fruit, spice, and structure. 
 
Harnessing Tannat’s muscle by skillfully blending softer Bordeaux varieties, Yannik Rousseau ages this wine for 18 months in barrel, revealing layers of elegance, character, and elements of intrigue.
 
Y. ROUSSEAU
2019 PROPRIETARY RED
SON OF A BUTCHER
 
Your Price: $23
 
 
“Deep black cherry in appearance. Bright, complex, generous and profound with notes of baked blackberry pie, dry sage, white pepper, licorice, medium roast coffee, forest floor and subtle French oak. Supple attack, delicate roundness, full-bodied, offering sweet spices, pure dark berries, silky tannins and fresh long finish. It’s an unmistakable California resident…rich, juicy and a youthful vibe…but this one doesn’t forget its french heritage and its ‘je ne sais quoi’.”
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