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2005 Cliff Lede Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

What a massive and powerful Napa Cab!


The 2005 Cliff Lede Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is bursting with concentrated flavors of blackberry and plums that are balanced by the cinnamon and licorice infused velvet tannins that cling incessantly on the palate.

Even after 12 years, this dark purple juice has great structure replete with an abundance of youthful fruit which together should allow this wine to continue to age another 15+ years.

I really loved this wine, and its original cost of $65 gives it a ridiculously high quality to price ratio.

 

2007 Cakebread Benchland Select

 

 

The 2007 Cakebread Benchland Select is simply gorgeous!

Fruit for this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced almost evenly from Rutherford (56%) and Oakville (44%).

After maturing for almost 10 years in the cellar, the wine is now perfectly balanced as delicious ripe fruit and juicy acids are harmonized and supported by soft dusty tannins.

The juice is a beautiful, inky purple almost black color with aromas of licorice and blackberry on the nose.

Lush flavors of dark berries, plum and cinnamon are followed by chocolate and leather with hints of earth on the satisfying and long dry finish.

Although drinking exceptionally now, the experience is amplified even more when paired with food like this roasted filet mignon.

Limited quantities of this Cab can be found for $200 or more, but current vintages retail for about $110 – $120.

2014 Goosecross Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Goosecross Cellars is a boutique winery in Yountville, Napa Valley that produces about 7,000 cases of wine annually.

Their focus is mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Red Blends as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and most of their offerings range between $27 and $82.

The 2014 Goosecross Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a lush, fruit forward effort with vibrant blackberry and blueberry fruit that wash across the palate and are followed by generous amounts of cinnamon and nuts on the creamy long finish.

This youthful Cab is drinking wonderfully now, and should provide enjoyment over the next 7 – 10 years, and at a price of $54 it won’t break the bank!

Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

The 2010 Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is an intense and sophisticated Cab that is firing on all cylinders.

The silky ripe fruit and juicy acids are in perfect harmony with the velvet tannins that stretch across the long finish.

A dazzling deep purple with intoxicating fragrances of violets, berries and forest floor waffling up from the glass.

Only to be outdone by the killer combination of dark plum, blackberry, cedar and cinnamon flavors that cascade across the palate, highlighting different components on each sip.

Rocca is a boutique winery in Yountville with an annual case production of 2,200 across a 6 wine portfolio focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

These limited production wines make great Christmas gifts for the oenophiles on your shopping list, as 5 of the 6 wines retail between $45-$100.

The Rocca Grigsby Cabernet can be found today between $70-$80 which is a great price for such a high quality Napa Cabernet!

 

Nickel & Nickel State Ranch

Nickel & Nickel is the sister winery to Oakville’s legendary Far Niente.

Nickel & Nickel is also based in Oakville, and is devoted exclusively to producing 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinctive personality of each vineyard.  Nickel & Nickel produces single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from all over Napa Valley.  They have multiple offerings from St Helena, Oakville, Yountville, Rutherford and Oak Knoll.  I love this estate because it truly allows one to see how deeply terroir impacts wine.

Unlike my beloved Giants, the Nickel & Nickel 2007 State Ranch from Yountville is a winner!

This full bodied beauty exudes lovely aromas of cherry, blackberry and dark fruits balanced neatly between juicy acids and velvety tannins with traces of blueberry and mushrooms on the finish.

The wine retails for $99.99.

Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 was another outstanding vintage in Napa Valley.

This Stags Leap District Cabernet is a perfect representation of the high quality juice produced throughout the Valley that year.

The wine’s lush balanced structure easily supports its blackberry and creamy toasted oak flavors, while the velvety finish keeps me reaching for another sip.

This $70 beauty will appeal to Napa Valley Cab fans!

Delille Cellars Grand Ciel

Delille Cellars is one of my favorite wineries in Washington State.

I love everything they produce, and recommend their wines every chance I get.

The 2010 Grand Ciel from Red Mountain is their flagship wine, and it is Magnificent!   The wine explodes with lush fruit, cinnamon and clove flavors on a backbone of smooth round tannins.

This is a complex, concentrated wine that is the perfect compliment to a T-Bone or any other hearty dish.

The wine’s suggested price is $135, but it can be found at as low as $89 at a few on-line stores.  At that price the Grand Ciel is a cheap alternative to its rival high end Napa Cabs.

 

Bennett Lane Red Maximus

The 2007 Bennett Lane Maximus Red Feasting Wine was the perfect wine to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

This Cabernet based wine has healthy doses of Merlot and Syrah added in to round out the tannins and augment the jammy berry flavors.

This 10 year old wine was still oozing these youthful blackberry and blueberry fruits accompanied by rich polished tannins.

The wine was fun and easy to drink, which allowed us to focus on the celebration.

The wine retails for about $30, which is unheard of for a quality Napa Valley proprietary red blend.

 

Carter Cellars To Kalon OG

No better way to kickoff the weekend than with a bottle of the 2012 Carter Cellars To Kalon The O.G.

This lively wine showcases dark berries and mocha flavors with a silky long finish.

The wine retails for $150.

Jarvis Lake William

The 2003 Jarvis Lake William Napa Valley is still a very charming wine.

This Bordeaux style blend is comprised of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot with the balanced split between Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The color is still a violet opaque purple, while the nose provides light fruit aromas which is a pretext of what is about to come on the 1st sip.  After decanting for an hour the tart fruit softened and the wine opened nicely. The palate was now elegant as soft juicy dark fruit and blackberry flavors were followed by leather, mushroom and earthy velvet tannins that lingered effortlessly for 3+ seconds.

The back label recommends that the wine should be consumed within 7 years, but I disagree as the additional years in the cellar has this wine living up to its Bordeaux blend pedigree as it drinks more like an aged wine from the Pauillac region in Bordeaux.

The 2003 Lake William is hard to find now, but it priced for $70 when release back in 2005.  Today it retails for about $125, while newer vintages retail for about $150.

On a separate note, in my opinion, Jarvis has the best underground cave tours in all of Napa Valley.  So the next time you are in the Valley, schedule a tour and tasting in their caves.

You will not be disappointed!