Gorgeous crème de cassis, crushed violets, lead pencil, graphite, and a liquid rock-like character all emerge from the 2018 Surrealist, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from St. Helena and 15% Petit Verdot from Rutherford. Full-bodied, deep, dense, and brilliantly concentrated, with building tannins and just an incredible mix of power and elegance, this needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for 25 to 30 years.
The Surrealist Reviews
The 2018 Surrealist is a wild, over the top wine, but in all the right ways, if that makes sense. Super-ripe red berry, kirsch, rose petal and sweet spice all race out of the glass. Heady and flamboyant to the core, the 2018 is immensely enjoyable, but readers have to appreciate this style. There is not much subtlety, not much left to the imagination. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot work so well here. -- Antonio Galloni
This is very juicy and flavorful with lots of ripe berries and fine tannins. Full-bodied, juicy, flavorful and intense. A little high octane. Dramatic, slightly wild package. Cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot.
One of the standouts is the 2017 Surrealist Red Blend and I’d put this up against anything in the vintage. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot that spent 18-20 months in 54% new French oak, this full-bodied, rich, powerful wine has a terrific, seamless texture, fine tannins, and a rocking nose of cassis, dried herbs, new saddle leather, and toasted spices. I love its balance, it has a great mid-palate, and it’s going to evolve for 20+ years.
The 2017 The Surrealist is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot aged in 54% new French oak and bottled without fining or filtration. It has a deep purple-black color and whoa—the nose is ATOMIC—eliciting dynamic scents of stewed plums, crème de cassis, melted chocolate and licorice with gentle wafts of wild sage, camphor, tapenade and rose hip tea. Medium to full-bodied bodied, elegant, refreshing and with a delicately grained texture, the palate is densely packed with tightly wound layers, finishing with fantastic length and depth.
Not yet bottled, the 2016 Surrealist Red Blend is a thrilling barrel sample that’s going to flirt with perfection on release. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (there’s a good chunk of Petit Verdot), it has a fresh, structured, concentrated style that carries incredible classic aromas of crème de cassis, graphite, tobacco leaf, and freshly sharpened cedar pencils. It’s powerful, layered, yet at the same time, elegant. It’s the real deal.
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 The Surrealist Proprietary Red—a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Petit Verdot—opens with a very spicy nose with earth and pepper aromas and notions of cassis, black berries, cedar and toast, with hints of violets and menthol. Rich, spicy and opulent in the full-bodied mouth with firm, wonderfully ripe tannins, this is super intense and powerful with a long, licorice-laced finish. 350 cases were made.
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Surrealist is pure perfection in a glass. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petit Verdot brought up all in new barrels, it has a sensational perfume of crème de cassis, toasted spices, vanilla, and hints of toasty oak. With a huge, full-bodied, opulent personality, no hard edges, incredibly polished tannin, and a huge finish, this tour de force has everything you could ask for in a Napa Valley Cabernet! Drink it anytime over the coming two decades or more. Hats off to winemaker Stephanie Putnam!
Notably smoky and toasty, with a strong yet integrated oak presence joining a chorus of blackberry, black licorice, dried herb and cedar flavors, ending with a chewy lead pencil edge. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
The surreal packaging of this wine with its baroque bottle and kissing heads suggest something very unique. Indeed. It shows balance and pleasure with black currant, spice and cedar undertones. Give it three or four years and see the love.
The 2014 Proprietary Red Surrealist, a blend that is intriguing in itself (59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Petit Verdot, with only 350 cases produced), is a wine with huge tannins, massive concentration, lots of cassis and blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with licorice and subtle toast. It is a big wine that should drink well for 30 or more years.
Beautifully crafted, offering the vibrant presence of a barrel sample, this is rich, dense and opulent, with stylish, jazzy mocha-and espresso-scented oak extending the dark berry, licorice, road tar and savory underbrush flavors. Ends with chewy tannins that end a sense of elegance. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. — J.L.
The most expensive cuvée is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB Surrealist, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville and 25% Petit Verdot. There are 181 cases of this wine, which was aged 19 months in 55% new French oak before being bottled unfiltered. This is a gorgeous, sensual wine with an opaque purple color and a beautiful, sweet kiss of blackberry liqueur intermixed with crème de cassis, violets and subtle spice. The wine has a terrific texture, genuine opulence and wonderful palate presence. Drink it over the next two decades.