Press Room

The Surrealist Reviews

Score: 93 | January 31, 2024 | Wine Advocate

JCB's 2021 The Surrealist Red Wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena and 20% Petit Verdot from Rutherford. Scents of violets mark the nose, joining plums and black cherries, plus some redder berries, while the palate is full-bodied and velvety—not overly plush—structured but not overly firm. It's a solid capstone bottling and an excellent wine, but it's priced like something more.

Score: 98 | October 27, 2022 | The Wine Independent

The 2015 Surrealist is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It delivers maturing, tertiary notes of unsmoked cigars, incense, fragrant soil, and crushed rocks over a core of blackcurrant pastilles, black cherry preserves, and preserved plums, plus a touch of dried mint. The full-bodied palate is firm, grainy, and lively, with muscular fruit leading to a lingering ferrous note on the finish of this wonderfully sophisticated wine.

Score: 98 | October 27, 2022 | The Wine Independent

A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Surrealist is very deep purple-black in color. It swans out with showy scents of blueberry compote, blackcurrant jelly, blackberry preserves, and candied violets, followed by suggestions of dried mint, pencil lead, cracked pepper, and fallen leaves. Full-bodied, firm, and very structured, it delivers layer upon layer of black fruits and savory flavors, finishing very long and fragrant. It should age gracefully!

Score: 91 | October 31, 2022 | Wine Spectator

This throws a gush of warmed cassis and creamed plum notes out front, with polished structure and toast along the edges that then blossoms through the finish. A late tug of loamy earth keeps this just honest enough. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2030. 177 cases made.

Score: 98+ | March 10, 2022 | Jeb Dunnuck
Score: 96 | January 1, 2022 | Vinous/Antonio Galloni

The 2019 Surrealist, Jean-Charles Boisset's Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot blend, screams out of the glass with layers of plush, inky red fruit. Mocha, spice and rose petal complement the super-ripe fruit nicely. Unabashedly flamboyant and inviting, Surrealist captures the essence of the Boisset style...and personality.

-- Antonio Galloni

Score: 96 | February 26, 2021 | Wine Advocate

Composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Surrealist was aged in French oak barrels, 59% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it wafts slowly, sensuously out of the glass with notes of star anise, cumin seed, clove oil and potpourri over a core of blackcurrant cordial, blueberry pie and raspberry coulis. Full-bodied, the palate is coated with decadent black and red berry preserves and loads of spicy sparks, framed by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing on a lingering mineral note. 299 cases were made.

Score: 99 | January 28, 2021 |

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.

Score: 95 | January 1, 2021 | Vinous/Antonio Galloni

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

Score: 98+ | December 29, 2017 | Wine Advocate

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.

Score: 100 | December 29, 2017 |

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!

Score: 92 | November 15, 2017 | Wine Spectator

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.

Score: 94 | November 30, 2016 |

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.

Score: 98 | October 26, 2016 | The Wine Advocate

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.

Score: 93 | May 31, 2016 | Wine Spectator

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.

Score: Best of Class | January 28, 2016 | American Fine Wine Competition

Best of Class Bordeaux Blend

Score: 95+ | October 1, 2015 | Wine Advocate

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.