JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Reviews
The 2019 Passion is another brilliant value and possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon with 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, from a mix of vineyards, it’s a full-bodied, round, straight-up sexy red that has lots of black fruits as well as notes of leafy herbs, chocolate, and earth.
Blackberries, peppery herbs, leather, and sappy green herb notes all emerge from the 2019 Leopard, a blend of 56% Syrah, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Cabernet Franc. This medium to full-bodied, ripe, super sexy, seamless red will drink well for 10-12 years.
The 2019 Knockout is, indeed, a knockout and if you’re craving sexy Napa Valley fruit and opulence, it won’t get much better. A blend of 63% Petite Sirah and 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, this full-bodied beast of a wine offers loads of darker fruits, violets, graphite, and leafy herb aromas and flavors. It has a stacked mid-palate, sweet tannins, and like all the wines from winemaker Stephanie Putnam, brings richness with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Drink it over the coming decade.
A brilliant value based on 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Enrapture has a balanced, full-bodied, structured, almost Mountain fruit-like character as well as darker, herbal, mineral, and chocolaty aromas and flavors. It’s unquestionably one of the top Napa Valley Cabernets out there at the price.
The inky hued 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Phi comes from a blend of two vineyards and is aged exclusively in a unique, elongated “Phi” barrel, 67% being new. Cassis, blackcurrants, graphite, and gravelly earth are just some of the nuances, and this full-bodied beauty is flawlessly balanced, has incredible tannins, and that rare mix of richness and elegance. It’s beautifully done. It needs a good 4-5 years of bottle age and should age spectacularly well for 25+ years.
Per the always charming Jean-Charles, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #10 is made to be 10 times as big, and while the #1 release is a seamless, finesse-driven wine, this is more opulent and hedonistic, with an awesome bouquet of black fruits, smoked tobacco, graphite, and lead pencil nuances. It’s a monster of a wine, yet somehow stays beautifully balanced, light on its feet, pure, and graceful. It’s another beautiful wine in the lineup that will deliver the goods over the coming two decades or more.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #1 is all St. Helena fruit, and the idea with this cuvée is to create a classic, balanced, elegant expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m happy to say they’ve succeeded admirably. This deep purple-hued 2019 gives up lots of cassis fruits, subtle background oak, full-bodied richness, and textbook, complex notes of chalky minerality, toasted spices and Pauillac-like lead pencil shavings. It will cruise for 20-25 years in cold cellars.
The 2019 Cabernet Franc JCB #17 is all varietal and comes from a single vineyard in St. Helena. It spent 19 months in 40% new French oak. This pretty, medium to full-bodied, super elegant red offers lots of spicy, cedary, savory nuances as well as ample ripe darker cherry and berry fruits, supple tannins, beautiful overall balance, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming 15 years or more.
The 2018 Merlot No. 4 is made from 100% Merlot, from the east side of St. Helena on volcanic/obsidian-rich soils. It was aged in French oak, 21% new. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with lively notes of crushed black plums, juicy blueberries and fresh blackberries with suggestions of candied violets, baking spices, cardamom and fruitcake. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers soft, rounded tannins and oodles of freshness, beautifully framing the ripe, fresh black and blue fruits, finishing long and spicy. Only 49 cases were made.
This is made from 80% Pinot Noir, the remainder Chardonnay, both coming from both the Napa and Sonoma sides of the appellation. Inviting in wild strawberry, it is dry and stony and exuberant in earthy mineral aspects of crushed rock and dried herb.
This coastal wine has a feral element of exotic fruit, rhubarb and blood orange mostly, with touches of rose petal around its edges. Silky smooth and unabashedly ripe and full bodied, it has an underlying freshness of lively acidity and integration.
Sweet rose petal opens the nose of this intensely ripe wine, seductive in layers of soft integrated oak and tannin. The flavors veer into strawberry, cherry and orange, with an underlying brightness that helps balance out the bold.
The 2015 Pinot Noir No. 6 is pale to medium ruby-purple in color and scented of wild cherries, mulberries and cinnamon stick with touches of garrigue, lavender and fallen leaves. The palate is medium to full-bodied with firm, ripe, grainy tannins framing the spicy fruit, finishing with great length and depth.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant scent of black cherry, spice, herbs and beechwood. Lighter styled, with earthy flavors of cherry and raspberry, and an array of savory spices and herbs. The savory and fruit components compliment each other and the wine picks up interest over time in the glass. Drinking well now, with easygoing, fine-grain tannins, and a bright, uplifting finish.