All Cabernet from St. Helena brought up in special La Grange Phi barrels, the 2018 JCB Phi certainly delivers the goods. A thrilling bottle of wine it ranks with the crème de la crème of this great vintage. Lots of pure cassis, flowers, crème brûlée, and classy oak emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a pure, layered, multi-dimensional texture, flawless balance, and a great finish. It has an incredibly singular character and is just a brilliant bottle of wine. It has plenty of integrated oak, which should integrate with 4-5 years of bottle age, but I’d certainly be thrilled to drink a bottle today. It should keep for 30 years or more.
JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Reviews
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.
Smoky black fruits, tobacco, and coffee bean notes emerge from the 2018 Passion Red Blend, another rich yet elegant wine from winemaker Stephanie Putnam. Possessing medium to full-bodied richness as well as the purity and freshness that are the hallmark of the vintage, it should evolve nicely for 2-4 years and keep for over a decade. The blend is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, all aged in 35% new French oak.
Based on 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Knockout Red is another classic wine in the lineup that has purity and freshness while still bringing plenty of opulence and texture. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, and candied violets emerge from this full-bodied 2018, which has integrated acidity, fine tannins, and a great finish.
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #1 cuvee is always made in a more elegant, seamless style, and the 2018 is an incredible wine in every sense. Rock star red and black currants, dried tobacco, cedary spice, and hints of chocolate all define the bouquet, and this full-bodied beauty has a seamless, elegant texture, great tannins, and the class to evolve for two decades.
Also all Cabernet, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #10 is slightly deeper purple-hued and offers a more blockbuster styled bouquet of blackcurrants, dark chocolate, scorched earth, and graphite, with full-bodied, richness, beautiful purity, great tannins, and a balanced, layered, age-worthy style. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will evolve for 30 years or more.
The No. 17 (Cabernet Franc) is bursting at the seams with blackberry jam, espresso, chocolate, spice, new leather and menthol. Potent and yet well-balanced for such a big wine, the 2018 has much to recommend it. This ample, full-throttle wine will drink beautifully for another decade or so. -- Antonio Galloni
Fruity, dense and lush, this is a full-bodied, ripely textured wine that shows varietal earthiness and baking spice. Dark cherry, cola and lavender are lifted by a bite of acidity on the back palate, finishing in toasted vanilla.
Brian Maloney blends this wine from four vineyards in the hills north of the Petaluma Gap — Doña Margarita, Highlands, Ferguson and Fiddler — all windy, fog-influenced sites on sandy soils. Grounded in the cool earth of the coast, this dives into cool fruit, with the flavor of fresh-picked berries. That fruit feels clean and pure, lasting in scents of roses and cardamom, bright and zesty, then deepening into the dark tones of tannins. Its integration gives it richness that feels tied to the intensity of the Pacific, the wine's cool scent lasting into the far distance.
Jean-Charles Boisset’s team blends this wine from cinsault, grenache and syrah sourced from vineyards near Montagne St-Victoire. It’s a smooth rosé, with a corn-silk texture and sleek flavors to match. The notes of sage and aloe conjure up a warm, sunny feeling without conferring excess weight.
Juicy, expansive and generous in cherry cola, orange peel and pomegranate, this is a profoundly rich, round and rewarding wine—a showcase of the varietal that’s hearty in tannin and oak but ultimately balanced in profile.
This has undeniably inviting aromatics of ginger and apple blossom that puncture the nose before unleashing a fleshy full-bodied blend of citrus and tropical flavor on the palate. It’s rich and lush with enough acidity to keep it fresh and lively in the glass.
Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir No. 6 features baked black berry, black cherry and blueberry with notes of soil, violets, charcuterie and savory herbs. Medium to full-bodied with great concentration of fruit in the mouth, it has lots of savory and spicy character, with fine, grainy tannins and a layered finish.
The 2016 Pinot Noir No. 22 is medium to deep ruby-purple with a gregarious nose of baked blackberry and black cherry with savory notions of cracked black pepper, fried herbs, bay leaf and forest floor with potpourri hints. Medium to full-bodied with a soft, silky texture, it offers concentrated savory fruits, grainy-textured tannins and an evolving finish.
Starting with the 2016 Leopard Red Blend (49% Syrah, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc aged for 20 months in 41% new French oak), this rock star release boasts a saturated purple color as well as a great bouquet of blackberries, currants, crushed rocks, and hints of chocolate. This full-bodied 2016 has fabulous purity, tons of fruit, and a balanced, layered style on the palate. It has two decades of longevity ahead of it.
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.