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.
JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Reviews
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon #10 is made in a more blockbuster, opulent style and delivers the goods in 2016. Its deep purple color is followed by massive amounts of crème de cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and earthy mineral-like aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, straight-up loaded with fruit, has remarkable purity, and is perfectly balanced. This is a knockout bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon! Drink it over the coming 2-3 decades.
One of the gems in the lineup is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon #1, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in plenty of new oak, although you wouldn’t know that by tasting it. Possessing a medium to full-bodied, incredibly elegant style as well as complex notes of cassis, black raspberries, fruitcake, and spice, it’s one of those wines that grows on you with time in the glass. It’s going to keep for 25+ years, but don’t let that stop you from opening bottles in its youth as it’s already an incredible drink.
Another wine that’s not yet bottled, the 2016 Knockout Red checks in as 60% Petite Sirah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon that’s brought up in 70% new barrels. This sexy beast of a wine gives up tons of black fruits, peppery herbs, new saddle leather, and earthy goodness in its full-bodied, ripe, yet balanced profile. It’s another terrific wine from winemaker Stephanie Putnam that delivers the goods.
A huge bouquet of ripe blackberry fruits, olive tapenade, and chocolate emerges from the 2016 Cabernet Franc #17, which includes a small splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and was raised in 50% new oak. It’s full-bodied, has building structure, plenty of fine tannins, and a great finish. It’s another winner from this terrific team.
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.
Pale ruby colored with a hint of purple, the 2014 Pinot Noir No. 22 offers a gorgeous perfume of red roses and violets over a core of wild strawberries, raspberries and Provence herbs with a touch of underbrush. The medium-bodied palate delivers a wonderful intensity of perfumed red berry flavors framed by very fine tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing with great depth and persistence.
The 2014 Proprietary Red Passion, which spent 17 months in 42% French oak and is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, exhibits a complex, fragrant nose of unsmoked cigar tobacco, chocolate, camphor, vanillin and oodles of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. It is long, rich, sensual, lush and best consumed over the next 12-15+ years.