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.
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.
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.
Made from 100% Cabernet Franc from a single vineyard on the east side of St. Helena, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #17 sports a deep ruby/plum color as well as a savory, complex bouquet of blackcurrants, dried herbs, loamy earth, and chocolate. With full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and no hard edges, it's a stunning Cabernet Franc that does everything right. It’s stunning today yet will cruise for 15+ years in cool cellars.
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.