The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon #10 is also full-bodied and is similar to the 2016, although just slightly less concentrated and powerful. Nevertheless, it has thrilling purity and is impeccably balanced.
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.
The 2016 Passion Red Blend is another beauty and checks in as mostly Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 19% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied, ripe, sweetly fruited effort has loads of jammy blackberry fruits, licorice, saddle leather, and graphite in its layered, charming, opulent profile. It’s already drinking great yet has another 15-20 years of prime drinking.
Coming from some top sites in Burgundy and in California, the 2016 Pinot Noir #3 is a beautiful effort that offers incredibly Burgundian aromas and flavors, yet is distinctly Californian on the palate. This beautiful effort gives up complex red fruits, forest floor, spice, and damp earth-like aromas. These carry over to the palate, where the wine is medium-bodied, seamless, and silky, with plenty of sweet California fruit balanced by terrific acidity, silky tannins, and a great finish. While I can struggle with these type of cuvées blended across very different regions, this is the real deal and is a brilliant Pinot Noir. It's going to evolve for 10-15 years.
One of the standouts in the District Collection series is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection Rutherford. It offers more black fruits, savory herbs, earth, and graphite as well as a powerful, full-bodied style on the palate. It’s concentrated, deep, and layered, and has building structure. It’s a serious Cabernet Sauvignon that needs 3-5 years of cellaring and will cruise for 20-25 years.
Leading off the District Collection series, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection Yountville is a silky, medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced effort that has classic black cherries, ground herbs, and smoke tobacco notes. It’s a sexy gem of a wine that has no hard edges and a beautiful finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection Oakville offers more red fruits, with plenty of spice, graphite, and floral notes. It’s pretty, elegant, and as seamless as it gets. I suspect it will age gracefully as well though, given its balance.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection St. Helena comes from more sandy, gravelly soils and it’s a more fruit-forward, elegant effort that has impressive red currants, vanilla bean, and spice. It’s another balanced, pleasure-bent, impeccably made Cabernet Sauvignon that can be drunk today or cellar for upwards of two decades