One of the standouts is the 2017 Surrealist Red Blend and I’d put this up against anything in the vintage. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot that spent 18-20 months in 54% new French oak, this full-bodied, rich, powerful wine has a terrific, seamless texture, fine tannins, and a rocking nose of cassis, dried herbs, new saddle leather, and toasted spices. I love its balance, it has a great mid-palate, and it’s going to evolve for 20+ years.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #1 is made in a prettier, more elegant style, yet it still packs plenty of oomph and richness. Coming from the west side of St. Helena and aging in 60% new barrels. It offers a terrific bouquet (blue fruits, violets, tobacco, and mint) as well as full-bodied richness and depth, terrific tannin quality, and flawless balance. It’s a beautiful barrel sample.
Loads of crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, and exotic spice notes emerge from the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #1. Coming from hillside fruit on the east side of Napa and aged in 64% new French oak, it offers a saturated purple color, full-bodied richness and power, light tannins, and terrific balance. It’s a seamless Cabernet Sauvignon that’s going to evolve gracefully for 15-20+ years, although there’s no need to delay gratification.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB #10 is a blend of three different sites and is all Cabernet aged in 47% new French Oak. It’s a step up over the #1 release and offers full-bodied, powerful notes of blueberry and cassis fruits intermixed with notions of ground herbs, crushed violets, and earth. It’s concentrated, has ultra-fine tannins, and beautiful balance. It’s a rock star of a Cabernet in 2017 that will evolve gracefully for two decades or more.
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.
The 2017 Knockout Red checks in as 61% Petite Sirah and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon from west St. Helena and Rutherford that spent 18-20 months in 36% new French oak. It offers a huge nose of brambly herbs, spice, pepper, and incense-laced red, blue, and black fruits. Ripe, full-bodied, and powerful on the palate, it’s a sexy beast of a wine and not for those craving lightweight aromas and flavors. Nevertheless, it’s beautifully balanced and holds onto a sense of elegance. It’s going to keep for 10-15 years, probably longer.
The 2017 Leopard Red Blend is the Cabernet and Syrah blend of the estate, and it's a complex, ripe, sexy wine that has loads of black currants, spice box, iron, and cedary herb aromas and flavors. Ripe, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and textured, it's another beautiful wine that offers loads of pleasure. The blend is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Syrah, and 3% Cabernet Franc, from three different vineyards, all aged in 26% new French oak.
The 2017 Passion Red Blend is a beauty based mostly on Cabernet Sauvignon (56%) and Cabernet Franc (22%), yet has small amounts of Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. It’s a medium to full-bodied, nicely textured, balanced red that has plenty of dark, chocolaty fruit as well as complex forest floor, herbal, and earthy notes. This terrific wine should evolve for at least a decade.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection Oakville is terrific, with classic crème de cassis, toasted spice, dried tobacco, and cedar notes, medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's a classy, balanced, elegant wine with loads to love. Aged 18-20 months in 47% new French oak, drink this classic Oakville Cabernet any time over the coming 15+ years.
Coming from a single vineyard on the west side of St. Helena, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon District Collection St. Helena (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) offers a dense purple/plum color as well as a complex nose of blackcurrants, Asian spice, iron, nori, and chocolate. It's rich, beautifully textured, has medium to full-bodied richness, and a great finish. This cuvée comes from a site on the western side of St. Helena and was brought up in 41% new French oak.