1. Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Rutherford:  $72.99 Winemaker notes:  The 2016 Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic example of power and finesse from an iconic Rutherford vineyard full of luscious, velvety Rutherford tannins. Intense aromas of dark and red fruit intermingle with subtle hints of thyme, baking spice and toasty pie crust. Firm, velvety tannins and silky mouthfeel on the palate give structure to flavors of baker’s chocolate, roasted black plum and Linzer torte. A bright, lingering finish provides that classic counterpoint to power that is the hallmark of elegance!

  2. La Jota Vineyard Co. Merlot 2017, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley:  $85.99  Winemaker notes:  The 2017 La Jota Merlot showcases dark ripe berries, black cherry, and espresso bean. A broad textural impact charms the mid-palate and classic Howell Mountain minerality drives the long, opulent finish.

  3. Daou Soul of a Lion Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Adelaida District, Paso Robles:  $149.99  The 2018 Soul of a Lion is the kind of awe-inspiring, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that Georges and Daniel envisioned when they first began researching the terroir of DAOU Mountain. This wine displays all the hallmarks of its cooler growing season—richness, elegance and balance. A dark, purple-black hue foreshadows the experience to come. Intense aromas of lilac, violet and spice swirl amid a deep, complex bouquet. The palate bursts with prodigious flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, plum, vanilla bean and chocolate-covered cherry, all underlain by striking minerality. Silky, integrated tannins unwind into an impossibly long finish, revealing both the power and finesse of its DAOU Mountain provenance.

  4. Substance Vineyard Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Jack’s Vineyard 2017, Walla Walla Valley, WA State:  $52.99  Winemaker notes:  2017 was a fantastic year for making wine with a cool spring and a fair amount of rain. Washington had an ideal spring for heathy vines. The moderate temperatures during summer were perfect for small clusters and yet delayed veraison into the fall where we had a consistent ripening season that allowed us to hang the fruit for perfect tannin and flavor without losing acidity or acquiring too much alcohol. Overall it was a vintage to remember.  93 pts. Jeb Dunnick, 91 pts. Wine Advocate, 91 pts. James Suckling

  5. Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013:  $299.99  A pure and powerful expression of Napa Valley’s best. The very limited production of 300 to 450 cases of Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is the end result of the meticulous efforts of our entire vineyard and winemaking team. Our single vineyard, estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon is a sophisticated wine of striking complexity, deep concentration and substantial structure. Built to last, this wine is aged up to 29 months in new Taransaud French oak barrels to lend elegance to its unmistakable hillside character. Our Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has garnered consistent praise from wine experts and critics for every single of its vintages.

  6. David Arthur Proprietary Red Blend 2017, Napa Valley:  $65.99  After nearly forty years of farming grapes on our Pritchard Hill Estate, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Next Generation of David Arthur Vineyards wine ~ DAV. We have created a new, modern winethat represents the bold personality found in each and every bottle of our Estate wines. This Bordeaux-style blend allows us to weave together the rich, concentrated elegance and power of our mountain-grown Bordeaux varietals as well as the best of surrounding vineyards within the Napa Valley. The wine is aged an average of 20 months in French oak barrels, blended with meticulous care and bottled at our vineyard estate. The result is a complex array of aromas and flavors that deliver plush, mouth-filling structure with soft, elegant tannins. We hope you enjoy, as do we, the accessibility and near-term enjoyment this wine offers in its youth and the greater nuance and complexity afforded with cellaring.

  7. Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Russian River Valley:  $44.79  Winemaker notes:  On the nose, abundant aromas leap from the glass, with banana cream pie and a plethora of tropical notes leading the way: white pineapple, ripe passionfruit, mango and guava. The palate is round and open, with accents of ruby red grapefruit, honeysuckle and melon married with a burst of crisp, refreshing acidity.

  8. Littorai Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Anderson Valley:  $89.99  What attracted Littorai to this area of Savoy is an old world notion that the best parcels within a vineyard lie at the toe of the slope. Adding to this is the complexity of the clones within Savoy. This is the only valley floor vineyard that we work with anywhere. Our rows are located at the base of the hills on the northeastern side of the Anderson Valley. While this is the cooler end of the valley, the vineyard is protected on two sides, trapping more warmth than most of the neighboring sites. Littorai has been the longest purchaser of Savoy fruit since 1995. This vineyard is farmed using only organic materials, not certified.  Soils: Pinole and Boont loams over Franciscan shale. Age: Planted in 1991, 1992, 1993  Clones: Dijon 114, 115, 667 & 777, Calera and Pommard.  Ten Year Average Yield: 2.53 tons per acre.

  9. Littorai Wendling Vineyard Block E Pinot Noir 2019, Anderson Valley:  $89.99  The Wendling Vineyard is located 335-500 feet elevation on a south-facing slope just nine miles from the Pacific Ocean near the hamlet of the Navarro within the Anderson Valley. This is the most northwesterly vineyard in the AVA and is farmed using organic and biodynamic methods, though it is not certified. The soils are red and well-drained, shallow sandy loam, sandstones, and shales. Block E is a particularly steep, gravelly block hand-selected as Littorai aided the owner in the original development of the property and as a thank you, were offered a choice of all the blocks on the property.  Aromatically the wine is expressive and fresh: candied notes, blackberry, and cherry, violets, licorice, a field of flowers. On the palate, the wine is complex, with herbaceous flavors as well as seductively chewy tannins; not as bold as other bottlings but equally satisfying. 

  10. Littorai Les Larmes Pinot Noir 2020, Anderson Valley:  $67.99  The “Les Larmes” bottling hails from the Anderson Valley and is comprised of declassifications from the vineyard-designated wines as well as additional Sonoma Coast vineyards. The wine is a blend of sites farmed conventionally, others farmed using only organic materials, and sites farmed using biodynamic techniques. After harvest, the grapes are pressed and the wine spends approximately nine months in French oak, of which 20-25% is new.  Aromatically the wine lifts from the glass with fresh cherry, alpine strawberries, rhubarb, huckleberry, and violets. On the palate, the wine is supple with enticing red fruit flavors as well as delicately fine-grained tannins alongside mouthwatering acidity.

  11. Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley:  $48.79  Winemaker notes:  The 2017 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet is deep garnet in color with aromas of black forest fruits, dark cherry, and lingonberry and is complemented with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, cedar and graphite. The palate is met with flavors of chocolate truffle, berry pie, mocha, and black pepper. The sweet oak spice adds a vibrant lift to the wine while the mid palate is full and creamy with well-integrated tannins. The wine expresses a long finish and pairs well with rich foods or is delicious on its own. It drinks wonderfully now and will cellar well for decades.

  12. Stratton Lummis Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley, 1.5 l.:  $104.99  From the heart of Napa Valley comes a Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes and smells like currants and rich chocolates. Stratton Lummis is dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon from the top vineyard estates in Oakville and Rutherford. Tastes of currant, blackberry, cherry, bell pepper, olive, asparagus, spice, ginger, oak and vanilla.  Nose of currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and cigar box.

  13. San Felice Vermentino 2020, Toscana:  $14.99  A grape variety traditional to the Maremma, vermentino achieves ideal ripeness in these hills, thanks to the nearby Mediterranean, which tempers the hot weather, particularly in the autumn. A small amount of sauvignon blanc confers on the wine increased aromatic complexity and a sturdier structure, and the result is an appealing, easy-drinking white.  On the nose, scents of grapefruit citrus emerge, along with spring blossoms and newly-mown hay.  The palate shows a refreshing crispness, with subtle citrus in the background.

  14. Fel Pinot Noir 2018, Anderson Valley:  $37.99  The 2018 vintage turned up the amplitude on their Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, it is a surprisingly intense wine that retains its elegance and delicacy. The aromatics are dominated by dark flavors of Earl Grey tea, cassis, black licorice, and ganache. Hints of Spanish Cedar and cloves add further spice, while black cherry, the signature fruit of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, provides the backbone. In the mouth, layers of spice and fruit continue with flavors of blood orange, pomegranate, persimmon, and more black cherry mingle with notes of black tea, dark chocolate, and anis. The bright acid and silky tannins give the wine a fresh vibrancy.

  15. Details Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Napa Valley:  $40.99  Details Cabernet fuses superior talent, assiduous fruit selection, and rigorous science in creating their value-focused Cabernet. Their commitment to excellence and obsessive attention to detail paid off, resulting in an enchanting wine that tastes like it should be much more expensive. We were among the first to feature it last August, before any scores. Recently, Vinous reviewed it, alerting readers to this “ridiculous value.”  Sourced from a hillside vineyard located on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains, behind Oakville, this wine also incorporates fruit from Knights Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, and Chalk Hill for increased definition. Their team handpicks the fruit to precise analytics, equating to optimized flavors and aromas.  Details is a new project by the owners of Sinegal, and Ryan Knoth makes the wines. Ryan gained valuable experience working under the tutelage of icons David Abreu, Michel Rolland, and Fredrik Johansson at Staglin Vineyards. He also worked with Jim Barbour and Philippe Melka at Gandona Estate.

  16. Quilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley:  $99.99  Winemaker notes:  Deep, dark ruby red. A complex and bold assemblage of dark currant, chocolate hazelnut cream, coffee beans, dark and dense fruits, vanilla, red plum, baking spices and wild berry, along with hints of strawberry, wild field herbs, tobacco and roasted meats. Bold and intense, with blackberry cobbler, crème de cassis, toasted hazelnut, chocolate, toffee and strawberry judiciously balanced with dark and wild berry fruits, licorice, cardamom seeds and baked rhubarb pie. A full-bodied wine with layers of complexity, concentrated black fruit and excellent balance. The wine’s breadth and structure is complemented by a supple, velvety mouthfeel, with the wine coating the mouth with satisfying tannins. The finish is long and satisfying.

  17. Pulido-Walker Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018:  $299.99   98 Points Jeb Dunnuck – Coming from a new single vineyard Mount Veeder, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder comes from a block selection made by winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and, I believe, is 100% Cabernet. Lots of forest floor, bay leaf, violets, and assorted blue-tinged fruits define the bouquet, and this is another full-bodied, tight, backward, yet incredibly impressive wine. It will probably merit a triple digit rating in a decade and should see its 30th birthday in fine form.

98 Points Wine Advocate – The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder Estate is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes barreling out of the glass with bold notes of blackcurrant pastilles, blueberry pie, warm plums and crushed rocks with hints of fragrant earth, black truffles and olives. Full-bodied, rich and packed with juicy black fruit, it has a firm, grainy texture and lively backbone, with a long-lingering minty kick on the finish. 400 cases were made.

The Pulido-Walker Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard is meticulously planted, drawing on several years of data collection prior to putting a single vine or rootstock in the ground. It has been quite the voyage of discovery shepherding this winefrom the initial planting of clones 15, 30, 169, and 685 to the release of this inaugural vintage. We decided to harvest by clone and ferment the four winelots individually. It was unanimous: the lots from clones 15 and 685 were standouts.

Mark Pulido and Donna Walker are immensely gratified that right out of the gate, this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is every inch the thoroughbred, easily rivaling the wine from its sister vineyard on Pritchard Hill and a welcomed companion.

  1. Truchard The Shepherd Estate Red 2017, Carneros:  $25.99  A blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo. These grapes were sourced from distinctly different sections of our Estate Vineyard. Each wine was vinified separately and aged for 12 months in French Oak barrels (30% new). Syrah was chosen for structure; Zinfandel contributes bright fruit flavors; and Tempranillo adds a unique spicy element. Combined, these varietals produce a playful, easy drinking red that is both fruity and complex. This wine was bottled in August of 2018.

  2. Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay 2017, Napa:  $69.79  Winemaker notes:  The striking golden color of this Carneros Chardonnay winereflects abundant yellow apple, vanilla, baking spice and brioche aromas. In the mouth, these characteristic scents morph into intense flavors, enhanced with fresh melon and pear. Orange blossom notes provide a hint of citrus, before the lush, creamy and intense flavors lead to an even touch-of-vanilla and oak finish. Balanced acidity, freshness and evolving layers of complexity are the signatures of this remarkable, rich, bold Chardonnay Reserve.

  3. O’Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Napa Valley:  $84.99  Winemaker notes:  This is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with an opaque purple color and perfumed aromas of blackberry compote, orange blossom, cassis, creme brulee, and cocoa. On the palate the wine is plush and concentrated with well-integrated tannins and a vibrant finish. Lush enough to be consumed now and structured enough to hold for decades thanks to the mountain heritage of this beautiful wine

WE 97 pts.  Editor’s Choice!  This is such an outstanding wine at any price, but here we’re talking about outstanding value as well. Notes of iron and crushed rock lead to a lengthy balance of juicy red fruit and clove. With small amounts of Merlot, Malbec, Saint-Macaire and Cabernet Franc, it shows a deft hand at blending, with lasting notes of black pepper and nuanced oak.

  1. Domaine Curry Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Napa Valley:  $44.99  Great prices!  Winemaker notes:  The Domaine Curry Sauvignon Blanc, produced in the Bordeaux Graves-style exhibits incredible minerality with bright, racy acidity, giving it the backbone that this exceptional white wine deserves. It is composed of 100% Sauvignon Blanc and aged for 7 months in 25% concrete egg fermentation, 65% neutral French oak and 10% new Burgundian French oak.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:  92 pts.  The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc bursts with bombastic tropical fruit notions of green mango, fresh pineapple and pomelo with touches of dried Provence herbs, wet slate and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers super intense tropical and citrus fruit layers with a racy backbone and long, chalky finish.

  1. Urlar Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Wairarapa New Zealand:  $18.99  The 2018 season has delivered a wine that has plenty of fresh gooseberry and citrus aromas of ripe lemon. Notes of honeydew melon and stone fruit give a riper expression of this varietal.

  2. Goldschmidt Hilary Charming Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Oakville, Napa Valley:  $45.99  The fresh bright red hue with purple edges leads into aromas of black cherry with hints of raspberry and black plum. The mouth opens with delicious vanilla and mocha merged with the same cherry and plum found on the nose. Enticing traces of graphite and a mineral essence build down the length of the mouth, joining pomegranate and more vanilla in the finish. Enjoy now through 2030.

  3. Goldschmidt Chelsea Guidestone Rise Merlot 2019, Alexander Valley:  $23.99  Intense purple and reds in color. The aromatics are opulent and very floral. No spice but more depth and richness than normal Merlots. Black fruits were a common theme. Black cherry and plum in the nose. The mouth follows with rich dark fruits of plum, blackberry and some chocolate texture. Lush ripe tannins, full body and the nice creamy velvet tongue-wrapping flavor. Drink for 20 years.

  4. Chateau de Cruzeau Pessac Leognan 2016:  $33.99  Offers slightly smudged strawberry and blackberry fruit on the nose, laced with bay and wild heather. The palate is medium-bodied, quite sappy and nicely balanced. There is a ouch of simplicity toward the finish, but this straightforwardness is an attribute. Enjoy over the next 8 to 10 years.  55% Cabernet Sauvigon, 45% Merlot.