96 Points Robert Parker: "The cool-climate 2014 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from the Green Valley in the Russian River, is absolutely spectacular. It saw 80% new oak because it was so concentrated, and it seems to have sucked it up and only reveals just a slight wood spice to its full-bodied, beautifully textured, black raspberry and blackberry fruit. This is one of the profound 2014s and should drink well for 15-20 years...
...One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis – and rather remarkably so – only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. No doubt Helen Turley, who worked at Martinelli and mentored its winemaking team, left a profound influence on the quality of the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels, a fact that can’t be overstated. The Chardonnays all go through full malolactic fermentation and tend to see about 50% new oak. The Pinot Noirs are always 100% destemmed and largely spend no longer than ten months in about 60% new French oak...As good as 2013 is for Pinot Noir in Sonoma, 2014 actually eclipses it."
Etude's beautiful Napa Valley Cabernet will please any cab collector. Another classic!
96 Points Wine Enthusiast: "Etude's Cabernet defines power and authority, Napa style. It's hard to imagine a Cabernet Sauvignon more explosive in blackberry, cherry and chocolate fruit flavor. Yet the structure is superb, with firm but ultrarefined tannins providing an architecture to house all that richness. Beautiful now, and should age gracefully for a decade."
Etude winemaker Jon Priest sources Cabernet grapes from several unique vineyards representing the principal sub-appellations of Napa Valley. These vineyards located in Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga make essential contributions to the complexity of the Etude 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
A Brix26 exclusive! A tiny 50 cases were made, one of the top Barolos of the 2010 vintage. Extremely limited.
95 Points Wine Spectator: "Offers a beautiful nose of sweet and salty licorice, with flavors of fading cherry, leather, tobacco and spice. Complex and maturing, yet the tannins and acidity keep this fresh. The lingering finish evokes tobacco and mineral. Best from 2020 through 2036. 50 cases made."
The 2010 vintage is one of the finest on record for Barolo. Robert Parker rated the 2010 vintage 98 points overall, the best in recent memory, and now is the perfect time to stock up. Even better is that this wine is superbly structured, but forward and approachable now; no need to cellar it for 20+ years.
A blockbuster new Cabernet blend from Hestan Vineyards. Usually only available to mailing list members we have a small amount of this tiny production Cabernet while our allocation lasts!
Caymus 2013 Napa Cabernet - Special 1 Liter bottles. Rare.
previous vintage 96 Points Robert Parker: "They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time, and the result is a spectacular 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary offering. Its dense purple/black color is followed by copious quantities of crème de cassis and blackberry fruit, silky tannins, a voluptuous texture and stunning purity as well as length. This full-bodied effort is a fabulous example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a tribute to this amazing family. It is so good now, why wait? However, I’m sure that like most vintages of Caymus, it will last for 20-25 years. Amazing!
...I am old enough to remember Chuck Wagner and his father, who I first met at Caymus in the late seventies. This is clearly one of Napa Valley’s iconic wineries, as well as one that, amazingly, never went through a bad patch. Obviously, no matter which generation is in the driver’s seat (or should I say tractor’s seat), Caymus Vineyard knows how to deliver flavor and deliciousness."
*please note: this is a special 1 Liter bottle. The size is between a regular 750ml bottle and a 1.5L Magnum
$ 119.99 $ 124.99
One of the top Napa Cabernets of the vintage, the Groth 2012 Reserve Cab is a classic. Delicious now but a great cellar candidate as well. Limited.
The 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon shows the intrinsic black stone fruit nuances and the soft tannin structure that define the Oakville, Napa Valley-floor Cabernet. The 2012 harvest may actually go down as one of the most intriguing, most difficult and the best vintages of the early 21st century. The reds are stunning – amazing colors in wines that are soft, supple and full bodied. Amazing results from an amazing year!
95 Points James Suckling: "This is very classy with mineral, black currant and spice character. Shows chili and Thai basil too. Full body, firm tannins and a bright and persistent finish. Extremely long and elegant. Best ever from here in years?" James Suckling July 28th, 2015.
A fantastic new top Napa Cabernet from Arietta and former Screaming Eagle winemaker Andy Erickson. Limited.
96+ Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous. Gorgeous, expressive aromatics meld into dark red stone fruits in a Cabernet of pure breed and class. These cool sites in Coombsville yield a Cabernet built on savory aromatics, perfume and depth. There is so much going on in the glass that words prove superficial in trying to describe just how beautiful the 2012 is. Majestic. That might do it...
...This is the finest and most complete set of wines I can remember tasting from Arietta. Proprietor Fritz Hatton and winemaker Andy Erickson seem to have reached a new level of quality with the 2012s and 2013s, both of which are brilliant. This is a fabulous showing from top to bottom."
Rare new release from one of California's finest Cabernet producers. Limited.
98 Points Robert Parker: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain exhibits blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, ink and floral notes, and softer, lusher tannins than the Diamond Mountain cuvée. Voluptuously textured, full-bodied and opulent, this complex 2012 should continue to drink beautifully for 15+ years...
...It will be hard to eclipse the quality of this quartet of 100% Cabernet Sauvignons from the Jackson Family boutique winery of Lokoya, fashioned by their brilliant winemaker, Chris Carpenter. Lokoya’s offerings are consistently among the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons made, and their 2012s represent the pinnacle of what Chris Carpenter has been accomplishing from these vineyards. All four wines are aged in 100% new oak and are bottled with minimal clarification. They are extraordinary expressions of their terroirs. The late Jess Jackson’s firm convictions in mountain vineyards is vindicated by these prodigious wines."
D66 is the new release from Orin Swift's winery and vineyards in Maury, France.
95 Points Robert Parker: "In the same mold as the 2012, the 2013 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 is being held for six months in bottle prior to release. Completely destemmed (as are all the wines here) and aged in 30% new barrels, it has elegant, lively notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, pepper and violets to go with a medium to full-bodied, balanced and yet still hedonistic feel on the palate. A slightly tweaked blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan, this is a more civilized version of this cuvee that still won’t disappoint with regard to depth, flavor or length. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years."
The small town of Maury is in the outer Roussillon very close to the Spanish border and nestled in the Pyrénées-Orientales where owner Dave Phinney owns approximately 235 acres of mostly Grenache vines with a little Syrah and Carignan. The majority of the vines were planted more than 60 years ago, with many of the vineyards being even older. The terrain is dominated by black schist with a couple small deposits of Granite and Limestone in red rocky soils known as Angile. Schist is a crystalline rock based soil that retains heat well but is poor in organic nutrients and nitrogens. In other words, these vines really have to struggle. The result is a very dark, concentrated, and rich wine.
The Orin Swift 2013 D66 has a very dark, opaque red color with subtle aromas of toasted oak, ripe blueberry jam and dried rose petal. The entry is mouth coating and lush. Opulent plum and ultra ripe cherry are balanced with asian spices and a bright vein of minerality and acidity that give great structure, weight and balance to the long finish. The tannin chains are long and will lend to ageability for 5 to 10 years. A delicious blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.
New release of Orin Swift's Papillon Cabernet has arrived! Fast becoming a cult classic, grab a few bottles before it goes away.
95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2013 Papillon Proprietary Red is 100% from Napa and is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This killer wine has an inky purple color and offers notes of espresso roast intermixed with white chocolate, creme de cassis, blackberry and a touch of toasty oak. The wine was aged 16 months in French oak, of which 40% was new. Broad and opulent, with great intensity, purity and depth, this is another stunner from Dave Phinney, a.k.a. Orin Swift. Drink: 2015 – 2025."
Orin Swift Cellars is best known for The Prisoner Zinfandel blend, one of our most popular wines the last few years. Winemaker Dave Phinney has turned his midas touch at creating delicious blends to produce the third vintage of Papillon, a stunning bordeaux-blend from choice Napa Valley vineyards in Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Oakville and St. Helena. 60% Cabernet, 37% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. A beautiful, rich young Cabernet that has been getting serious buzz in the wine world,
Shatter is a delicious collaboration between Dave Phinney (Orin Swift Cellars) and Joel Gott. Highly recommended.
Shatter comes from the small town of Maury in the Roussillon region of France. The hillside grenache vines were planted over 60 years ago in black schist, a slate-like, rocky soil common to the area. Though nutrient-poor, it retains heat well, allowing the slow-ripening grenache to reach full maturity through cool nights. Tough soil, strong winds and hot days push the vines and cause shatter, or coulure, in the grape clusters, naturally thinning fruit from the vines and producing more intensely concentrated flavors. After harvest, the fruit was cold-soaked for 30 days to help further concentrate the wine, then fermented and aged at Dave's winery in Maury.
92 Points Robert Parker: "A collaboration between Napa's Joel Gott and Dave Phinney, the semi-opaque Cotes Catalanes Grenache is a smoking blend of 100% Grenache that comes from the singular, black schist soils located around the village of Maury, in the Agly Valley in the Roussillon. Aged in French oak (a small part being new) and hitting 15.6% natural alcohol, this sexy, full-bodied, pedal-to-the-metal effort bears plenty of resemblance to the old-vine, 100% Grenache efforts coming from Chateauneuf du Pape. Kirsch liqueur, blackberry, toasted spice, garrigue and hints of vanilla bean all flow nicely to a seamless, silky, yet decadently styled red that has fine tannin, and a blockbuster, heady finish. It will certainly not appease those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, but count me a fan. The oak is still present, so give it a year in bottle; it will drink nicely for another 5-6 years."
A delicious new Chardonnay from Orin Swift Cellars.
96 Points Robert Parker: "This is amazing wine, a gorgeous, full-throttle, honeyed wine with a light-gold color, oodles of tropical fruits including pineapple and mango, rose petal and floral notes, and beautifully integrated oak (aged in 40% new French oak on its lees for 11months). This full-throttle wine is completely different and more individualistic than anything I've ever tasted. It is a magnificent, full-throttle, exuberant dry white to drink over the next 3-4 year."
The 2013 Mannequin Chardonnay, which draws fruit from diverse regions of Northern California such as the Carneros Basin and the Sonoma Coast, is actually a blend of 76% Chardonnay, 8% Viognier, 6% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc, 3% Muscat and 2% Roussanne.
New release of the fantastic new Abstract Red from Orin Swift. Limited new release.
Abstract is a blend of Grenache, , and Syrah primarily from hillside vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Mendocino. The aromas are all berry and black fruits, with neatly integrated caramelized oak. A huge entry coats the mouth. The wine has tons of weight on the mid-palate and is dense with layers of ripe cherry and strawberries. The finish is laced with long, soft tannins that go on and on. Inspired by the wines Dave Phinney tasted in the Pyrénées-Orientales over the past two years, in this mountainous outpost of ’s Roussillon region, Dave started his own small winery. He wanted to make something from similar varietals (back here at home) that you can open and enjoy every day.
Brand new release from Orin Swift and one of his best ever! Extremely limited.
Machete is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Petite Sirah may be winemaker Dave Phinney’s favorite grape varietal and wine . He has been growing and making it since the 2000 vintage. Massive and powerful with instense color and structure, a limited release Petite Sirah blend called “Machete” was launched in 2009. Declassified in 2010 and 2011, it has been reintroduced with new packaging for the highly praised 2014 vintage. The label concept has been two years in the making,and is decidedly unique in its various formats.
94 Points Wine Spectator: "Generous and expressive. big and brawny, offering a mouthful of tannins but also brimming with flavorsand aromas, including Earl Grey tea, dark chocolate, dried violey and toasted gingerbread. Rich notes of plum and black cherry are balanced by forest floor and earthy accents, lingering on the long finish. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2030." May 4, 2016
**Bottled with 12 different labels, you may not receive the one pictured, but all case orders of 12 bottles will receive all 12 different labels*
Brand new release from Orin Swift! Palermo is a fantastic buy in Napa Cabernet under $40.
A stunning, true-to-form Phinney wine: rich, dense, concentrated, fruit-forward and velvety. Each year, they purchase more Cabernet grapes than they need for Mercury Head and Papillon so they can have a virtual palette of vineyards and corresponding "spice rack" elements, if you will, to choose from to make the perfect blends. When their selection runneth-over and some of the sums of the parts behave more positively on their own, they deserve to be bottled separately and that is how a new wine was born, Palermo. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc blend selected from Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Spring Mountain vineyards.
Brand new release! Prisoner winemaker Dave Phinney sources this intense and full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc from a prime vineyard in Napa Valley - limited.
previous vintage 91 Points Wine Spectator: "Floral, fragrant and juicy, with honeysuckle and mango notes that are rich and deep, giving way to ripe melon, apricot and tangerine flavors. Detailed, sophisticated and impressive on the finish, where everything comes together in harmony. Drink now. 980 cases made."
Sourced from the Tofanelli Vineyard (Turley fans will recognize the source), this is a full-throttle California-style Sauvignon Blanc! A touch of Semillon (a classic white Bordeax varietal) is blended with the Sauvignon Blanc to give it body – the resulting wine bursts out of the glass with heaps of apricot, lychee fruit, boronia flowers, passion fruit and flint. Layers of white peach, mineral liqueur, and lime oil complement a rich mouthfull of lingering honey which lends itself to a lusciously long expressive finish.