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2018 Napa Valley – First Impressions…

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2019

After a tumultuous, hugely stressful 2017, Napa Valley winemakers and owners welcomed an essentially trouble-free growing season in 2018. As I have done for many years, this past spring I tasted the new vintage from barrel to get a first look at the wines ahead of my fall tastings. Based on what I have seen so far 2018 looks like a strong vintage, although there were some challenges as well.

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The 2009 Napa Valley Cabernets at Age 10

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2019

The 2009 Napa Valley Cabernets, beautifully balanced wines from a mild growing season without weather extremes, are aging slowly and gracefully, with the better examples still short of their peaks, proving once again how well the best Napa Valley Cabernets can develop with time in bottle.

A comprehensive tasting of paul hobbs's beckstoffer to kalon vineyard cabernet sauvignon cover

Paul Hobbs’ Cabernet Beckstoffer To Kalon: 1999-2016

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jul 2019

The prolific Paul Hobbs makes his most complete Cabernet Sauvignon from the historic To Kalon vineyard, with recent vintages displaying all of the elements to ensure exceptional longevity.

The no nonsense kapcs%c3%a1ndy winery copy

Kapcsándy Roberta’s Reserve and Grand Vin

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Jun 2019

In less than 20 years, the Kapcsándy family has created two flagship wines that can stand with the world’s finest Cabernets and Merlots. This double vertical of the flagship Merlot Roberta’s Reserve and Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin provided a unique opportunity to trace the history of the winery back to the early days.

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Abreu – The 2009s Revisited

United States: California, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2019

I still remember the first time I tasted the Abreu 2009s. It was fall of 2011, the year Robert Parker asked me to take over Napa Valley coverage at The Wine Advocate. Those 2009s were so showy and unbelievably alluring when they were young. Needless to say, I was deeply intrigued to revisit them at nearly ten years of age.

Chateau montelena's estate cabernet sauvignon copy

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Estate: 1977-2010

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Chateau Montelena’s classic, long-aging flagship Cabernet from Calistoga has been steadily updated in recent decades through harvesting and cellar improvements as well as by the addition of fruit from volcanic hillside vineyards, which has contributed power, clarity and minerality to the wine. This retrospective traces the history of the Estate Cabernet back to 1977.

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Best New Releases from Sonoma and Beyond

United States: California, featured

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

Readers will find a breathtaking array of wines from Sonoma, Anderson Valley and beyond in this report. The 2017s have turned out to be a big surprise given the challenges of a growing season punctuated by three significant heat events. Pinot Noirs and Syrahs are the most consistent varieties, but there are peaks of brilliance in Zinfandel-based reds and Chardonnay as well. As always, the sheer diversity of Sonoma County and its neighboring appellations is truly remarkable.

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Vintage Retrospective: The 1999 Napa Valley Cabernets

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Napa Valley’s Cabernet crop in the mostly cool growing season of ’99 benefited from a late burst of heat, yielding lively, moderately dense, aromatically complex wines with very good staying power.

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Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée: 1997-2016

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, May 2019

Lail Vineyards’ J. Daniel Cuvée, Robin Lail’s 21st-century interpretation of her family’s famed Cabernet-based wines of the past, has never been better than it is today.

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Beaulieu’s Georges de Latour Private Reserve: 1965–2016

United States: California, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Stephen Tanzer, Apr 2019

Beaulieu Vineyard’s Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet is California’s first cult Cabernet. Adamantly Médoc-like in its earlier decades, it has evolved with the times. Recent vintages are as remarkable as ever, if in a more modern style.