WWW.VINFOLIO.COM

  CALL 1-800-969-1961

  FORWARD TO A FRIEND 

Vinfolio

The Wilder Side of California
Discover the Best of California Wine with Doug Wilder

 

 

94-pointers from Barrett, Emerson and Erickson | Issue 202

August 29, 2008

Calistoga, California

 

Check the latest posting of my blog at Free Run Juice.

 

We are beginning to see the wave of new release Cabernet-based wines building on the horizon all indications point to a great vintage. There will be plenty of new examples in this category becoming available over the next couple months and you'll see many of them right here. All of the brands today should be familiar; they have all rated 94 points at Vinfolio. This is where the curve begins getting really steep, since only about 4% of the wines I taste score higher than this. I begin with the well-established 2005 Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (VF 94+), now being made by Keith Emerson (Vineyard 29, Emerson Brown). The depth and power in this wine really set it apart. If you haven't yet picked up your usual supply of 2005 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (VF 94), then now is the time. This Heidi Barrett-made wine has captured the admiration of just about everyone who has come across it. We re-ordered a few weeks ago and now the availability has been cut off. The mere 2 cases we have is the last until the next vintage.

Recently I reviewed the Caduceus del Sensei from Maynard James Keenan and gave it a solid VF 95-point rating. Why do I mention it here? Simply because the source for the fruit is Pope Valley, the relatively un-tapped far side of Napa County. Caduceus was the second very impressive wine I tasted sourced from this area in the past couple months, the other being the 2005 Phifer Pavitt Cabernet Sauvignon Date Night (VF 95, WS 90).
These two wines have erased any pre-conceived ideas I had about this region as a serious source for Cabernet Sauvignon.  Try them both to see what I mean.

Lastly, we are offering the remainder of our allocation from Screaming Eagle winemaker, Andy Erickson's garage wine, 2006 Leviathan Red Wine California (VF 94). We began receiving a lot of calls for the previous vintage after Leviathan was mentioned in a newspaper story recently. Like the 2005, the current vintage is a beautiful wine for near term enjoyment. Nearly half of our allocation was gone as soon as it hit the site. Don't be shy about this one.

Looking at the pedigree of the producers and winemakers first reviewed here, I would be very surprised if all of these wines, when reviewed, don't receive 90 points or above from the critics.

Speaking of more great Cabernet Sauvignon - be sure to look for the Vinfolio Fall Catalog arriving in your mailbox in a couple of weeks. There is a brand new 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon I rated 98 points making its official Vinfolio debut before showing up anywhere else!

 

Featured wine in this offer


2005

Craig, Robert - Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

1,100 cases

Prearrival

750ml

$80.00

VF 94+


2005

Revana Family - Cabernet Sauvignon

1,000 cases

In Stock

750ml

$125.00

VF 94


2005

Phifer Pavitt - Cabernet Sauvignon Date Night

300 cases

Prearrival

750ml

$75.00

VF 94


2006

Leviathan - Proprietary Red

1,000 cases

Prearrival

750ml

$48.00

VF 94

 

Order Now or call 1-800-969-1961

 

Reviews

Robert Craig's ultra-premium winery is renowned for limited-production, hand-crafted Cabernet Sauvignons from the mountains and foothills of Napa Valley. A pioneer in the development of mountain sources, Robert was involved with The Hess Collection in the 1980s before embarking on his own winemaking project in 1990. The program includes Affinity, a classic Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and powerhouse Cabernets from Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain appellations. These award-winning, structured and stylish Cabernets convey a unique personality derived from the soils, climate and varietal characteristics of each growing region. Robert Craig has been a pioneer in Napa Valley mountain vineyards since the 1980s. Founded in 1992, his winery is located at 2300 feet atop Howell Mountain.

Craig, Robert - Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

2005 Craig, Robert - Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
USA - California - Napa - Howell Mountain

Red

Prearrival

Prearrival

VF

94+

$80.00

  Add

750ml

 

Keith Emerson's first vintage is showing a very concentrated nose of olives, figs, red currant and blackberry jam Has a beautifully polished palate redolent of violet, lapsang and mountain blackberry. Solid backbone of acidity. Needs a couple years. Drink: 2010-2018.

- Doug Wilder , Vinfolio 202, August 2008


Dr. Madaiah Revana is a successful Cardiologist in Houston whose desire to have a vineyard in Napa Valley was shaped by a visit in 1997. Once he decided on the place, he dove in and hired the best winemaking and vineyard management team available. Vineyard Manager Jim Barbour has his boot-prints all over the Valley and his name alone instantly commands notice for a new property. Paired with one of the most respected winemakers in the world, Heidi Peterson Barrett, big things were naturally expected. Jim developed the site into an eight-block mix of four different classic Bordeaux varietals with the exception of Merlot. Heidi's resume was already brimming with successes elsewhere, including Paradigm, Dalla Valle, Jones Family, Screaming Eagle, Grace Family, Amuse Bouche, Showket and her own La Sirena.

Revana Family - Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 Revana Family - Cabernet Sauvignon
USA - California - Napa - Napa Valley

Red

In stock

In stock

VF

94

$125.00

  Add

750ml

 

Arguably the best Revana since the 2002 vintage. Shows a beautiful nose with licorice, camphor, and black currant. The palate has nicely focused blackberry and tarry licorice giving the wine a beautiful grip on the palate leading to long, polished finish. Drink: 2008-2016.

- Doug Wilder , Vinfolio 202, August 2008


Owners Shane and Suzanne Pavitt have always discussed big decisions on their weekly date night. Deciding to create a wine brand together was no different. Their first release (called Date Night) is off of the thirteen acre Temple Vineyard and is farmed organically. Made by Ted Osborne, the quality of the premiere release 2005 is very high. Production should stay small, around 300 cases.

Phifer Pavitt - Cabernet Sauvignon Date Night

2005 Phifer Pavitt - Cabernet Sauvignon Date Night
USA - California - Napa - Napa Valley

Red

Prearrival

Prearrival

VF

94

$75.00

  Add

750ml

 

From the organically-farmed Temple Family Vineyard. It shows a very smooth blackberry nose with some chocolate and minty/herb notes. The palate has rich entry with solid silky blackberry, currant and dense chocolate. Drink: 2008-2014.

- Doug Wilder , Vinfolio 202, August 2008


Leviathan - Proprietary Red

2006 Leviathan - Proprietary Red
USA - California

Red

Prearrival

Prearrival

VF

94

$48.00

  Add

750ml

 

From Andy Erickson, winemaker for Arietta, Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle, Ovid and Dancing Hares, as well as his own Favia label. A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 21% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Franc.
Dark purple in color with a rich creamy nose of dates, blackberry, licorice and graphite. The palate is pleasantly polished and ripe with bold black cherry, a kiss of cassis, blueberry, red stone fruit and warm black fig. A smoothly structured wine meant for early drinking. Drink: 2008-2012.

- Doug Wilder , Vinfolio 202, August 2008


Order Now or call 1-800-969-1961


Did you know?

Learn more about Vinfolio wine clubs

For readers who want regular shipments of wines that I review, you can now sign up for the Wilder Side and Beyond wine club. Customize it to your preferences by price, number of bottles, frequency and more. Click here for details.

About Vinfolio

 

Recognized by Food & Wine magazine (6/07) as one of the top 10 online wine shops, Vinfolio® (www.vinfolio.com) sells fine wine and services to wine collectors and enthusiasts. With a guiding philosophy of "Fine wine, finer service," Vinfolio offers over 2,500 wines, both new releases and mature vintages, VinCellar™ online cellar management software and a broad range of collector services.

 

If you don't want to receive The Wilder Side of California wineletter, please click here to modify your account settings

Click here to opt out of all Vinfolio mailings

1890 Bryant Street, Suite 208
San Francisco, CA 94110