2016 - 2041
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
28th Oct 2016
227, The Wine Advocate
The wines from the extremely hot drought year, 2014, were just bottled prior to my visit. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the vintage’s precociousness and front-end loaded, flattering style. It is medium to full-bodied, shows beautiful fruit purity, deep black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, moving toward blacker berries. There is a floral characteristic, spice, and a full-bodied, lush mouthfeel with silky tannin. Drink it over the next 25 years.
Readers should note that the relatively new owners of what was formerly known as the Araujo Estate have finally changed the name to the Eisele Vineyard. This is one of the greatest terroirs in all of Napa Valley, if not all of California. It certainly makes sense to promote its name. For old-timers out there, the first single Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon I remember was made by Paul Draper in 1971 at Ridge. That was followed by a one-off, but a phenomenal wine, the 1974 Conn Creek Eisele Vineyard (the wine was purchased at a bankruptcy sale and bottled by Conn Creek). Then there was a succession of great Eisele Vineyard wines from Joseph Phelps, including the 1975 and 1978, all of which today remain vibrant and incredible. Certainly, when the Araujos arrived they also produced world-class wines of first-growth quality. It is no coincidence that the Eisele Vineyard is now owned by a first-growth proprietor from France, François Pinault, of Château Latour in Bordeaux and other significant estates in France, especially the tiny jewel of a vineyard in the Rhône Valley, Château Grillet. The tasting I did seemed to show that all is proceeding brilliantly at the Eisele Vineyard, with two of the three Cabernet Sauvignons I tasted thoroughly compelling—so the greatness from this fabulous terroir continues unabated.