California

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Region Producer Vintagesort descending Name Qty Unit Case Size Format Price Note Rating
California Jonata NV Miel Jonata 4 Bottle 50cl £30
California Dominus Estate 1987 Dominus 1 Case 6 75cl £1,050
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    $45 - 55

    Drink Date

    1993 - 2010

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    26th Oct 1993

    Source

    89, The Wine Advocate

    There were 6,500 cases produced of the 1987 Dominus. It is one of the great wines of the vintage in a year when a handful of California producers made profound Cabernets (i.e., Robert Mondavi Reserve, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Chateau Montelena). The wine is beginning to shut down, but it still displays a rich ruby color and an intensely spicy, fragrant nose of toasty vanillin oak, cassis, and cedar. In the mouth, this medium to full-bodied wine displays considerable tannins, fine integrated acidity, and an opulent, rich, spicy finish. I would suggest cellaring it for another 3-4 years; it should easily keep through the first decade of the next century.

Tasting Notes
96
California Mondavi / Rothschild 1990 Opus One 1 Bottle 150cl £750
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    $55

    Drink Date

    1993 - 2011

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    26th Oct 1993

    Source

    89, The Wine Advocate

    This is a terrific Opus, with a broader, deeper palate and less of the overly-sculptured, structured feel that past examples have revealed. The 1990 exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, and a spicy, rich, sweet nose of cassis, vanillin, lead pencil, herbs, and minerals. Medium to full-bodied, with low acidity, sweet tannin, and wonderful layers of ripe, pure, rich fruit, the wine is in complete harmony, without being excessively acidified or brutally tannic. This is a gorgeous Opus for drinking over the next 16-18 years. My instincts suggest it is the most promising Opus One made to date.

Tasting Notes
93
California Mondavi / Rothschild 1991 Opus One 2 Bottle 150cl £750
  • Rating

    92

    Release Price

    $55 - 60

    Drink Date

    1995 - 2010

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    23rd Feb 1995

    Source

    97, The Wine Advocate

    Opus One's 1991 is a gorgeously rich, opaque ruby/purple-colored wine with a knock-out nose of smoke, cassis, vanilla, and a whiff of herbs and licorice. Full-bodied, with surprisingly supple, concentrated, chocolatey, cassis, and blackcurrant flavors that ooze across the palate, this voluptuously-textured example of Opus One is atypical in a vintage that produced so many backward wines. There is no question the wine possesses plenty of tannin, but it is admirably concealed by the copious quantities of concentrated fruit. This Opus can be drunk now as well as over the next 15+ years.

Tasting Notes
92
California Colgin 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 3 Bottle 75cl £380
96
California Shafer 1995 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Bottle 75cl £295
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    $110

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    1st Jan 2000

    Source

    126, The Wine Advocate

    The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select possesses lots of fatness in the mid-palate. There is plenty of tannin in this full-bodied, rich effort. It is remarkable how the finest California Cabernets combine extraordinary power and richness with balance and elegance. A stupendous wine, it is worth a special effort to obtain. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030. 

Tasting Notes
99
California Mondavi 1996 Napa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Bottle 75cl £75
92
California Shafer 1996 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 6 Bottle 75cl £225
  • Rating

    98

    Release Price

    $125

    Drink Date

    2000 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    23rd Dec 2000

    Source

    132, The Wine Advocate

    Since 1991, Shafer's Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon has unquestionably been one of the top dozen or so California Cabernets. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged 32 months in 100% French oak casks (the majority Taransaud), it possesses the elegance and finesse one would expect from the Stags Leap area, but also monumental power, richness, and intensity. The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is one of the vintage's super-stars. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by super aromatics, immense body, great fruit extraction, superb purity and overall symmetry, as well as a 40+ second finish. Revealing exceptional intensity (but no heaviness) as well as perfectly integrated acidity, tannin, and alcohol, this fabulous Cabernet will drink wonderfully for three decades.

Tasting Notes
98
California Montelena 1997 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2 Case 6 75cl £960
87
California Joseph Phelps 1997 Insignia 1 Bottle 75cl £300
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2013 - 2033

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Nov 2013

    Source

    1113, The Wine Advocate

    An inky/plum/purple color is accompanied by a stunning bouquet of violets, charcoal, creme de cassis and a hint of toast. Prodigious when it hits the palate with a full-bodied expansiveness, there is not a hard edge to be found in the 1997, only velvety tannins, compelling depth and fruit intensity, and stunning purity. It is a perfect expression of Napa viticulture and wine that should continue to age effortlessly for two decades or more. An ideal warm, dry spring, June and July was followed by a surprisingly cool August that slowed down what looked to be rapid sugar accumulation in the grapes. September's temperatures were average to above average, without any potentially damaging heat spikes. This allowed the harvest to unfurl slowly, with no stress or imminent danger. For many Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, this resulted in one of the top vintages of the nineties. Consumers, observers and wine critics will undoubtedly argue for decades over which vintage of the nineties turned out to be the finest – 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 or 1997. The 1997 Insignia is a 20,000-case blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, with 60% coming from estate vineyards and 40% from growers. The alcohol came in at 13.8%.

Tasting Notes
100
California Colgin 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 4 Bottle 75cl £485
99
California Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1998 Fay Golden Rectangle 2 Bottle 75cl £100
California Colgin 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 3 Bottle 75cl £300
95
California Bond 1999 Vecina Cabernet Sauvignon 2 Bottle 75cl £250
  • Rating

    (90 - 92)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2006 - 2020

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Aug 2002

    Source

    142, The Wine Advocate

    The 1999 Vecina, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon offering, exhibits aromas of graphite, tar, coffee, and creme de cassis. It is more austere and less charming and seductive than the 1999 "S". This powerful, muscular Cabernet will be at its best between 2006-2020. 

Tasting Notes
92
California Sine Qua Non 2000 In Flagrante Syrah 3 Bottle 75cl £340
96
California Verite 2000 Desir 2 Bottle 75cl £150
90
California Verite 2001 Joie 3 Bottle 75cl £175
95
California Colgin 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 1 Case 3 75cl £1,200
97
California Colgin 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard 1 Case 3 75cl £1,500
98
California Shafer 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2 Case 6 75cl £2,150
  • The 2001 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is the first of these back-to-back perfect wines from Shafer that, at age 13, is still a baby, but, wow, what an amazing wine. A fabulous growing season produced a wine with inky/purple black color, stunning crème de cassis notes, with additional hints of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, cedar wood and forest floor. It is full-bodied, sensationally concentrated, with a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol. This is a great, monumental Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that is still an infant, at age 13, going on 14. This has got at least three decades of life left in it, and probably won’t hit its peak for another 5-7 years.

    Score: 100Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (216), December 2014

Tasting Notes
100
California Dominus Estate 2002 Dominus 1 Case 6 75cl £1,395
99
California Colgin 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard 3 Bottle 75cl £550
100
California Colgin 2002 IX Estate 2 Case 3 75cl £1,500
100
California Colgin 2002 IX Estate Syrah 1 Case 3 75cl £560
95
California Bond 2002 Vecina Cabernet Sauvignon 2 Bottle 75cl £295
  • Rating

    98+

    Release Price

    $250 - 300

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2047

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Jun 2012

    Source

    201, The Wine Advocate

    The 2002 Vecina comes from a vineyard not far from the steep hillsides of Harlan Estate, on the western hills of the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the Oakville corridor and the eastern hillsides. This is a much earthier, spicier, more structured wine, much more masculine, with notes of scorched earth and almost Graves-like smoky, camphor and barbecue notes as well as black fruits galore. With its big, muscular structure and dense opaque/purple color, this wine actually seems younger in its evolution than either the St. Eden or Melbury. It is probably best forgotten for another 5-6 years, with another 30-34 years lifeline potential. It’s a sensational wine. These three Bond wines, the third vintage from entrepreneur and proprietor Bill Harlan, continue to validate his visionary belief in their potential. 

Tasting Notes
98
California Colgin 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 1 Case 3 75cl £895
94
California Sine Qua Non 2002 Just For The Love Of It (Syrah) 4 Bottle 75cl £710
100
California Colgin 2002 Cariad 1 Case 6 75cl £2,500
  • Rating

    99+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2011 - 2031

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    2nd May 2011

    Source

    195, The Wine Advocate

    A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc, this is the most open-knit, Pomerol-like wine of the tasting. Ripe and exuberant, it offers up notes of kirsch, blackberry liqueur, mocha, espresso and chocolate. A dense purple color with the same saturation point as the 2001, but with a totally different personality, it is a friendly, endearing, voluptuous, silky, viscous, hedonistic yet compelling wine of great complexity. Enjoy it now and over the next 20 years. I originally rated it 98 points.

Tasting Notes
99
California Verite 2003 Desir 1 Bottle 150cl £450
99
California Verite 2003 Joie 3 Bottle 75cl £185
95
California Verite 2003 Joie 1 Bottle 150cl £380
95
California Verite 2003 Muse 1 Bottle 150cl £360
95
California Shafer 2003 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 6 Bottle 75cl £210
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2014 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Dec 2014

    Source

    216, The Wine Advocate

    The 2003 is a singular style of wine, but by no means wimpy or undernourished. The 2003 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select has a dense, purple color, notes of creosote, graphite, blackberry and cassis fruit, charcoal and scorched earth. It has a full-bodied mouthfeel and excellent purity, while some rather noticeable tannins kick in on the finish. This wine seems to be moving from adolescence to that early mature stage, where I would expect it to hold for at least another 10-15 or more years. Clearly not one of the superstars in what was a rather astonishing qualitative lineup, but it’s outrageously good Cabernet Sauvignon, and I expect myself, as well as any of my readers, would drink this 24/7.

    Shafer’s Hillside Estate Vineyard consists of 54 acres all on steep, amphitheater-like, rocky outcroppings and knolls. It receives the full benefit of southeasterly sunlight, and enjoys the afternoon breezes that blow up from the San Francisco Bay channel. An unusual geographic feature, this vineyard is basically a box canyon. The top soil is virtually non-existent as the bed roots that go into the white tofu volcanic soil base rarely extend more than 18 inches before hitting bedrock. This no doubt is a significant reason for the intense flavors achieved by the Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, and why it is able to spend 32 months in 100% new French oak without a woody taste.

Tasting Notes
95
California Sine Qua Non 2003 Papa Syrah 4 Bottle 75cl £400
  • There are 860 cases of the 2003 Papa, a blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Mourvedre, and 1% Grenache sourced from six different vineyards. An old black and white photograph of Manfred Krankl’s father holding a baby with a head the size of a large watermelon (presumably Manfred) serves as the label for this wine, which has just about everything one could want in a great Syrah. It exhibits extraordinary power and richness along with large quantities of sexy, seductive cassis, black cherries, and a chocolaty undertone. Unctuously textured, rich, and full, it will provide amazing drinking over the next 10-15 years.

    Score: 98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (166), August 2006

Tasting Notes
98
California Colgin 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard 1 Case 3 75cl £730
93

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