We bring you some huge amazing Napa Cab in our roundup this month


Our mail box has been very busy as of late with all the new releases pouring in! Because we still haven’t gotten around to building our wine cave, new release arrivals mean we need to clean out the cellar and drink our older vintages to make room for the new. With that in mind, we here at DdV have sacrificed our livers for the past few months to bring you these simply stunning Napa Cabs. Several of our high scores come from one of our favorite mountain AVAs: Spring Mountain. Saint Helena also makes a splash here. Aside from our beloved mountain AVAs, Saint Helena is quickly becoming a favorite. Our favorite valley producer Joseph Phelps sources their wines from here and we’re finding more and more wines that we love from this AVA as well. The character of this AVA is softer and more food friendly than those of Oakville, Rutherford, and Stags Leap to the south. Complexity is king here rather than pure power. We’ll be covering Saint Helena in more depth next year but until then, here’s some fantastic examples plus others that have impressed.

Sherwin Family Vineyards 1998 Cabernet Spring Mountain

DdV: 96
Price: $75
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Merlot 8%, Cabernet Franc 2%
Source: Spring Mountain – Napa

Huge and opulent wine that is a perfect example of the Spring Mountain AVA. Tannins are bold but feathery and are in perfect balance. Big mountain blackberry, licorice, and spice on the nose lead to lush plum, blackberry, and dark chocolate on the mid. Finishes long with hints of mineral, smoky oak, fresh herbs, and currant. This still has plenty left in the tank but is perfect now so drink em if you got em.

Rosenthal Malibu Estate 2000 Newton Canyon Cabernet

DdV: 92
Price: $40.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Malibu-Newton Canyon

I never even considered that there would be and AVA in Malibu. Yes folks, that Malibu: swimmin’ pools, movie stars.  Only a few miles from where Babs chills out you will find the Newton Canyon AVA. This effort from Rosenthal is wonderful example of the AVA. On the nose hints of strawberry and bing cherry greet leading to black cherry, cola, and currant on the mid. Finish is clean with hits of sandalwood and red licorice. Fine balance and mouth feel. Great for grilled steaks or even smoked ribs.

Corison 2001 Kronos Vineyard Cabernet
DdV: 96
Price: $90
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Saint Helena – Napa Valley

When this wine was released, Cathy Corison stated that this was her best Cab yet. Looking back on her very famous wine making career, that’s saying something. This is a pure and classic example of Saint Helena. Plenty of power but more denoted by subtlety. On the nose dark raspberry, leather, spice and coffee give way to lush plum, blackberry, huckleberry and dark chocolate. Finish is long with mineral, cedar, and black cherry notes. Perfect balance. Amazing.

Delectus 2005 Mutti’s Pride Cabernet

DdV: 96
Price: $70
Blend: 90% Cabernet, 6% Merlot 4% Petite Syrah
Source: Napa Valley

This is an absolutely huge power Cab in the true Cult Cab tradition. This is the kind of wine we like to call a “Dessert Wine” meaning it is best to drink this all by itself for dessert. This wine is so big it will overpower just about anything you would pair with it so have this with some friends and enjoy. Bold currant, cassis, and blackberry with subtle graphite on the nose urge you on to dark plum, black raspberry and blackberry on the mid. Finish is stunning with smokey oak, french roast coffee and more dark berry. Best to drink sitting down as it may make you a bit weak in the knees.

Owl Ridge 2003 Brigden Vineyard Cabernet

DdV: 94
Price: $50.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Sonoma County (Sonoma side of Spring Mountain)

The only reason this is marked as Sonoma County instead of Spring Mountain is due to the county line that runs over the crest. This is a true Spring Mountain wine in every sense. Sourced from the Brigdon Vineyard on the wind-ward side of the mountain, this wine exhibits all the characteristics (feathery tannins, soft earth, big bold fruit) we love. On the nose, dark huckleberry, bright herbs, and hints of vanilla give way to bold blackberry, plum, and hints of smokey oak on the mid. Finish is long and balanced with spice, oak, and clean mineral. Perfect for BBQ beef dishes.

Hagafen – Prix 2005 Reserve Weir Family Vineyards – MJT Block, Cabernet Sauvignon

DdV: 95
Price: $60.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Napa Valley

This is the Cab flagship of the Hagafen stable and is worthy of that position. Bold dark berry, espresso, and smooth balanced tannins are the rule here. Finish is long with a surprising hit of black cherry and graphite.

Chimney Rock 2004 Stags Leap Cabernet

DdV: 95
Price: $107.00
Blend: 100% Cabernet
Source: Stags Leap – Napa Valley

Hallmark dusty tannins of the Stags Leap AVA are present as is the elegant nature of this wine. Bold blackberry, dark raspberry, and dark chocolate are prominent on the mid with the nose and finish highlighting dark cocoa and subtle oak. Nice balance to this elegant wine. This still has plenty more time to cellar in it but is right on stride now.

Ehlers 2008 Estate 1886 Cabernet

DdV: 95
Price: $95
Blend: 82% Cabernet, 10% Cab Franc, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verot
Source: Saint Helena – Napa Valley

This subtle Bordeaux like wine is another great example of the Saint Helena terrior. On the nose bold lush blackberry, pine forest earth, and black licorice lead to rich plum, blackberry, and cocoa on the mid. Finish is wonderfully long and subtle with dark currant and oak with a perfect hit of graphite. Perfect for grilled steak. A new favorite.