94 Points - James Suckling
“This is a solid red with iron and dark berries, as well as currants and hot stones. Full-bodied, layered and rich. Reserved and tight. Beautiful finish. One of the best values in serious cabernet from California. Drink or hold.” Outstanding - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019
91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
“Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the northern end of Knights Valley and is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 30% new French oak. Savory notes of dried herbs, cedar box, spice, and red and black fruits all give way to a medium to full-bodied, charming, nicely balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that offers serious bang for the buck. I suspect it will keep for a decade or more.” - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2019
This Cabernet is built each vintage on the notion of a Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins crafted for immediate enjoyment. Aromas of lavender and clove join flavors of dark red fruit led by boysenberry, huckleberry, raspberry, black cherry and evident oak spice are joined with more traditional Knights Valley tones of black and blue fruits. Fine acidity and elegant structure lead to a touch of licorice and mocha, rounding out a lingering, pleasant finish.
Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, Knights Valley vineyard is approximately 600 acres, and has rocky, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The 2016 Sonoma harvest was early, with a mostly normal yield of exceptional quality fruit throughout the state. A relatively even growing season followed welcome winter rains that helped to alleviate the drought. Temperatures cooled down mid-September, providing a welcome seven to ten-day break in between harvesting. Overall, yields were down from the long-term average, while wine quality was exemplary.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, each is monitored carefully through the vinification and aging process. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in French oak barrels (30 percent new) for sixteen months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel.