A friend heading to Napa for a few days asked us for recommendations on our current favorites. Like Gary, she’s a Napa Cab fanatic, so it didn’t take long to generate this list:
We can’t vouch for the quality of the tasting rooms, but we can heartily recommend these wineries’ Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love Napa Cab, we suggest checking out these releases. They’re all a bit pricey, but if you’re splurging, here’s where to spend your money.
Coeur De Vigne 2017, $110
The quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon; beautiful in its layers and silky smooth tannins. At a wine dinner last summer, the Coeur de Vigne rose to the top as the surprise winner. Easily as good as Silver Oak Napa in its finesse.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, $60
Full-bodied, silky with cassis, black fruit, and toasted oak. One of our super-knowledgeable wine buddies is devoted to Pine Ridge, which drinks well now and can cellar for a few more years.
Mario’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, $60
We call this our “benchmark Napa Cab and it impresses year after year with its deep ruby color and dusty black currant velvety notes on the palate. The 2015 sells for $95 but you can still find the 2016 online for @$60.
Papillon Napa Valley Red Wine 2018, $70
A Bordeaux blend made with grapes from vineyards across Napa Valley. Even at this young age, its mouth-feel (fine silk/velvet tannins) and pure unadulterated raspberry/blackberry/mulberry notes are just perfection.
Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $50
2018 very hard to find; 2019 available at Vivino.
Toasty oak and cigar box on the nose with notes of deep black fruit. The black fruit carries well into the palate with an excellent balance of fruit and structure. One of the best values in premium Napa wines in this inflated market.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $50
Deep garnet color, with notes of black fruit, currant, and cedar. Noticeable tannins; best to decant before serving. Wine Enthusiast gave the 2018 95 points, calling it a “Blockbuster of a wine.” Yeah, we agree.