2016 J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (1 x 750 ml)

The Davies family, proprietors of Schramsberg and Davies Vineyards in Napa Valley, presents its sixteenth vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon crafted from the historic Diamond Mountain vineyards they purchased in 1965. The estate vineyards were replanted to Bordeaux varietals beginning in 1994, and the J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was first released in 2004 (2001 vintage).

J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is the creation of two generations of the Davies family, the product of an intimate knowledge of a place and of a passion to create delicious red wine. The wine is named in honor of patriarch Jack L. Davies, who along with his wife, Jamie, revived the Schramsberg property and established the preeminent American sparkling wine house over 50 years ago.

The vineyard blocks, totaling 41 acres, are laid out in three isolated pockets ranging from approximately 550 to 1,000 feet in elevation. They include the two Schram sections, Napa Valleys first hillside vineyards, originally established in 1862 by Jacob Schram. The third piece is the adjacent McEachran parcel, which was first planted by Colin McEachran in 1878 and was purchased by Schramsberg in 1985. These are the southernmost vineyards in the Diamond Mountain District AVA. Flanked by two cool creek canyons (Nash Creek to the north and Ritchie Creek to the south) and surrounded by dense coniferous and deciduous forests, the vines here produce late-ripening, richly concentrated fruit with average yields of just two tons per acre.

The 2016 vintage was a near-perfect growing season with ideal weather condition throughout. Thanks to a relatively steady and mild July and August, and then a series of warm days at the end of the growing season, vineyards were able to progress to perfect ripeness for the light yields that were present.

Tasting notes

This Cabernet opens with rich aromas of red raspberry and red plum, accentuated by undertones of cocoa powder and cola spice. Supple tannins anchor the wines well-structured palate, where a concentrated entry of baked strawberry and blackberry leads to a juicy acidity and lengthy finish.- Winemakers Sean Thompson, Celia Welch and Hugh Davies

Reviews

98 Points
J. Davies 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District ($120) Diamond Mountain is one of California's sweet spots for cabernet sauvignon. Situated near the northern tip of the Napa Valley, the warm summer days typically produce full ripeness. The mountain terroir then imparts remarkable structure. The J. Davies 2016 vintage is a prime example, not to mention a wine for the ages. Showing impressive depth and complex aromas of cassis and blackberry, the wine is bold and rich without losing the tension so essential to longevity. Though drinking well now, I would give serious consideration to laying down this vintage for another eight to 10 years for optimum enjoyment.- Robert Whitley, Wine Talk (December 2019)
95 Points
The Davies family purchased the Diamond Mountain Vineyards in 1965, replanted it to Bordeaux varieties in 1994. This is the wines 16th vintage. A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot, it spent 22 months in 62% new French oak. The opulence on the nose shows off dark chocolate and savory herbs, leather and blackberry. Lush and round on the mouth, this curvy, earthy red offers up cinnamon and cumin, and a hint of spearmint. Fruit is black and lathered with black licorice.- The Tasting Panel (November 2019)
94 Points - Cellar Selection
This wine has a supple succulence of black fruit on the midpalate that's accented by earthy, savory spice. Dark cherry and plum take on bolder, concentrated richness as the wine opens, with expansive, grippy tannins lending support.- Wine Enthusiast (October 2019)