2018 J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum (1 x 1.5 L)

The Davies family, proprietors of Schramsberg and Davies Vineyards in Napa Valley, presents its eighteenth 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 55 years ago.

The vineyard blocks, totaling 46 acres, are laid out in four isolated pockets ranging from 500 to 1000 feet in elevation. They include the two Schram sections, Napa Valleys first hillside vineyards, originally established in 1862 by Jacob Schram, the McEachran parcel, first planted by Colin McEachran in 1878, and the Claes parcel, dating back to 1984. 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 compact coniferous and deciduous forests, the vines here produce late-ripening, richly concentrated fruit with average yields of just two tons per acre.

The long growing season in 2018 revealed a vintage with structure and concentration without being overripe. Despite a warm February, the growing season started off cooler than the past few vintages. A cool spring meant bloom lasted longer than usual, which resulted in a bountiful crop. Summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than in recent years. Veraison started later as well, and as a result, harvest started two to three weeks later than in recent years. The result was fruit exhibiting firm tannins, with outstanding color and brightness.

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Tasting notes

The 2018 J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon opens with dense black plum, vibrant blackberry, rich cocoa and notes of black pepper, complimented by undertones of tobacco leaf and mountain sage. Flavors of marionberry, black cherry, baking spice and mocha lead to a lush and coating finish. Youthful yet integrated, tannins anchor the wines rich mouth-filling weight.- Winemakers Jessica Koga, Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies

Reviews

96 Points
The Davies familys 18th vintage of the Diamond Mountain Cab, and this bounty of concentrated plum and dark chocolate reflects the long 2018 growing season. Aged 22 months in 65% new French oak, it just made its release this past October. With some Malbec and Petit Verdot blended in, we find graphite washed in licorice; creamy and deeply arresting. As it glides across the palate, there are indications of black pepper and espresso on the finish.- Tasting Panel (January 2022)
94 Points
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Davies, from the Davies property on Diamond Mountain, is a potent, savory wine that is going to need a few years to fully come together. Savory herbs, cedar, tobacco and soil tones complement the dark fruit flavors admirably. This is the most reticent of the Davies vineyard designate Cabernets. Give it a few years in the cellar.- Vinous (January 2021)
93 Points
Bright and expressive, with a big burst of açaí berry, mulberry and blueberry notes leading the way, with melted licorice joining in as it glides through the lengthy finish. Delivers ample buried structure, but the fruit steals the show. Best from 2023 through 2035- Wine Spectator (March 2022)