2018 J. Davies "jd" Cabernet Sauvignon (1 x 750 ml)

The Davies family, proprietors of Schramsberg Vineyards in Napa Valley, presents its thirteenth vintage of J. Davies Estate jd Cabernet Sauvignon. Like its companion J. Davies Estate bottlings, this red wine is crafted solely from the densely flavored, richly structured fruit grown on the familys hillside property. Following the blending of J. Davies, winemakers Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies carefully select from the remaining barrels of wine to craft this offering. Vibrant and approachable as a young wine, the medium-bodied jd is released after two and a half years of aging. Bearing the initials of Jack Davies, who along with his wife, Jamie, revived the historic Schramsberg winery property in 1965, it is the product of an intimate knowledge of this place, and a passion to create delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.

Tasting notes

The 2018 J. Davies Estate "jd" Cabernet opens with aromas of blackberry, currants, milk chocolate, and sour cherry, accentuated by fresh coffee, dense and dark dried plum, and red licorice. The palates lush entry of strawberry pie precedes a lightly floral mid-palate. Well-structured tannins are infused with a hint of dark chocolate, cocoa and vanilla, culminating with a bright and lively finish.- Winemakers Sean Thompson, Celia Welch & Hugh Davies

Reviews

91 Points
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon j.d. is the entry-level wine from Davies estate on Diamond Mountain. Ripe, plummy and wonderfully seductive, the 2018 is a real joy to taste today. Juicy black cherry, plum, mocha, spice and licorice are nicely pushed forward in this open-knit, inviting Cabernet. Drink it over the next handful of years.- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (January 2021)
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