2007 Boutique Cabernet Sauvignon Sampler
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4.11 out of 5 stars!
2007 Grasso Review

***** Outstanding Cabernet
I seem to be using a lot of superlatives in reviewing cabs I got on WineAccess, but these guys are doing their job! After a half hour decant, there is a HUGE nose of cassis, blackberry, black cherry, spices and a bit of licorice and vanillin oak. Gobs of sweet fruit on the palate with fine, somewhat drying tannins on the long finish. Lush and full, and it will get better. Fabulous after an hour's decant with grilled flank steak seasoned with Montreal seasoning and grilled corn on the cob. Just about perfect, and I'm sure it will be in a few years. Self control, self control...
-- Ron from Rolla, MO

2007 Barlow Vineyards Review

***** Dinner Table Workhorse
Dark inky maroon hue. Oak and blackberry bouquet, gives way to a very tempered black fruit body with ample wood. Finish is nearly bone dry, in a wonderful way, with a velvety finish of mixed berry. Body is a bit thin, but it really helps because with the amount of fruit in this bottle it might be too heavy otherwise. '02 was very similar; '06 was stellar; this '07 is an elegant workhorse on the table.
-- Derek from Oreland, PA

2007 Watkins Family Review

Nuns Cliff is perhaps the oddest vineyard name I can remember, but this was a really solid bottle of Sonoma Cab from a producer that I'm not familiar with. I bought based on the recommendation ..., and was pleasantly surprised. Classic Sonoma elegance, dark color, plush in the mouth, and quite delicious.
-- Elise from Scarsdale, NY

Half Off Spectator's 99pt Cabernet Vintage

It may not have been the cover story, but a quick glance at the updated Wine Spectator vintage chart told you all you needed to know about the excitement brewing on the Silverado Trail. Napa was mired in its worst sales slump in more than a decade, finally falling victim to the Wall Street onslaught. For 18 months, even the top addresses struggled to sell excellent 2005s to wholesalers who were no longer answering the phone. The upcoming release of what many were already calling the greatest vintage in 20 years would tell the tale. If consumers didn't jump at these monumental 2007s, all bets were off.

First, Robert Parker weighed in, dropping a record ten 100-point scores on Napa's Cabernets, sending collectors scrambling. Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family, Schrader and the rest were instantly oversubscribed.

Then, Wine Spectator came back and lowered the boom, upgrading their 94-97 point vintage rating to a historic 99 points, calling 2007 'the greatest vintage since 1997.' The race was on, but fortunately, WineAccess was ahead of the pack.

From 2008-2010, what we'd come to call "The Crisis Years," we helped out dozens of excellent small wineries from Oakville to the nosebleed slopes of Howell and Spring Mountains. On quick morning blasts, we turned hundreds of cases of Cabernet Sauvignon into cash, often providing the liquidity needed to bottle and harvest. Some of those whom we'd helped out repaid us with like allocations of their 2007s -- the finest harvest any of them had ever seen.

When the 2007 Cabernets from valley floor and mountain boutiques like Grasso, Levendi, Cornerstone, Barlow and Watkins Family hit WineAccess member inboxes, the sales velocity was blistering. Collectors feasted on half-price offers. Many 'everyday' Cabernet buyers went on buying bonanzas, worried that they'd never see 99pt vintage Cabernets again for under-$30/bottle. Most who purchased still lament not having bought more.

Each of the 2007s in today's 6-pack was offered over the last eighteen months. Here's what you may have missed:

Jay Buoncristiani was fresh off a Wine Spectator cameo appearance when his 2007 Grasso "Olive Ridge" Cabernet Sauvignon hit our pages. Drawn from a rocky, 3-acre patch in piping hot Coombsville, Buoncristiani worked his now storied cellar magic, turning out a massive Cabernet, packed with blackberry preserves, bracketed by the firm backbone for which the AVA is so well known. Buyers raved, dropping an aggregate score of 4.17 stars out of 5.

Randall Watkins's tiny production is off the nosebleed slopes of Nun's Cliff set on the western flank of the Mayacamas. Watkins, who doubles as head winemaker at John Bugay's Cabernet oasis, nursed tremendous concentration from these BB-sized mountain clusters. Purple/black in color, with a luscious crème-de-cassis core, the vintage and the vinification account for this powerhouse's lithe structure and marvelously sleek finish.

As to Barr Smith's 2007 knockout, drawn from just a few rows of this manicured 35-acre property, set at the bend of The Trail at the edge of the St. Helena/Calistoga line, even Robert Parker couldn't hold back. Parker raved about the 2007 Barlow, then lobbed on the 91pt score that made this one of the quickest sellouts of 2012.

So why are we teasing you? Why wax eloquent about that which you cannot have? Because this morning, we're rolling back the clock, if only to help all of our members understand just how much has changed in Napa over the last 12 months.

Just 20 cases are left of each 2007. We've divided them into 120 six-packs -- all offered at time machine prices. $338 on release. Half off today -- if you still care about discounts on the top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in Wine Spectator history.

Tasting Notes

2007 Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
"The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon may be the finest wine of this group. It needs some time to resolve its noticeable tannins, but I love the pure black currant fruit interwoven with tobacco leaf, ink, smoke, and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, pure, rich, and convincing, give it 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy it over the following 15+."
91 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

2007 Watkins Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Nuns Cliff Vineyard Sonoma Valley
"(a west-facing volcanic slope at 1,400 feet): Good red-ruby. Dark berries, toffee, tobacco and cola on the nose, with hints of leather and nutty oak. Nicely integrated acidity gives this wine surprising mid-palate energy and lift, in spite of its easygoing mocha and toffee flavors. Has the stuffing to support its rather fine-grained but increasingly firm tannins. More successfully filled in than the 2006 version. Finishes with an attractive subtle sweetness."
90 points -- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2007 Grasso Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Ridge Vineyard Napa Valley

"Purple black in color. Voluptuous aromas of crushed blackberries and cassis, high-toned and persistent. Massively concentrated on the attack, typical not only of the vintage, but of Buoncristiani's Cabernet touch, packed with black fruit, dowsed with crème-de-cassis. Chewy and briary in texture and built to last, still bracketed by the fine, supple tannins that have become the trademark of what many are calling the best Napa Valley vintage in thirty years."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

*Important Shipping Information
    • Orders will begin shipping the week of January 7, 2013.
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