2010 Rockledge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
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Rockledge Vineyards and 4.0 out of 5 stars! Nosebleed Cabernet on Pritchard Hil

The vintage couldn't have been summed up any better than when Parker's Wine Advocate wrote, "Readers should do whatever they can to source the best 2010s, as they are magnificent. The top wines will reward cellaring and be long-lived." While the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon class of 2010 was uniformly stunning with its brilliant blackberry concentration, so elegantly bracketed by fine tannic backbone, nowhere did this cool-climate harvest better show its colors than on the nosebleed slopes of Pritchard Hill.

For the blue-chip estates of the mountain -- the likes of Colgin, Bryant Family, David Arthur and Chappellet -- vintage elation was tempered by the meager size of the harvest. Greg Melanson would bring in less than two tons per acre. Phil Titus reported much the same at Chappellet. The same would be true at Ovid and David Arthur. With the high-end market back on track, these 95-98 pointers disappeared in a heartbeat. Many wholesalers were shut out. Even collectors, we were told, longtime members of the Colgin and Bryant Family clubs, saw their allocations trimmed by one-third.

With demand far outstripping supply, 2010 Pritchard Hill prices spiked beyond the highs of 2007. Colgin would fetch $500+/bottle. Bryant Family set collectors back $400 a pop. Chappellet's Pritchard Hill seemed like a DEAL at "just" $150!

But, here on WineAccess, far and and away the greatest Pritchard Hill bargain of Parker's 'epic' 2010 vintage came from Peter Snowden's Rockledge -- particularly as we'd already pulled the trigger well before Parker's issue #204 hit the web.

The 2010 Rockledge Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of two mountain components. The smaller piece stems from a steep, southeast facing slope set at 2,000 feet in a protected refuge at the top of Mt. Veeder. The second is drawn from what many believe is the most magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon site in Napa Valley -- a south-facing eight-acre plot on priceless Pritchard Hill.

95% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small dollop of Petit Verdot, the color is deep purple-black to the edge. The aromas are big, bold, high-toned and finely muscled, with a luscious gumbo of blackberry and mountain blueberry. The attack speaks plushly of the Cabernet's origins, voluptuous, rich and powerful, packed with crushed black fruit, all bracketed by classic Pritchard Hill tannins.

Tasting Notes

2010 Rockledge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
"(95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot). Opaque purple-black to the rim, the aromas are big, bold and juicy, a luscious high-toned gumbo of blackberry and mountain blueberry. Rich and voluptuous on the attack, with a plush black fruit core -- not at all syrupy, but dense and compact -- all bracketed by classic Pritchard Hill tannins. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism after one hour in a carafe, or do as we're doing -- lay this one down for a 10-year rest."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


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