Last Shot at Highly Allocated Napa Cab
LAST CALL for one of the most brilliant Cabernet buys of Wine Spectator’s “dream vintage” and one of our Wine Access client-favorites. “This wine is allocated.” That is how the Purlieu Wines website politely tells seekers of Julien Fayard’s Cabernets that they are basically out of luck. Case in point is the winery’s 2015 To Kalon Beckstoffer Vineyard, awarded 98-100 points from Robert Parker who gushed that the wine “just has it all. It is really a wine to diagram and analyze over and over to see what true perfection really is.” Fayard’s 2014 Le Pich — crafted by the same hands and sourced from many of the same stellar sites as Purlieu — was described by Parker as a “a sleeper of the vintage,” a “generous, and irresistible” Napa Cabernet. Before the 2015s are released, Julien is offering Wine Access clients a shot at the last bottles of the 2014s, ahead of retiring several cases as library wines (and price hikes). Elsewhere $60, from Wine Access still only $49.99 for just a short time today.
In 2014, the Napa growing season that inspired Wine Spectator to call it “a dream vintage,” Julien Fayard’s Bordeaux training was on full display. He’d spent time at Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Smith Haut Lafitte, then moved to Napa in 2006. After working at Quintessa, Fayard went to work alongside Bordeaux native Philippe Melka, whose glowing resume includes time at Château Haut-Brion and Napa’s Right Bank-steeped Dominus.
In Fayard’s work, the lessons of Lafite still rule: attention to detail and restraint in the cellar. But his years in Napa, working on projects like Gemstone, Dalla Valle, and Lail, have provided Fayard with the things that make confident restraint possible: an understanding of the valley’s vineyards, and relationships with top growers. These relationships allow Fayard to source top-flight fruit for Purlieu from sites like Pritchard Hill and To Kalon.
Vanessa Conlin DipWSET
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma
Stage 2 Master of Wine Student