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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 4/25/2015
Lail J. Daniel Cuvee 2003
Lail J. Daniel Cuvee 2003
(search item no. 125697)
boutique wine
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 4/25/2015: $90.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 100 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine reveals a profound dark color. Intense and focused, the nose exhibits aromas of plum, cassis, smoke and charcoal. When tasted the wine has wonderful depth and purity. The style is smooth and elegant, finishing with the characteristic J. Daniel Cuvee lingering sweet tannins.

While the 2003 J. Daniel Cuvee is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it remains a "cuvee" as the wine is a blend of different lots of Cabernet coming from harvests of different vineyards on different dates. The select small lots were sourced from the Lail Vineyards estate on Howell Mountain and the Phillips Family Vine Hill Ranch in the Oakville appellation. Due to the painstaking and detailed selection of lots to marry into the final blend, just 800 cases were produced.

My Notes:

About Lail Vineyards:

From the somewhat mysterious beginning of the focused and dedicated Gustav Niebaum, through the supervisory interim years of John Daniel, Sr., to the innovative period of John Daniel, Jr., the early history of Inglenook has its fascinations. When John Daniel, Jr., third-generation owner and manager of Inglenook Vineyards, sold the winery in 1964, he thought it was the end of a family tradition that started in Napa Valley in 1879. But history is full of surprises. The Niebaum-Daniel odyssey did not die, but was picked up by Daniel's daughter, Robin Daniel Lail, and her husband, Jon. It was Jon who urged the family to move back to Napa Valley from the Bay Area, and Jon who first returned to the wine business in 1970. Then in 1977 Robin joined the Robert Mondavi Winery, working as Robert Mondavi's assistant for the next five years. In 1982 she co-founded the John Daniel Society with her sister and Christian Moueix to produce Dominus from a vineyard originally part of the Inglenook estate. In 1983 she co-founded Merryvale Vineyards with a group of partners including her husband. The real return to tradition began when Robin sold her interests in Dominus and Merryvale in 1995, and with her family started Lail Vineyards. This venture is dedicated to producing a single proprietary red wine which will rank among the finest wines in the world. While Jon and Shannon Lail are ambassadors at large for the venture, Erin Lail joined the winery in 1998 as the Director of Operations, representing the fifth generation in this ongoing family history. Since the inaugural release of the 1995 J. Daniel Cuvee, the Lails have brought an historic presence and patina to each bottle of wine as they re-kindle their family's winemaking tradition. Production is very limited and the focus on excellence is unrelenting.