Lail J. Daniel Cuvee 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2010 J. Daniel Cuvee has a nose that kicks off with unbelievably dark tones of cacao, blackberry and rich leather laced with red current. After letting the wine breathe the finer aromatic nuances begin to emerge with tones of fresh cut violets and cardamom. The attack is soft and nicely layered with ample body. The grape and oak tannins have married well to bring a fine grained pliable texture to the mid palate as well as considerable weight and density. It's finish is round and lengthy that follows through with pleasant friendly tannins that will bring you back for another glass.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Lail’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon John Daniel Cuvee bursts from the glass with explosive fruit, firm tannins and deeply pitched spice notes. This is another wine endowed with gorgeous balance and tons of personality, but it needs time to settle down. Blueberry jam, cloves, mint and licorice are some of the nuances that flesh out on a rich, saline-infused finish supported by firm, insistent tannins. With time in the glass, the 2010 gets better and better. The 2010 was made from a blend of fruit from Heimark and Vine Hill Ranch. The wine spent 19 months in French oak barrels, 78% new."
International Wine Cellar - "Good full medium ruby. Expressive, slightly high-toned aromas of blueberry, licorice pastille, mocha, coffee, black olive, minerals and crushed rock. Youthfully tight but densely packed and serious, with a piquant vein of peppery acidity enlivening the concentrated flavors of currant, minerals and spices. Finishes with outstanding rising length and a firm spine of acids and harmonious tannins. Lay this one down. I significantly underrated this wine from barrel a year ago, when it came across as greener."
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. View all Lail Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.