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Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • CG97
  • RP95
0% ABV
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  • JD98
  • RP98
  • JD98
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Winemaker Notes

As is often the case, this J. Daniel Cuvée is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, showing off the beautiful energy and purity of this vintage. The aromas and flavors tilt toward the black fruits family, including black raspberry, black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry. It has that creamy, regal mid-palate that is a signature of this flagship bottling, and a perfect balance that should allow it to grow and improve for many years to come.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 97
Connoisseurs' Guide
Cabernet collectors take note! Here is an incredibly deep and exceptionally structured rendition that more than deserves the much-overused term “classic,” and its marvelous combination of stamina, strength, layering and precise, terrifically sustained varietal fruit is one that is rarely equaled let alone surpassed. As great wines will inevitably do, it reveals a bit more of itself with each sniff and sip, and, even though it shows an unexpected sense of polish and manages to avoid the pronounced tannic harshness of youth, this is one that is some time away from living up to its certain promise. It is not inexpensive, but it makes good on the boast that its price tag poses.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship wines include the 2014 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from three sources – the family vineyard called Molehill at a 1700-feet elevation on Howell Mountain, the Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard and Heimark Vineyard in Calistoga. A gorgeous 2014, with notes of graphite, mulberry and blackcurrant, this full-bodied, opaque purple wine offers terrific fruit purity, sweet tannin, and a long finish of a good 45+ seconds. It was aged 19 months in 75% new French oak and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are 1,064 cases, and it can be drunk now or cellared for another 25 years.
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Lail

Lail Vineyards

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Lail Vineyards, California
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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.
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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CHMLAL3001114_2014 Item# 189440