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Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE97
  • JD95
  • WW94
  • RP93
  • JS93
14.7% ABV
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The varietal Cabernet Sauvignon is the core of the Larkmead portfolio and is also the greatest opportunity to highlight the diversity of the estate. Sourced from deeper, richer soil profiles (Pleasanton loam series) from both A and C block, this wine has the body weight of a “baby Solari.” Created through blending the fruit from young and old vines, this wine is made in the image of Solari, but a human can’t replicate what Mother Nature creates - and that is the difference between the estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Solari. The vibrant color of this wine is almost startling, and the clarity of the dark, black-violet liquid draws the eye toward the glass. Aromatically, the wine is vigorous, with layers of bramble fruit, and cola giving way to scents of forest floor, wet pine, graphite, and macerated blackberries. The wine enters the palate effortlessly. At its core are juicy red and black cherry fruits as well as that typical Larkmead trace of bittersweet chocolate. The tannins are sweet and dusty, and coat the mouth on all sides. This is an incredible wine for the vintage; while many 2015s are fruit-forward and simple, the Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon offers bright, fresh flavors, medium weight, and a long, savory finish that demands a second sip.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
With a tiny 3% addition of Cabernet Franc, this wine is defined by aromas of violet and crushed rock. Oak, clove and graphite dot a landscape of bold structure on the palate, with bright acidity balancing the concentration and grip. Enjoy 2025–2030.
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
Moving to the 2015s, the largest production cuvee from younger vines is the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and it includes 3% Cabernet Franc and spent 18 months in 65% new French oak. Possessing terrific richness in its dark fruit, tobacco and Graves-like minerality, this beauty is full-bodied, concentrated and layered on the palate. It’s a beautiful base cuvee that does everything right.
WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Larkmead is one seriously good winery. When I tasted the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, I just had to pause a moment. TASTING NOTES: This wine is packed, well-structured and beautifully presented. Its aromas and flavors of bold black fruits and fine oak accents are nicely melded together and should be stunning with a rosemary-infused Porchetta. (Tasted: September 17, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Larkmead's deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon shows a meaty/earthy nose of charcuterie, underbrush, damp soil and mossy bark with a core of cassis, black plums and espresso. Concentrated and rich in the full-bodied mouth, the tannins are firm and chewy, and it finishes with great length and depth.
JS 93
James Suckling
Blackberries with aromas of white peppers and chili peppers. Lavender undertones. Full-bodied, very tight and dense with a solid core of tannins and bright fruit. Savory at the end. A tile and terracotta finish. Drink or hold.
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Larkmead

Larkmead

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Larkmead, Napa Valley, California
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Larkmead Vineyards dates back to the late 1800s, and have been owned by the Solari family since 1948. The historic Larkmead Estate is comprised of 145 acres. Due to the dramatic variation in soil types, the vineyard is divided into three distinct areas in order to maximize fruit and subsequent wine quality while diversifying flavor profiles for blending purposes. The true character of Larkmead and its unique wines are a direct result of the topography, climate, and the exceptional geology of the soils.

Larkmead is 100% Estate fruit; it is therefore imperative to them that they treat the land as a polyculture system with all factors interrelated and focus on long term soil health. They are always seeking environmentally sound, long term solutions that promote the natural expression of their vineyards, resulting in wine that is unique in its purity, texture, and complexity.

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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.

SPRLKMCABS15C_2015 Item# 431119