This is the 25th Anniversary of Lail Vineyards and they celebrated in style by making a perfect 100-point wine out of their flagship bottling. It’s a masterpiece that Parker’s Wine Advocate called, “special stuff”. Jeb Dunnuck might’ve even take it one step further when he declared that is was a 40+ year wine, and one of my all-time favorite quotes to end his review, “it’s heavenly juice.”
“Owner Robin Daniel Lail is the daughter of Inglenook heir John Daniel Jr., who was the great nephew of Gustave Niebaum. Lail partnered with Christian Moueix to start Dominus and with Bill Harlan to start Merryvale, so there is some serious Napa lineage behind this winery. Those other interests have since been sold, with her present energies devoted to Lail Vineyards and The Porto Protocol, a wine-industry organization that seeks to mitigate climate change. Lail met Philippe Melka when he was working at Dominus, and he has served as the consulting winemaker for Lail since the beginning.” -Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
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100 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Lisa Perotti-Brown)
The 2019 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a little coaxing to unlock pronounced blackcurrant preserves, Black Forest cake and stewed plums scents with hints of star anise, clove oil, unsmoked cigars and tilled soil with a waft of roses. Full-bodied, the palate explodes with vibrant black fruits, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Beautiful!
99 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee is just about pure perfection and another example of Napa Valley magic. All Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in 80% new French oak, it offers an incredible bouquet of pure cassis and blackberry fruits as well as textbook Pauillac-like notes of graphite, tobacco, toasted spices, and chalky minerality. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, it’s one of those wines that somehow marries incredible intensity and richness with no sensation of weight or heaviness, perfect balance, and a layered, multi-dimensional style that’s hard to describe. It shows more tannins and chocolaty oak with air and needs to be forgotten for 4-6 years, and it will be a 40+-year wine. It’s heavenly juice.
98+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski)
Altogether much more serious than Lail’s Blueprint bottling (and priced accordingly), the 2019 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon comes primarily from the Vine Hill Ranch, Dutch Canyon (Heimark) and Steltzner Vineyards. Marked by deep, seductive scents of cassis and rich loam, accented by hints of cedar and dried sage, it’s full-bodied, concentrated and rich, finishing long, velvety, seamless and elegant. Pretty special stuff.
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