Vine Hill Ranch’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is flat-out epic. Look for the 2016 VHR to be one of the benchmark wines of this great Napa Valley vintage. A year ago, the 2016 was powerful and dramatic. Today, the 2016 is super-polished and regal in bearing. Vertical and deep, with tremendous complexity, the 2016 has so much to offer. A rush of black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, sage, dark spice and earthy notes build as this statuesque Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its magnificent pedigree. The 2016 is a monumental, towering wine. That’s all there is to it. 100 pts.
Proprietors Bruce and Heather Phillips, along with the team headed by viticulturist Mike Wolf and winemaker Françoise Peschon are making world-class wine at Vine Hill Ranch. The most impressive thing about Vine Hill Ranch is not the 2015 nor the 2016, but the lots I tasted on my most recent visit that have been excluded from the 2016 blend. The unused lots, some of which are better than the 2016s at many other estates, show the total commitment to quality that is at the heart of Vine Hill Ranch. I can still remember tasting the debut 2008 years ago. That wine was compelling. Since then, Vine Hill Ranch has gone on to even greater heights. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these magical Cabernets.
A bold, dramatic wine, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) appears to have a very bright future. What a gorgeous wine it is. A rush of blue/purplish fruit, lavender, menthol and spice infuse the powerful, structured finish. I tasted the 2016 from a base blend that may ultimately include at least one other block on the property. 96–99 pts.