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Wine Reviews 2010 VHR Cabernet Sauvignon

Jancis Robinson,  <span>Nov. 13, 2021</span>

Cool season punctuated by heat spikes. The Cabernet was slow to ripen and there had to be a lot of leaf removal to encourage ripening. There was also sunburn so the vintage is apparently known for angularity. ‘But we like dappled light’, according to Bruce Phillips.Still quite a tight nose. There was a note of creosote that was to surface in other vintages on the nose. Deep and plush. Very flattering and really quite ripe. And still quite youthful. Firmer than the 2008. Still muscular.  18 pts.  Drinking window: 2015–2032

Stephen TanzerVinous Media,  <span>May 26, 2020</span>

Saturated full ruby to the rim. Brooding, very ripe scents of cassis, black cherry, licorice, minerals and dried herbs. Suave, intense and utterly fine-grained on entry, then remarkably vibrant and youthful in the middle palate, showing uncanny energy and razor-sharp definition to its urgent black fruit, mineral and floral flavors. Rare flavor intensity here! This is plush and refined yet remarkably youthful, savory and unevolved—still in need of patience. The palate-staining finish features firm, noble tannins and inexorable mounting length and vibrancy. With its sappiness and sheer personality, this is one of the monuments of the vintage, and it should easily enjoy a 30-year life span. It may yet merit an even higher score. My sample was every bit as satisfying 48 hours later.  97+ pts.

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #209  <span>Oct. 2013</span>

This has the makings of a great classic from Napa Valley. There is lots of structure as well as deep, concentrated, rich fruit, a heady perfume of black currants, licorice, spring flowers and toasty oak, a full-bodied, powerful, well-delineated style, and terrific purity as well as aging potential. Still young and tightly wound, but loaded, this 2010 will benefit from a few years of bottle age, and should keep for 20+ years. Kudos to Vine Hill Ranch.   94+ pts.

Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate, Issue #204  <span>Dec. 2012</span>

The estate’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon literally bursts from the glass with juicy dark cherries, mint, spices, orange rind, tobacco and dried herbs. Like so many wines of the vintage, the 2010 is bright, focused and very tightly wound. It will require considerable patience, but is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The 2010 brings together the fruit density and darkness of the 2008 with the textural refinement of the 2009, a pretty terrific combination in my book. The 2010 has shut down quite a bit since I first tasted it this spring, and is probably best left alone for at least another two years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.

I can’t say enough about the work the Phillips family has done with the first four vintages of Vine Hill Ranch. As Wine Advocate readers may remember from last year, the Phillips family has supplied some of the Napa Valley’s finest estates with fruit for generations, but only began making their own wines with the 2008 vintage. An all-star team led by winemaker Francoise Peschon and viticulturist Mike Wolff look after every aspect of the wines with meticulous care. Although hardly a ‘new’ property, Vine Hill Ranch gets my vote as the single most exciting emerging winery in Napa Valley.   96+ pts.

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