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Wine Reviews 2016 VHR Cabernet Sauvignon

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent,  <span>Aug. 3, 2022</span>

Deep garnet-black colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon storms out of the glass with bold notions of chocolate mint, crème de cassis, and plum preserves, plus suggestions of sandalwood, unsmoked cigars, underbrush, and charcuterie. Full-bodied, rich, and plush, the palate is packed with black and blue fruit preserves layers, lifted by a refreshing backbone, and finishing with a lingering minty kick. Aging so gracefully, expect it to cellar and evolve over the next 30 years+. Composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 925 cases were made.  98+ pts.

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

This was the first blend in which Block 7 played no part. And fruit from the steep, replanted-in-2012 Block 1 was included for the first time. Deep purplish, blackish crimson. Impenetrable colour. Quite rich and concentrated on the nose with yeast extract plus that graphite/creosote note too. Dense and still pretty dry on the end. Bit tarry on the finish but the overall impression is somehow, amazingly, very pretty.  18+ pts.  Drinking window: 2022–2040

Jeb Dunnuck,  <span>March 2019</span>

Sporting a saturated purple color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon VHR is a total blockbuster that spent 21 months in French oak. It knocks it out of the park with its Pauillac-like bouquet of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and cedarwood. Hitting the palate with a massive texture and full body, it’s a powerful, full throttle effort that has remarkable balance, ripe tannins, and an opulent, sexy texture that’s a joy to drink. Despite its flamboyant style, it’s perfectly balanced and is a sensational wine. Feel free to drink it any time over the coming 20-25 years. Bravo!

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media,  <span>Dec. 2018</span>

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.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media,  <span>Jan. 2018</span>

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.

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