SOLD OUT! The 2016 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is all class, elegance, and charm in the highly acclaimed 2016 vintage. One of Napa’s old guard, venerable estates, Clos du Val makes one of my favorite Napa Cabs year in and year out.
Jeb Dunnuck called it “a rocking Cabernet that should be snatched up by readers looking for a terrific value in Napa Cabernet at the 50 dollar price point.” Good call Jeb, and more of his review can be found below! But we can beat that suggested retail by quite a bit. Trust me folks, this is some seriously good stuff.
2016 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
95+ points Spurling, 92 points Jeb Dunnuck, 92 points James Suckling
I’m going to start by saying that I think the critics under-scored this one by a lot. Maybe they tasted barrel samples or freshly bottled wine, but this is a 95+ pointer in my book all day. And believe me when I say that Clos du Val has earned their stripes as one of the bona fide, “blue chip” estates of Napa Valley.
Founded in 1972 by husband and wife John and Henrietta Goelet, the couple set out to make Cabernet Sauvignon that would rival the world’s best. French-trained winemaker Bernard Portet helped them find the perfect parcel in what would later become the Stag’s Leap District, and their inaugural 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon was part of the group that topped French wines in the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris blind tasting. Ten years later, their Cabernet Sauvignon took first place in the Judgment of Paris rematch.
The Goelet family continues to run the show here, and since the 2013 vintage, the winery has returned to its roots, crafting small lots of highly expressive wines from their estate vineyards. For their 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, most of the grapes come from Clos du Val’s parcels in the Stag’s Leap District with supplemental fruit from their holdings in Yountville and Carneros.
From a nearly perfect vintage in Napa Valley, this wine comes in as a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Fermented in stainless steel, the wine sees 20 months of aging in French oak (65% new) before bottling. I tasted this one last week with my buddy Richard McKinney of Tryon Distributing. We were both absolutely floored by this wine. The nose is “old school” Napa, with notes of blackberry, currant, lavender, spice box, and leather. The palate is equally stunning with a freshness and vibrancy I often find lacking in Napa Valley Cabs these days.
Many top critics loved it too, and their reviews certainly read like one you’d find for a 94-95 pointer. Jeb Dunnuck said “blue fruits, sappy herbs, some damp earth, and a touch of mint all emerge from this charming, medium to full-bodied, fruit-loaded effort that delivers the goods.” And Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media the “2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate has turned out beautifully” and called it “one of the very finest wines readers will find in this price range.”
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