2020 Vintner Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Just a stunner that balances dark savory flavor intensity with gorgeous sweet black fruit.  This wine is loaded with concentrated blackberry, a range of beautiful floral notes, our mountaintop resinous chaparral and classic leathery and cedary cabernet nuances.  When we first conceived of making a Vintner Select Cabernet with our inaugural 2005 vintage of this wine, what we had in mind was this beautifully round, velvety, approachable 2020 that is all about intense cabernet flavor and pleasing mouth-coating pleasure.  Not to be missed. 

To make our Vintner Select Cabernet Sauvignon, which is typically no more than 700 cases each year, we taste through each lot of cabernet sauvignon aging in the caves and select those barrels that we think combine to give the purest most intense concentration of cabernet flavor.  We do not blend in any other varietals, like merlot or petit verdot or cabernet franc.  The Vintner Select Cab is thus our only “100% pure” cabernet sauvignon. Our goal each vintage is for the Vintner Select Cab to be fruit forward while also loaded with cabernet typicity (flavors of cedar, graphite, forest floor or tobacco) and to be dense with silky fine-grained tannins.  While we make our Reserve Cab such that it has a bolder tannic finish and is our most imposing cabernet each vintage, the Vintner Select Cab is crafted to be structurally elegant and entirely seductive. 


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Appellation: Napa Valley
Vintage: 2020
Harvest: October 2020
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottling: July 2022
Production: 575 cases
Release Date: January 2023
Release Price: $102.00


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  • Decanter: Napa Cabernet 2020: Vintage report and top recommendations - Rating: 95

    A dazzling bouquet of boysenberry and mulberry fruits, dusty wild herbs, black olive, white pepper, liquorice, and cedar wood. Quite beautiful on the palate with a medium-bodied feel, an undercurrent of tangy acid tension and a plethora of lovely floral flavours matched by pure ripe fruit notes of cherry, damson plum, and succulent blackberry. Long, lean, and structured with power and elegance—it strikes a real balletic chord making it a real standout this vintage. The winemaker for this wine was Sally Johnson Blum. Today, Philippe Melka's protege Matt Ward is in charge, joining in the fall of 2022.

  • Wine Enthusiast: September 1, 2023 - Rating: 94

    Firmly structured and nicely saturated with black fruit flavors, this wine shows a quiet strength in its firm tannins, deep black cherry and blackcurrant flavors and layered integration of mint, chocolate and cedar nuances. Best from 2027-2037. — Jim Gordon

  • Antonio Galloni Vinous: The 2021 Napa Valley Cabernets, Part One (Dec 2023) - Rating: 93

    The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner Select is a very nice wine, especially for the year. Strong floral and spice notes make a strong opening statement. Most of this fruit is Clone 337, which very much comes through in the wine's aromatic profile and pliant feel. Red/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, pomegranate and blood orange lend notable freshness and vibrancy throughout. This is beautifully done. The tannins are a bit grainy, but not bad. 

    -By Antonio Galloni on December 2023

  • Jancis Robinson: US new releases spring 2023 - Rating: 17++

    Deep ruby in colour. Fresh black-cherry, black-plum and earthy nose. Very structured palate with mouth-watering high acid and round but gum-climbing tannin. Certainly too young! Lengthy finish. (SCJ)


    Our scores

    Below is a rough guide to what our numbers mean. Although we are not very comfortable with scoring wines because it is so difficult to encapsulate a wine's qualities in a single score, we do realise how useful scores are for those reading and buying (and selling) in a hurry.

    20 – Truly exceptional
    19 – A humdinger
    18 – A cut above superior
    17 – Superior
    16 – Distinguished
    15 – Average, a perfectly nice drink with no faults but not much excitement
    14 – Deadly dull
    13 – Borderline faulty or unbalanced
    12 – Faulty or unbalanced