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Producer: Quivet Cellars, Article: North Coast Part 1: Napa Valley’s Incredible 2016s

9 Wines Found
VintageWineColorRatingPriceReviews
2017 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

These Quivet Cellars releases are made by Mike Smith, who, for any Napa lover, probably needs no introduction. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is rocking stuff and comes from a brilliant vineyard just outside of St. Helena, not more than a stone’s throw from the Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard. This is a classic Cabernet with loads of blue fruits, tobacco, spring flowers, and a terrific sense of minerality. It shows more floral notes with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, has remarkable purity, and a great finish. It should pick up additional nuances and complexity with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20+.

  $125 2

These Quivet Cellars releases are made by Mike Smith, who, for any Napa lover, probably needs no introduction. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is rocking stuff and comes from a brilliant vineyard just outside of St. Helena, not more than a stone’s throw from the Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard. This is a classic Cabernet with loads of blue fruits, tobacco, spring flowers, and a terrific sense of minerality. It shows more floral notes with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, has remarkable purity, and a great finish. It should pick up additional nuances and complexity with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20+.

2017 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch Vineyard

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch Vineyard, which is all Cabernet (it’s a mix of clone 337 and Rubicon) aged 20 months in new oak, is another winner. Made in a plush, sexy, full-bodied style, it offers up lots of blackcurrant liqueur, plums, spice, and incense aromas and flavors. From a warmer site in Calistoga, it’s already hard to resist yet should evolve nicely for 15+

  $85 2

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch Vineyard, which is all Cabernet (it’s a mix of clone 337 and Rubicon) aged 20 months in new oak, is another winner. Made in a plush, sexy, full-bodied style, it offers up lots of blackcurrant liqueur, plums, spice, and incense aromas and flavors. From a warmer site in Calistoga, it’s already hard to resist yet should evolve nicely for 15+

2017 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard

Another wine from St. Helena, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard has a more old school, medium to full-bodied style that carries ample gamey blue fruits, olive tapenade, and earthy, spicy notes. Nicely balanced, with plenty of fruit, and outstanding length, drink this character-filled Cabernet over the coming 15+ years.

  $75 2

Another wine from St. Helena, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard has a more old school, medium to full-bodied style that carries ample gamey blue fruits, olive tapenade, and earthy, spicy notes. Nicely balanced, with plenty of fruit, and outstanding length, drink this character-filled Cabernet over the coming 15+ years.

2017 Quivet Cellars Syrah Las Madres Vineyard Hulda Block

As to the Syrah releases, I loved the perfume of the 2017 Syrah Las Madres Vineyard Hulda Block, and this comes from a tiny amphitheater parcel in the Las Madres Vineyard and is a mix of clones. It’s an incredibly charming, fruit forward Syrah that offers impressive notes of black raspberries, herbes de Provence, dried violets, new leather, and forest floor notes that continue to change with time in the glass. It’s complex, medium to full-bodied, has a terrific sweetness of fruit, and present, ripe tannins. It’s not the biggest or baddest Syrah in the lineup, yet it grows on you with time in the glass and shines for its complexity and terrific fruit. I’m a fan. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.

  $46 1

As to the Syrah releases, I loved the perfume of the 2017 Syrah Las Madres Vineyard Hulda Block, and this comes from a tiny amphitheater parcel in the Las Madres Vineyard and is a mix of clones. It’s an incredibly charming, fruit forward Syrah that offers impressive notes of black raspberries, herbes de Provence, dried violets, new leather, and forest floor notes that continue to change with time in the glass. It’s complex, medium to full-bodied, has a terrific sweetness of fruit, and present, ripe tannins. It’s not the biggest or baddest Syrah in the lineup, yet it grows on you with time in the glass and shines for its complexity and terrific fruit. I’m a fan. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.

2017 Quivet Cellars Syrah Kenefick Ranch Vineyard

There are two releases from this vineyard, both made in tiny quantities (there are just two barrels of each). Starting with the 2017 Syrah Kenefick Ranch has plenty of ripe Napa character in its blue fruits, toasted spices, baked bread, and violets aromas and flavors. Distinctly different on the palate compared to the Carneros releases, it has a wealth of fruit, sweet tannins, medium body, and beautiful balance. While Smith’s Cabernet can push on the ripeness/texture pedal, his Syrahs tend to show more savory, vibrant characters. This 2017 plays stays in that spectrum, yet certainly offers beautiful fruit and plenty of oomph.

  $46 1

There are two releases from this vineyard, both made in tiny quantities (there are just two barrels of each). Starting with the 2017 Syrah Kenefick Ranch has plenty of ripe Napa character in its blue fruits, toasted spices, baked bread, and violets aromas and flavors. Distinctly different on the palate compared to the Carneros releases, it has a wealth of fruit, sweet tannins, medium body, and beautiful balance. While Smith’s Cabernet can push on the ripeness/texture pedal, his Syrahs tend to show more savory, vibrant characters. This 2017 plays stays in that spectrum, yet certainly offers beautiful fruit and plenty of oomph.

2017 Quivet Cellars Syrah Kenefick Ranch Vineyard Whole Cluster

From a site beside the famed Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley, the 2017 Syrah Kenefick Ranch Whole Cluster takes all that natural Napa Valley fruit and tries to rein it in with stems. I think it succeeds admirably and it gives a more nuanced dimension to the straight Kenefick Ranch release. Rocking notes of spiced plums, blackberries, ground herbs, black pepper, and liquid violets, as well as hints of charred meat and black olives, all flow to a beautifully layered, seamless, incredibly complex Syrah that builds incrementally on the palate, with perfect ripeness and load of sweet tannins. This brilliant wine has no hard edges, full-bodied richness, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It’s unquestionably one of the gems in this lineup and will compete with anything coming out of Napa or the Northern Rhône. It benefits from a decant, and my money is on it having 15-20 years of prime drinking.

  $46 1

From a site beside the famed Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley, the 2017 Syrah Kenefick Ranch Whole Cluster takes all that natural Napa Valley fruit and tries to rein it in with stems. I think it succeeds admirably and it gives a more nuanced dimension to the straight Kenefick Ranch release. Rocking notes of spiced plums, blackberries, ground herbs, black pepper, and liquid violets, as well as hints of charred meat and black olives, all flow to a beautifully layered, seamless, incredibly complex Syrah that builds incrementally on the palate, with perfect ripeness and load of sweet tannins. This brilliant wine has no hard edges, full-bodied richness, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It’s unquestionably one of the gems in this lineup and will compete with anything coming out of Napa or the Northern Rhône. It benefits from a decant, and my money is on it having 15-20 years of prime drinking.

2016 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

A world-class red, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is the most opulent, broad, and expansive offering, yet also elegant and weightless. Offering awesome notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, crushed flowers, Asian spices, and graphite, it has a Château Margaux-like elegance, full body, sweet tannins, and a great, great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades or more. This cuvée is all clone 337 and was raised in new oak, with just 225 cases produced.

  $125 1

A world-class red, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is the most opulent, broad, and expansive offering, yet also elegant and weightless. Offering awesome notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, crushed flowers, Asian spices, and graphite, it has a Château Margaux-like elegance, full body, sweet tannins, and a great, great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades or more. This cuvée is all clone 337 and was raised in new oak, with just 225 cases produced.

2016 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch Vineyard

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch is another pure varietal release from a site on the eastern side of the Silverado Trail, not far from the Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga. Brought up in new barrels, it's more broad and expansive than the Pellet Vineyard release and is loaded with notions of black and blue fruits, smoked earth, lead pencil shavings, and chocolate. Ripe, opulent, and sexy, with sweet tannins, it's another expressive, sensational Cabernet Sauvignon from Mike Smith. 75 cases.

  $80 1

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch is another pure varietal release from a site on the eastern side of the Silverado Trail, not far from the Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga. Brought up in new barrels, it's more broad and expansive than the Pellet Vineyard release and is loaded with notions of black and blue fruits, smoked earth, lead pencil shavings, and chocolate. Ripe, opulent, and sexy, with sweet tannins, it's another expressive, sensational Cabernet Sauvignon from Mike Smith. 75 cases.

2016 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard

A step up over the 2015, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard comes from a site just outside St. Helena, right next to the Dr. Crane Vineyard. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (clones 4 and 337) brought up all in new oak, it offers an incredibly expressive bouquet of sweet cassis and currant fruits intermixed with Asian spices, chocolate, herbes de Provence, and licorice. It's ripe and concentrated on the palate, with medium to full-bodied richness, a focused texture, building tannin, and a great finish. I love its purity of fruit, but it needs 2-4 years of bottle age to flesh out and come together. It should keep for 15 years or more. 75 cases.

  $70 1

A step up over the 2015, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard comes from a site just outside St. Helena, right next to the Dr. Crane Vineyard. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (clones 4 and 337) brought up all in new oak, it offers an incredibly expressive bouquet of sweet cassis and currant fruits intermixed with Asian spices, chocolate, herbes de Provence, and licorice. It's ripe and concentrated on the palate, with medium to full-bodied richness, a focused texture, building tannin, and a great finish. I love its purity of fruit, but it needs 2-4 years of bottle age to flesh out and come together. It should keep for 15 years or more. 75 cases.