As a growing season, 2018 was sensational. From the first cherries in the early spring, to the last apples and pears of the late summer, every fruit and vegetable was intense in flavor, and generous in yield. This always bodes well for the wines from the season. The grapes from our estate vineyard in Oakville developed beautifully all season long, with a slow, steady build in color and aromatics, and a uniform maturing of tannins in the end. The result is a lineup of wines that is distinctive, dense, and highly polished. The rounded edges make the wines accessible in their youth, but the real payoff will come with bottle age, given the massive structure and concentration.
Our annual offering of Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of some of the best blocks that grow on our estate property. The 2018 vintage, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, was aged for 22 months in two-thirds new French oak barrels, giving the wine a round, burnished texture and elevated fruit intensity. Fresh berries, soil and dried hay give way to cinnamon, nutmeg, smoked meat and cassis. It is layered and lively, with a strong sense of place. Our vineyards, which sits 500 feet above the valley floor, consistently delivers wines of remarkable intensity, and in a special vintage like 2018, the experience is elevated. This wine will surely age gracefully for many years to come.
97+pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes soaring out of the glass with energetic notions of fresh blackberries, black cherries and cassis plus nuances of dark chocolate, kirsch, cardamom and tilled soil with a fragrant waft of violets. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with perfumed black fruit flavors, supported by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of mineral accents.”
97pts Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, which always includes a splash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is incredible juice and a wine readers should seek out. Showing the quality and style of the vintage beautifully, it offers a captivating bouquet of crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, bouquet garni, and violets, with just a touch of foresty, earthy notes in the background. Aged 22 months in barrel (with a small amount in amphora), it’s full-bodied and perfectly balanced, with integrated acidity and a great finish. I love this wine and don’t make the mistake of overlooking this while only focusing on the Maya cuvee.”
“The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful, explosive wine that is going to need a number of years to be at its finest. The energy and raw intensity are so pronounced. Inky dark fruit, spice, menthol, licorice and cedar add striking aromatic nuance, but it is the wine’s phenomenal balance that stands out most. This is the first vintage that includes component wine aged in amphora. This is far from an easygoing 2018.”