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Drink Top 10 Napa And Sonoma Wines, According To James Suckling

Top 10 Napa And Sonoma Wines, According To James Suckling

Top 10 Napa And Sonoma Wines, According To James Suckling
By James Suckling
May 10, 2018
There has never been a better time to buy quality wines produced in the Napa and Sonoma valleys of California. Here are the 10 wines that should be on your list right now

Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014

Aromatic and vivid with blackberry, fresh mushroom, blackcurrant and flowers. Full-bodied, firm and very silky. Tightly wound ball of silk. Extremely long and linear. Fine-grained. Lasts for minutes. Reminiscent of the great Napa reds of the 1950s and ’60s. Best in 2025 but superb now. Greatest Bryant ever. 100 points

Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyards Colesworth 2014

This is phenomenal, with blackberry and blueberry, not to mention incredible stone and black tea. What a nose. Full-bodied and so tight and dense yet agile and austere, with so much going on. Fantastic balance. One of the best Schraders ever. Better in four or five years, yet wonderful now. Only in magnum. 100 points

Colgin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Tychson Hill Vineyard 2014

Fantastic aromas of sweet tobacco, rose petal, mushroom and dark fruit such as raspberry and currants. Citrus blossom, too. Full body, firm and velvety tannins, yet this remains tight and polished. Very reserved and beautiful. Subtle texture. Savoury. You are going to want to drink this now but it is a beauty built for ageing. The purity of cabernet sauvignon (95%) is spellbinding. 100 points

Screaming Eagle Napa Valley 2014

Extremely perfumed with blackberry, currants and flowers. Rose petals, too. Seductive. Medium to full body. It grows on the palate with an extremely long finish that goes on for minutes. The tannins are ultra-fine and polished. Purity and essence to this. Feminine yet wild and unpredictable. Available this month. Better in 2021. 99 points

Abreu Napa Valley Madrona Ranch 2014

Love the blackberry, tar, dark mushroom and flowers. Perfumed to the max. Full-bodied, super velvety and refined. Glorious. Dense and so long yet vivid. What finesse. You want to take this home. Incredible length and texture. Blend of cabernet sauvignon (56%), cabernet franc (27%), petit verdot (9%) and merlot (8%). 99 points

Peter Michael Winery Napa Valley Oakville Au Paradis 2014

Extremely perfumed with iron, clay and currant character. Copper pennies and hints of steak. Then this turns to flowers, iodine and oyster shell. Full body that is juicy and defined by hefty blackcurrant flavours and real meatiness. Dark-chocolate and orange-peel undertones. Extremely long and flavourful. About three-fourths cabernet sauvignon, the rest being cabernet franc. Excellent follow-up to the 2013. 99 points

Continuum Napa Valley Sage Mountain Vineyard 2014

Fabulous aromas of blueberry, blackcurrant, sage and mint. Lead pencil and graphite, too. Full body and ultra-fine tannins that are slowly transformed to ripe and beautiful fruit. Super polished and textured. Great finish. Drink in 2022, but it is hard not to drink now. This harkens back to the great Mondavi reserves of the 1970s in texture and construction. 99 points

Littorai Pinot Noir Sonoma County Sonoma Valley Sonoma Coast The Haven Vineyard 2015

Crazy aromas of Chinese spice, soy and dark fruit. Dark mushroom. Full body, incredible depth and intensity. Electric finish. Stone, mineral, spice. What a presence. Better in 2020 but gorgeous now. 99 points

Realm Cellars Napa Valley Farella Vineyard 2014

Dark berries, sliced mushroom, wet earth and fascinating intensity. Iodine undertones. Full-bodied, velvety and layered. Incredible depth and length. Truly fantastic. Shows the Coombsville magic. Pure cabernet. Napa’s answer to 1975 La Mission? Beautiful now but better in 2022. 99 points

Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon 2014

Amazing aromas of Chinese spices, sweet tobacco, incense, anise and dark fruit. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved. Great density and polish. An entrancing wine. Lasts for minutes on the palate. Already a dream to drink but will improve magnificently. 99 points

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