If you’ve driven down Highway 29 in Napa Valley, chances are the architecturally stunning icon OPUS ONE Winery caught your eye as your passed through Oakville, and maybe you even stopped at the boutique Oakville Grocery, located just South of the winery gate and at the corner of Oakville Crossroads.  If you continued East down Oakville Crossroads towards Silver Oak, you’ll come across a quaint country path called Money Lane, that leads you directly to Saddleback Cellars.  As a crow flies Saddleback is pretty much located behind OPUS ONE where the unique soils composed of pleasanton and Bale loam with spots of silt and gravel produce Cabernet fruit of regal qualities.  At under $100 this classic Oakville Cabernet will make a whole lot of friends, and it ranks among one of the best values in Oakville.

Nils Venge was the first American winemaker to earn a perfect 100 Point score from Robert Parker when he crafted the 1985 Groth Reserve Cab, and wine lovers have a lot to be excited about in each successive vintage.  His Oakville Cabernet is crafted in a deep, showy style, offering layer after layer of dense black fruits, exotic chocolates, white flowers and hints of graphite.  Kept for 24 months in oak barrels this beauty has had around 3 full years of bottle development and it’s stunning right now.  I highly recommend adding some of this to your cellar.

*LIMITED ALLOCATION of 2014 (this will go fast)

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Winery Notes: “On the nose, pleasing aromas of black currant and anise. On the palate, it approaches with a warm, soft, full mouthfeel, where engaging tannins balance gracefully with ripe raspberry compote, and a hint of cassis. This wine is a straightforward stunner. A flavorful finish is generous with lingering notes of chocolate.”

Ed’s Extended Tasting Notes: “Wow, when you pour the first glass, the aromas are like you are walking right into a Cellar in Napa full of French Oak. This Oaky and Opulent style of Cabernet Sauvignon is what I personally love, dream about all week, and crave on Friday Nights and the weekends… if I could describe this wine in just one word: Chocolate. Unbelievable amounts of dark chocolate and milk chocolate.   If you were to take the biggest ripest black cherry, and then dip that in Dark Chocolate, and then dip it again in Milk Chocolate, dust it with some Mocha Powder, and sprinkle in some Vanilla… that’s just the first sip of 2014 Saddleback Oakville Cabernet. However, these are extending notes, so let’s dig deeper into this coveted Oakville Earth… When you visit Napa, Please Go and taste down the block at Opus One, the architecture is just gorgeous…  and then please go taste across the street at Silver Oak because “Life is a Cabernet”, and then when you are ready to really experience the True Napa Valley, Authentic Oakville terroir from an All-American Cowboy, come on down Money Road… to the “King of Cab” Nils Venge… Beyond Legendary, this Oakville Cab is just phenomenal. Dense medium garnet-purple in the glass, rustic aromas of cherries, cigar box nuances, and pipe tobacco reinforce the wine’s rich approach. Layers of flavor include ripened country-roadside blackberries and bright cherries, hints of rose petals, tons of chocolate, and are slightly softened by a finish of vanilla and sweet spice from nicely balanced tannins…Gripping structure with sweet tobacco, and leather… built to age, but soooo good right now!   Fruit-forward and bold. Ladies and Gentleman, This is a Friday Night Steakhouse Cab, and pairs perfectly with your World-Class Charcuterie (see photo below) … The layers and flavors go on and on…  It finishes very long, multilayered and with greatly balanced acidity, and loads of minerality. This 2014 has more open layers that ’13, and deeper flavors. 2013 on this wine was tighter… ’14 was also a smaller production compared to ’13, and this one won’t last very long… Probably TMI (too much information) and Again, WOW, just wow. I could drink this all night, and find another note to add… but I have a table full of wines to taste through this weekend.  Just Trust me, please grab a case of this one right now, enjoy 6-bottles this Season, and throw down another 6-bottles to collect some more dust. Fans should seriously stock-up with 2-3 cases. 100% OAKVILLE NAPA VALLEY: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot from a Legendary 100 Point Winemaker. You won’t find a better Oakville Napa Cab better than this at this price. “ 98+ POINTS

2014 Oakville “King of Cab”, 100-Point Winemaker

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