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Brilliance in Napa Valley: 2016 & 2015 Cabernets – Parts 1-3 (Jan 2018) by Antonio Galloni

I was once again quite impressed with Tony Arcudi’s Cabernets. Since his debut vintage in 2012, Arcudi has focused solely on the Black Sears Vineyard. It will be interesting to see where these wines go as Arcudi branches out into other fruit sources. Arcudi’s first wine from Stagecoach points to a bright future.

2014 Howell Mountain

93 points. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Sears Vineyard shows a more distinctly savory profile than the 2015 tasted alongside it. Iron, smoke and savory herb nuances give the 2014 striking delineation and layers of flavor to play off the intense, dark Howell Mountain fruit. Still tightly wound, the 2014 will benefit from further cellaring. This is the best showing yet for the 2014.

2015 Howell Mountain

92 points. Tony Arcudi’s 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Sears Vineyard is a dark, full-throttle wine that very much reflects the personality of the year. The black cherry, spice, chocolate and new leather notes are amped up in this unctuous, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 will drink well with minimal cellaring, but experience has taught me that Arcudi’s Cabernets need a few years to unwind.

2016 Howell Mountain

90-93 points. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Sears Vineyard is shaping up to be another terrific wine from Tony Arcudi. Crème de cassis, lavender, menthol, plum, graphite and exotic spice infuse this deep plush Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the 2016 comes across as a hybrid of the 2014 and 2015, with the savoriness of the former and the size of the latter. If that sounds appealing, well, it is.

2016 Pritchard Hill

92-95 points. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard is fabulous. In fact, it may very well be the best wine I have tasted from Tony Arcudi to date. Vibrant, nuanced and pulsing with energy, the 2016 has a lot to say. Aromatically expressive and vivid, especially for such a big wine, the 2016 exudes class. A rush of red cherry/plum fruit, mint and mineral nuances build as the 2016 shows off its personality and class. I can’t wait to taste the 2016 from bottle.


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