Named for Robin’s father John Daniel, the J. Daniel Cuvée is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon blended from 3 vineyards: one in Calistoga, one on Howell Mountain (Mole Hill), and one in Oakville. The Wine Advocate calls it “A beautifully buxom showstopper!...Powerfully fruited with opulent exotic spices accenting the black forest cake notions, framed by plush tannins and finishing with epic length.” This is a shining, eminently collectible Cabernet if ever we saw one. Put this away for at least 10 years, and marvel as the complexities unfold.
It’s not hard to figure out why Robin Daniel Lail is making some of the most elite wines in the Napa Valley. She’s had some time to prepare. Not only did she grow up looking over her father John Daniel’s shoulder in Inglenook Winery in Rutherford, she worked for Robert Mondavi for 5 years, then in 1982, she co-founded Dominus with Christian Moueix, and in 1983, co-founded Merryvale Vineyards with Bill Harlan, where she served as President for ten years. She founded Lail in 1995. We call that a track record. Lail’s winemaker is Philippe Melka, one of the finest winemakers in our little sylvan valley, not to mention the world. He’s worked for Lail since the beginning, not to mention Dominus Estate in Rutherford and Château Petrus in Pomerol. Not exactly a lightweight, as they say.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 J Daniel Cuvee bursts forth with gregarious blackcurrant pastilles, black cherries and warm plum notes backed up by notions of spice cake, mocha and licorice. The full-bodied palate is powerfully fruited with opulent exotic spices accenting the black forest cake notions, framed by plush tannins and finishing with epic length. A beautifully buxom showstopper!
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee is an inky, full-bodied, majestic Cabernet Sauvignon that should be a candidate for perfection in a decade. Black currants, the essence of blackberries, crushed rocks, gravely minerality and charcoal all emerge from this incredible, full-bodied, massive wine that’s still backward and tight. Brought up in 80% new barrels, forget bottles for 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades. Bravo!