2017 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

(Net Item - no discounts apply)

Prime rib, that king of beef cuts, earns its place as a celebration centerpiece. Serve it with a red as dark as the char. Wine Advocate gave 96 points to this brick house, loaded with black fruit and firm tannins. This singular Cabernet Sauvignon offering is always a testament to the vintage, and Winemaker Chris Carpenter marked 2017 as a standout vintage early on. It was a stroke of luck that so much of the harvest was already fermenting in the winery when the fires broke out. If you’re a collector of Cardinale, this bottle needs to be in your cellar.

Cardinale's Cabernet Sauvignon is unique in the valley because it is blended almost entirely from fruit from each mountain appellation: Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain, and Diamond Mountain. High above 1,500 feet in elevation, the grapevines struggle to ripen and form small, intensely flavored, thick-skinned berries. Master winemaker Chris Carpenter blends this wine each year expertly, optimizing the wine’s harmony of acidity, structure, alcohol, fruit, and soil elements, in a way that simply can’t be done in a single vineyard. This is the key to this wine’s greatness and uniqueness, and the kind of selectivity practiced in the Bordeaux first-growths.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Christopher Carpenter
20 months
Oak Treatment:
100% French oak, 81% new
Napa Valley
Total Varietal Composition %:
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot
Alcohol %:
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle

Wine Enthusiast

A beautiful wine from the vintage, with 5% Merlot, this opens in soy, cedar and leather. Grippy in its youth, it is integrated, cohesive and elegant in its firm grasp of power and intensity, with nuanced layers of black currant, blueberry and dried herb. This will only get better; enjoy best from 2027–2037.


Wine Advocate

There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced.


Jeb Dunnuck

A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from throughout the valley that was brought up in 80% new French oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by its Stags Leap fruit (which is 30% of the blend) and has the classic elegance and spicy character of that district as well as great red and blue fruits, a seamless, building mid-palate, ripe yet present tannins, and ample tobacco, earth, and spice aromas and flavors. It's plush and textured on the palate yet has the structure to evolve for two decades.


James Suckling

A powerful, tannin-driven red with blueberry and blackcurrant character. The chewy tannins need some resolution with bottle age. Full body. Juicy blue fruit with a mountain perspective. Needs time to soften. Try after 2024 and onwards.


Wine Spectator

Offers a ripe and focused beam of crushed raspberry and blackberry preserve flavors, laced with sweet toast notes but still dependent on fruit, picking up anise and apple wood accents through the finish. Shows freshness at the very end, adding lift.