This vintage is disappearing into cellars at a remarkable clip, so word must be out! An inviting perfume hints at the elegance within; mouthwatering Bing cherry, plums, and blueberry cobbler are dusted with subtle violet and herb tones. The palate is all about pleasure, with an easy entry, medium body, and long, supple finish. This beautifully balanced charmer is an absolute delight, and one that won’t stick around long.
When he decided to establish a family domaine in his own name in the Napa Valley, international wine entrepreneur Alejandro Bulgheroni did everything right. The details are simply dizzying. First, he bought a vineyard and winery just south of Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, where Bill Harlan and his team made some of their wines before he moved into new facilities on the west side of Oakville. He hired Jim Barbour, a Rutherford native and veteran of over 40 Napa Valley harvests to manage this Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Vineyard. Barbour has also been responsible for tending the vines of such luminaries as Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Gandona, Blankiet, and Grace Family.There would be no question that Bulgheroni would also purchase fruit from Andy Beckstoffer’s jewel box vineyards, such as To Kalon in Oakville, and Las Piedras and Dr. Crane in St. Helena. The winemaking team had to be the best in the world. Bulgheroni hired superstar winemaker Philippe Melka [Dominus, Pétrus] and his onetime mentor Michel Rolland to oversee oenology. Day to day winemaking is handled by Matt Sands, an alum of harvests at Screaming Eagle and Bryant Family. Critical acclaim inevitably followed. In December of last year, Robert Parker scored every 2015 and 2016 Bulgheroni wine above 95, with the 2016 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon scoring a potential 100 points.
Deeply colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology is a beautiful, classic wine that offers rock-solid value in Napa Valley today. Cassis, currants, toasted spices, new saddle leather, and dried herb notes all give way to a seamless, sexy, medium to full-bodied beauty that has no hard edges, terrific balance, and just loads of upfront charm and character. The blend is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot, from a mix of St. Helena, Oakville, and Rutherford, that was brought up in 60% new French oak.