2019 Dana Estates 'Onda' Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

(Net Item - no discounts apply)

The 2019 Onda Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of blackberries, baking spice, and plum tart. Intermingled with the fruit are notes of coffee and a hint of graphite. Rich fruit with dense flavors of black cherries, plums, and currants layer with graphite and a briny minerality. The velvety mid-palate transitions to flavors of black truffle, brioche, and blackberry on the finish. The predominantly hillside provenance of the grapes lend a broad mouth coating tannin backbone. The touch of Cabernet Franc brings complexity with hints of mountain sage and lilacs. The Petit Verdot brings depth to the tannins and a hint of blueberries. While inviting now, this wine will grow in complexity as it continues to age. Enjoy now through 2040 and beyond.

“This estate has turned into one of the superstars of Napa Valley thanks to the energetic and visionary ownership of Korean Hi Sang Lee and his son [in-law], along with the winemaking guru Philippe Melka. These are all sensational wines coming from some of the best sites in Napa Valley.” – Robert Parker Dana [DAH-nah] means “Spirit of Generosity” in Sanskrit, and it’s a fitting description for the hospitable vibe of this beautiful winery and compound in the northwest corner of the Rutherford Bench, not to mention the rich and giving wines that are made there. We’re thrilled to introduce you to Dana Estates, offering wines of precision and symmetrical beauty. Proprietor Hi Sang Lee is a wine nut, and that’s putting it mildly. In the early 1990s, he realized that nobody was importing the greatest wines of the United States into South Korea, and over the years, by dint of sheer determination and hustle, built a very successful wine importing company. Today his portfolio is full of luminaries like Harlan, Bond, Caymus, Dominus, Screaming Eagle, Shafer, Peter Michael, and Kosta Browne. In 2005 Mr. Hi decided to join ‘em, buying a ghost winery and vineyard called Helms, and completing a total renovation of a stone winery that had lay in ruins for decades. Only a consultant like Philippe Melka would do to oversee winemaking. Today this property is a new luminary of the Napa Valley, producing utterly collectible wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Philippe Melka
21 months
Oak Treatment:
65% new French Oak
Napa Valley
Total Varietal Composition %:
97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, & 1% Petit Verdot
Alcohol %:
Score Wine Spectator:
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle

James Suckling

Plenty of blue fruit, spices and cloves in the nose with red licorice and violets. Lilacs as well. Medium-bodied with polished, fine tannins. Black truffle and dark fruit. Pure and fine. Phenolics spread across the palate. So delicious now and can age beautifully. Comes mostly from Dana’s Crystal Spring.


Jeb Dunnuck 

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is pure Cabernet Sauvignon cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and tobacco on the nose, and it reminds me of a great Saint-Julien from Bordeaux. Medium to full-bodied, straight, and focused, it shines on all accounts. It’s a beautiful Cabernet to drink over the coming 10-15 years.


Wine Spectator

A rich, polished style, with waves of warmed cassis and plum sauce gliding through. Stays firmly grounded through the finish, with light alder, tobacco and warm earth hints providing nice textural contrast and additional range. Best from 2023.