A 96-point score from James Suckling proves this is no ordinary Sauvignon Blanc. Rich, bright, with generous texture, sun-kissed citrus, creme fraiche and tropical undertones, this exemplifies how wonderful a well-made wine really is.
First planted in 1880, Araujo’s Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga is steeped in mythology. The vineyard is a good example of the transcendent power of a great terroir, because no matter who makes the wines, they always provide an extraordinary drinking experience. Even before Bart and Daphne Araujo purchased this gravelly, cobblestone-laden vineyard in 1989, legendary wines like the 1971 Ridge Eisele, 1974 Conn Creek Eisele, and 1975 Joseph Phelps Eisele Cabernets galvanized its position as one of the greatest sites in not just the valley, but all of California. Today winemaking and blending is overseen by Frédéric Engerer, who is also CEO of Château Latour. There is something magical about the Eisele vineyard. There’s no other way to say it. Effortless power, intense, gravelly goût de terroir, and haunting cassis perfume make this one of the great wines of the United States. The Estate Cabernet wine is made from THE prime cut of Eisele Vineyard, one of the most purely alluvial vineyards in the entire Napa Valley, whose gravels and stones were washed down via Simmons Creek over millennia. It’s this alluvial character, which Cabernet Sauvignon roots crave, that lends credence to the argument that Eisele Vineyard is simply the finest site in the entire Napa Valley. Being a Cabernet Sauvignon collector without Eisele in your cellar is like being a rock and roll fan without a single Beatles, Who, or Stones album in your possession. This American Grand Cru is required drinking if you crave the best in life!
Bottled in early August 2020, the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc was fermented and aged in 25% Stainless Steel, 15% concrete eggs and the remainder in French oak barrels, 25% new. It leaps from the glass with wonderfully intense notes of white peaches, grapefruit, mandarin peel and honeysuckle with wafts of yuzu and paraffin wax. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is beautifully balanced with loads of mineral accents and a lovely satiny texture, finishing very long and savory.