The 2022 PlumpJack Reserve Chardonnay is a gorgeous, multi-faceted wine. The nose delivers layers of aromas—apple, baked pear, and lemon curd mingle with white peach, apricot, and honeysuckle with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon just beneath the fruit. The palate is energetic and dynamic, beginning with a rich, mouth-filling texture reminiscent of lemon curd, followed by bright acidity that evokes lemon zest and honey-crisp apples. Finally, the beautiful acidity pulls the wine through the back of the palate, creating a long, structured finish.
If we were to pick just one Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to blast into interstellar space for aliens to try when they stumble upon it someday, that wine would be Plumpjack Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville. In our view it is the most flavor-packed, complex, complete bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that you can buy, in pretty much every vintage. Plumpjack is in one posh neighborhood, with Screaming Eagle, Rudd, Bond St. Eden, and Dalla Valle all nearby. This is Oakville’s (and the Valley’s) absolute sweet spot, near the crossroads of Oakville Cross and Silverado Trail. Their Cabernets are absolutely spectacular, stuffed to the gills with ripe cherry fruit and red rose perfume—and very fairly priced compared to the neighbors.