Gently aromatic with black cherry, vanilla and sweet spice. Nearly full-bodied with moderate lightly-chalky tannins. Ripe black plum, black cherry, oak, allspice and black pepper. 90 points
42-year old Oak Knoll District Chardonnay vines, native yeasts and limited malolactic fermentation are the basis of this extremely flavorful, well-balanced wine that will appeal to fans of Montrachet. Compelling aromas and flavors of yellow apple skin, mineral, dry cheese rind and delicate baking spice with a full-bodied palate. The mineral-laden finish is long and juicy. 93 points
This full-bodied Cabernet comes from a single undisclosed vineyard in Coombsville. Its nose is dark spice, cassis and dusty dry leaves. Slightly chalky chocolate ganache, black currant and spice make up the lengthy palate. 92 points
Chateau Boswell in St. Helena has a history of top winemakers, starting with Andre Tchelistcheff in 1979 on through John Kongsgaard and Luc Morlet. It’s known for estate Cabernet Sauvignon and for Chardonnay sourced from top vineyards—all made in a classic style. In 2002, Boswell added another label, Jaquelynn, to produce Bordeaux varietal wines from celebrated outside vineyards such as Beckstoffer To Kalon.
In August 2012, Boswell handed winemaking duties to rising star Russell Bevan, who had garnered attention with his own Bevan Cellars wines as well as those he’s made for Showket, Wren Hop, Jemrose and Westerhold Family. Scores in the mid-to-high 90s for Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir are now routine for him.
At Chateau Boswell, it will be steady as she goes for Chardonnay, but the Cabernet Sauvignon will shift toward his modern, luxurious style. His reds are mouth-filling, sensually-textured wines with layers of flavor that seem to tap directly into one’s emotions. His first effort at Boswell was “We Will Rock You,” a micro-production wine for the 2013 Napa Valley Premiere Auction. He blended 2011 Chateau Boswell Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with 2011 Bevan Cellars Merlot. Bidding on the 10-cases reached $75,000 making it the day’s most expensive lot.
Chateau Boswell and Jacquelynn wines are not inexpensive, ranging from $75 up to $250. But, unlike many exclusive producers, Boswell is still accepting new mailing list customers and doesn’t plan to raise prices in the near term. It’s hard to imagine collectors of lush Napa Valley wines not jumping on this opportunity.
I tasted the barrel sample of this Napa Valley Premiere auction lot, the only red wine Bevan’s made thus far at Chateau Boswell. It will be released in September/October of this year to the buyer, Total Wine & More, which paid $625/bottle. It’s a deeply concentrated wine, opaque in the glass with aromas rising well above the rim. The palate is improbably thick and velvety yet nimble. Plenty of fine tannins are coated with loads of black currant, cherry, and dense chocolate. Elegance eschewed for unabashed seduction. 96+ points