6. Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Éloge (Napa Valley) - The winemaker/proprietor here is Todd Anderson. The Éloge is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend, with lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. They also produce a wine called “Right Bank” which is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Bricking dark red violet color; rich, ripe cassis, black currant nose; rich, tart berry, ripe black fruit palate; medium-plus finish. 93 points
7. Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red (Napa Valley) - Jayson Pahlmeyer, whose inspiration has always been Château Mouton, is the proprietor. Kale Anderson is director of winemaking for their Napa Valley vineyard and operations. The Proprietary Red was launched with the 1986 vintage, and is usually a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties, aged an average of 18 months in French oak.
Pencil lead, black fruit nose; tasty, black fruit, pencil lead palate; medium-plus finish (81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec). 93 points
8. Rubissow Les Trompettes (Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder) - Rubissow is based in Mt. Veeder on a 45-acre hillside estate, of which 18.5 acres are planted to vines that are farmed organically. Peter Rubissow is the general manager, and he and his sister partnered to acquire and modernize their father’s brand. Ariel Rubissow-Okamoto oversees vineyard operations. The winemaker is Timothy Milos, who started out at Opus One, and was director of winemaking for Cliff Lede. The Les Trompettes is a Cabernet Franc dominated blend. The 2005 is the current release.
Nice blackberry, boysenberry and floral nose; tasty, ripe boysenberry, berry, black fruit palate with depth; medium-plus finish (65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon). 93 points
9. Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Five (Napa Valley) - The owners here are Jim and Nancy Meadlock, who bought out their fellow founding partners, the Cains, in 1991. The 84 acres of vineyards on this 2000 foot elevation site on Spring Mountain were planted from 1981 to 1990. The winemaker since 1990 is Chris Howell, who studied enology at the University of Montpellier before beginning his winemaking career at Mouton Rothschild. Starting in 2007, the Cain Five, containing all five Bordeaux varieties, is made entirely from estate grown fruit.
Intriguing tart plum, mulberry, mint nose; plum, fig, mulberry, chocolate palate; long finish (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 19% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec). 93 points
Very dark red violet color; herbs, tart black fruit, earthy nose; tasty, tart black fruit, herbs, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc). 92+ points