We were thrilled to welcome Mr. Parker to taste a sneak-preview of our 2013 and 2014 vintages this past summer and now we're delighted to share these impressive preview scores with you here.
95 - 2013 Generations Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Generations is a wine that comes from both St. Helena and Oakville and is 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Petit Verdot. This beauty showcases how much Jean-Charles Boisset has improved the quality of the Raymond wines. There are 2,112 cases of this wine, which has an inky purple color and a beautiful nose of licorice, toasty oak, blackberry, cassis, spice box and forest floor. The wine has great intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, terrific balance, and well-integrated acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood. It should drink well for 25-30+ years.
Even more impressive than the Oakville release is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena District Collection, which comes from the west side of St. Helena from a vineyard on Inglewood Avenue. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 56% new French oak for 19 months prior to being bottled unfiltered. There are 460+ cases of this wine, which offers the classic crème de cassis, licorice, tobacco leaf and forest-floor notes, full-bodied mouthfeel, tremendous voluptuousness, and a long, pure, heady finish. This should drink well for 20-25 years.
93 - 2013 District: Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
The single-sector offerings include the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District Collection, which comes from the east side of Oakville and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 55% new French oak for 19 months prior to being bottled unfiltered. These cuvées are much smaller than the Napa Reserve (22,500+ cases versus several hundred to just under 1,000 for the single-sector wines). This wine reveals an opaque purple color and plenty of Christmas fruitcake notes intermixed with incense, cedar wood, blackcurrants, spice box and earth. It is full-bodied, rich and very impressively endowed. It should drink nicely for up to two decades as well.
92 - 2013 District: Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford District Collection is 100% from the Rutherford AVA, and again, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two clones: clone 4 and clone 341. It was aged in 45% new French oak for 19 months prior to being bottled unfiltered. The larger cuvée, at 761 cases, this wine offers plenty of dusty, loamy soil notes interwoven with tobacco leaf, black and red currants, spice box and cedar wood. It's a beauty to drink over the next 20 years.
92 - 2013 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
The generic 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve comes from a mix of sites, ranging from Yountville in the south to Calistoga in the north, as well as some mountain vineyards, such as Atlas Peak. A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, it has a dense purple color and a beautiful nose of blue and black fruit, licorice, graphite and subtle toast. It spent 18 months in 100% new French oak and was bottled unfiltered. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for another two decades or more.
91-93 - 2014 Generations Cabernet Sauvignon
A barrel sample of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Generations is ripe and fruit-forward, with loads of blackcurrant intensity and richness in a lush, succulent style that will make it drinkable even before the 2013. It too should evolve for 15 or more years.
91+ - 2013 District: Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain District Collection comes from Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4 and 8 and was aged in 48% new French oak for 18 months prior to being bottled unfiltered. It shows Howell Mountain's telltale mulberry, blackberry and graphite notes, crushed rock and a touch of loamy soil in a full-bodied, heady, rich, concentrated style.
91 - 2013 District: Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Collection shows the more blueberry and floral notes that come from this high-elevation site. It's also 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from clone 4, aged 19 months in 50% new French oak. This is a tiny cuvée of only 130 cases, which roughly translates into five or so barrels. Deep ruby/purple, very elegant with notes of incense and licorice intermixed with the blue fruits, this medium to full-bodied wine is pure finesse. Drink it over the next 15 or so years.
JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset
95+ - 2014 Surrealist
The most expensive cuvée is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB Surrealist, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville and 25% Petit Verdot. There are 181 cases of this wine, which was aged 19 months in 55% new French oak before being bottled unfiltered. This is a gorgeous, sensual wine with an opaque purple color and a beautiful, sweet kiss of blackberry liqueur intermixed with crème de cassis, violets and subtle spice. The wine has a terrific texture, genuine opulence and wonderful palate presence. Drink it over the next two decades.
95+ - 2013 No. 10
Another majestic effort from Boisset is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB No. 10. This is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville and 10% Petit Verdot. The wine shows terrific floral notes intermixed with blackberry and blueberry fruit, blackcurrants as well, subtle earthiness, a full-bodied, multilayered mouthfeel and a terrific finish of close to 50 seconds. This is a stunner and there are 235 cases of this unfiltered classic. Drink it over the next ten or more years.
95 - 2013 No. 1
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB No 1 is absolutely magnificent - a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from clone 4 aged 19 months in 50% new French oak. Unfortunately, only 130 cases were made, but it's a stunner from Boisset. Opaque purple, with notes of licorice, graphite, roasted espresso and chocolate, the wine shows terrific intensity, great fruit and a full-bodied, multidimensional mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.
90-93 - 2014 No. 1
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB No 1 shows a more up-front, front-end loaded style, which is typical of this vintage, but with loads of juiciness, succulence and excellent fruit purity.
90-92 - 2014 No. 10
A barrel sample of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon JCB No.10 shared similar up-front fruitiness, like many of the wines I tasted from this vintage.
89 - 2013 Passion
The 2013 JCB Passion Proprietary Red is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with a touch of Malbec and Merlot, from three sectors of Napa Valley. This wine shows delicious red and black fruits, licorice, underbrush and loamy soil notes. Drink it over the next decade.