Since 1987, the Oliver family has been growing grapes at Star Vineyard on the western side of the Rutherford Bench. The vineyard contains carefully selected classic Bordeaux clones as well as local heritage Cabernet clones that are sustainably farmed in gravelly bale loam soils.
Muscular and concentrated, this is a classic Mount Veeder Cabernet, weaving brambly flavors of wild blackberry, dark plum and macerated cherry with earthy hints of leather and pine.
Rich and intriguing, this classic Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon opens with stunning aromas of red plum, black currant, cocoa and coffee. The dense palate showcases layers of ripe dark cherry, rich plum and cedar that continue to linger. Though satisfyingly evolved in its youth, this Cabernet has an immensely long finish and supple tannins telling of its graceful aging potential.
In 1984 Tom Byrne and Jane Armstrong planted 13 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on Diamond Mountain. Although at a higher elevation, the vineyard is actually warmer than the valley floor most nights but cooler during the day. At harvest, it is the first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard to arrive at the winery, often beating our Carneros Chardonnay. The vineyard management by Luis Garlbay, is meticulous, he knows every single vine.
The 2014 Star Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon offers a dense, dark-fruited expression of Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. Striking aromas of ripe black fruit, cocoa and cedar give way to an elegant palate saturated with black plum, blackberry, graphite and eucalyptus notes.
Aromas of raspberry, cherry, blueberry, watermelon jolly ranchers, strawberry, cherry cola, and vanilla cream pie are apparent in this wine. Then the subtle oak aromas of vanilla, anise, cinnamon and clove appear. This wine has luscious tannins and a rounded structure followed by more cherry, blueberry jam, black currants, and chocolate mint flavors.
This powerful Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon has wonderful red fruit aromas in the glass. It starts with some strawberry, cherry, raspberry, cherry cola, and black berry aromas. There is some underlying vanilla, clove, anise, and coffee notes as well.
The 2014 Johanna Cabernet Sauvignon is a dynamic blend of valley fruit sourced primarily from Oakville and St. Helena augmented with mountain fruit from Diamond Mountain. It opens with appealing ripe red plum and blackberry notes fortified by a distinct dark chocolate element. On the palate it is full-bodied with macerated black cherry and blackberry compote, dark chocolate and sweet baking spice. Densely fruited and well-structured, this wine begs to be paired with rich meat dishes.
Riveting dark violet floral aroma overtones frame intense blackberry, plum, and rhubarb notes and oak-driven nuances of cocoa powder and cinnamon. Youthful, exuberant fruit flavors of blueberry, black cherry, and rhubarb saturate the creamy, rich palate. Ripe powdery tannins lead to a long, polished, plush finish.
The majority of the 2011 Napa Valley Merlot fruit is sourced from Gamble Ranch, with smaller portions coming from Star Vineyard in Rutherford and Big Ranch Vineyard, which is located in the cool southern region of Napa Valley. The cool-climate Merlot fruit from these three vineyards experience long even ripening that ensures full flavor development.
Bottled as a magnum this wine is ideal for extended cellaring or makes the perfect gift. This Cabernet Sauvignon is plush and ripe, offering cassis, black cherry and blackberry notes with a dusting of mocha and cocoa powder. The well-fruited mid-palate is plump and lush, with toasty oak notes of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and espresso.
95 points, Antonio Galloni
"Broad, ample and structured, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Armstrong Ranch has more than enough fruit to fill out its large-scaled frame nicely. Blue/blackish fruit, graphite, violets and plums are all beautifully delineated in the glass. The Armstrong Ranch is tense, energetic and also opulent, with a compelling interplay of fruit, acidity and tannin that never lets up. "- December 2014