- Producer: Lail Vineyards - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Philippe Melka
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage production: 930 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Robin Lail
- First Vintage: 1995
- Drinking window: 2024-2049
About the Wine:
Lail Vineyards' flagship wine is named for John Daniel Jr., ancestor to the Lail Vineyards legacy. A 21st century interpretation of the family’s highly-acclaimed Cabernet blends of the past, the J. Daniel Cuvée is a beautifully integrated, Bordeaux style blend of estate and premium vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon selections.
The J. Daniel Cuvée is always 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, for which there are three vineyard sources: the Heimark Vineyard in Calistoga, the Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard in Oakville and the famed Mole Hill Vineyard on Howell Mountain, within which Robin's home is located. In 2017, the Mole Hill fruit was declassified. However, Phlippe and Robin hand-selected the stunning Stelzner Vineyard in Stags Leap District as a source, making this a unique and highly collectable vintage.
This unique combination of 'Grand Cru' sites makes the J. Daniel Cuvée the only wine in Napa to blend fruit from Oakville and Howell Mountain: the key to this Cabernet's stunning depth and complexity.
Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
"The flagship cuvée, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in 75% new French oak. Rocking levels of cassis, graphite, vanilla, scorched earth, and tobacco all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has building tannins, a terrific, deep, layered mid-palate, and a great finish. It's still tight and backward on the palate, and in need of 4-5 years of bottle age, but it's a beautiful wine in the making."
96+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2020)
"Wonderful blackberry and blueberry aromas with tar and ink. Pipe tobacco. Full body and chewy tannins that are lightly dry and toned. Creamy and textured. A beautiful finish. Complete and fine-textured. Try after 2023."
96 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2020)