- Producer: Lail Vineyards - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Philippe Melka
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Vintage production: 1,160 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Robin Lail
- First Vintage: 1995
- Drinking window: 2021-2048
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, Phlippe and Robin hand-selected the stunning Stelzner Vineyard in Stags Leap District as a source, adding an incredible new dimension to the wine.
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 2019
"The 2019 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a little coaxing to unlock pronounced blackcurrant preserves, Black Forest cake and stewed plums scents with hints of star anise, clove oil, unsmoked cigars and tilled soil with a waft of roses. Full-bodied, the palate explodes with vibrant black fruits, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Beautiful!"
98-100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Mar. 2021)
"The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee is just about pure perfection and another example of Napa Valley magic. All Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in 80% new French oak, it offers an incredible bouquet of pure cassis and blackberry fruits as well as textbook Pauillac-like notes of graphite, tobacco, toasted spices, and chalky minerality. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, it’s one of those wines that somehow marries incredible intensity and richness with no sensation of weight or heaviness, perfect balance, and a layered, multi-dimensional style that’s hard to describe. It shows more tannins and chocolaty oak with air and needs to be forgotten for 4-6 years, and it will be a 40+-year wine. It’s heavenly juice."
99 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Mar. 2022