In the late 90’s, Constellation Brands started buying up Napa wineries. At the time, they were an unknown wine company that produced low-end brands like Cribari. What a lot of people in the wine trade didn’t know was how profitable cheap wine could be. It was a three billion dollar company and CEO Richard Sands wanted to get into the fine wine business.
In just a few years, he had purchased Mount Veeder, Ravenswood, Simi, and Estancia. Today, they own everything from the Robert Mondavi Winery and to Meiomi and The Prisoner.
It’s always good to know who you are paying your hard-earned money to. At the Wine School, we focus on small independent producers, so when we recommend a wine that’s owned by a huge wine conglomerate, we let you know about it.
What makes this wine great is two things: the vineyard and its winemaker.
Back in the 60’s, Michael Bernstein planted some grape vines that a farmhand had given him for free. He farmed plums on the property and was fine with that: he just stuck the vines in the ground and pretty much forgot about them. Despite never watering them, the grape vines thrived and the fruit they produced was amazing. Within a few years, he had replanted all of his lands to grape vines, in particular, Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon.
Those old vineyards and the deft winemaking skills of Janet Myers are what makes this bottle very special, especially at this price point. This bottle has been rated by a few of the big-wigs, so you don’t really need my notes as well.
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and burly, but also quite pleasing for a young Mt. Veeder Cabernet. Inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, lavender, bacon fat spice and licorice fill out the wine’s mid-weight frame nicely. Plush and unctuous through to the finish, Mt. Veeder’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a real overachiever in this vintage, as the extra kick of volume gives the wine an unusual level of opulence that works nicely to balance some of the more imposing structural elements in the wine.
93 points Vinous
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and the rest Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, all of which was brought up in French oak. It’s a beauty that delivers the goods, especially at the price. Violets, blueberries, spice, and underbrush notes all give way to a plump, rounded, sexy red that shows the upfront fruit of the vintage, yet stays light and nicely balanced on the palate. It should keep for a decade.
90 points Jeb Dunnuck
A very pretty and layered young cabernet with blackcurrant and berry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and focused. A lovely finish. Hard not to drink this now. You’d want to catch the vibrant fruit now, but it will be better in 2020.
91 points James Suckling