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Premiere Napa Valley 2020

Premiere Napa Valley, a week of educational, tasting and networking opportunities leading up to a wine auction of Hospice de Beaune style small lot wines, is one of the hottest ticket tastings in the country. Winemakers showcased the 2018 vintage but offered tastes of 2017, 2016 and 2015 releases as well. Planet Grape Wine Review panelists and Napa Valley specialists Fred Swan and Deborah Parker Wong attended. Here are their top picks.

Deborah’s Top Three

2015 St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Napa Valley California $80
There’s no heavy-handed winemaking here just plenty of juicy red and black currants, vanilla and cinnamon with a hint of orange zest and camphor. From one of Napa’s most beautiful sites.

2016 J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Diamond Mountain Napa Valley California $120
Mountain fruit that’s vinified for elegance. Lushly dark fruits, chocolate and spices with savory herbs, cinnamon and leather. Drinking well now but definitely a keeper.

2017 Scattered Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon Small Lots Napa Valley California $120
The valley meets the mountain for a combination of cassis, boysenberry, mulberry, tobacco and licorice within a seamless oak frame. BV Emeritus winemaker Joel Aiken at his finest.

Fred’s Top Three

2016 M by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Animo Atlas Peak Napa Valley California $200
Full, supple, complex and enticing with strawberry, black currant jam, bay leaf, espresso, chocolate, dry earth, and gorgeous notes of flowers and exotic spice.

2016 16 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Post St. Helena Napa Valley California $200
Rich, velvety and suede-like with notes of black cherry, blackberry syrup, dark mocha, mineral, spice and dried flowers. Supremely drinkable already but will age well.

2016 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Kronos Vineyard St. Helena Napa Valley California $195
Energetic and medium-bodied with fine, lightly chalky texture and long, juicy notes of black cherry soda, huckleberry, manzanita leaf, dark flowers, and mineral. 

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