When Parker Reviews Napa

Whether or not you agree with the amount of influence wielded by the 800-pound gorilla of our industry, the fact is that Robert Parker still remains a force.  And so when Parker published his largest ever compilation of Napa Valley reviews last week, even his critics sat up and noticed.  We at Amici certainly did, and we’re thrilled that he had such nice things to say about our wines.  Here is what Parker says about our current releases:

2010 Amici Cellars Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  “The dense ruby/purple-colored 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Morisolli from Rutherford boasts a stunning perfume of blueberries, black raspberries, acacia flowers and spice. This rich, layered 2010 is the most complete and impressive wine of this quartet. Still youthful, it will benefit from several more years of bottle age, and should drink well for two decades. Impressive!  93 Points”

2010 Amici Cellars Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  “The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District, an inky/ruby/purple-colored wine exhibiting notes of licorice, graphite and black currants, offers a classic display of fruit, body, texture and structure. None of the famed floral/blueberry characteristics that often come from Spring Mountain have yet emerged, but this wine is fresh and vibrant with plenty of energy and richness. Enjoy this successful 2010 over the next 15-20 years.  90+ Points”

2010 Amici Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  “The deep ruby/plum/purple-tinged 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa offers notes of cassis, blueberries, graphite and toasty vanillin. A nicely proportioned, medium to full-bodied, seriously endowed, elegant, restrained wine with admirable purity, it can be drunk now or cellared for 10-15 years.  90 Points”

2010 Amici Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  “The black label 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve reveals beautiful cedary, black currant fruit, a well-integrated touch of toasty vanillin, medium to full-bodied flavors, sweet tannin and a fleshy, opulent mouthfeel. Approachable now, it has the richness to last 10-15 years.  88 Points”

Parker also had important comments to make on Napa as a wine-growing region.  He says, “… world class quality from Napa Valley is a fact, not a myth. All of the fallacies about Napa wines being too rich, short-lived and over-the-top are, in fact, absurd drivel often created by Euro-centric wine drinkers that have been proven false time and time again. If you are not following what is going on in Napa Valley, you are missing some of the world’s most compelling and provocative wines. End of story.”

Hear, hear!

Review Roll-up: May 2013

2012 Olema Chardonnay Sonoma County Valley – Beverage Dynamics: “This approachable chardonnay was fermented half in oak and half in stainless steel, giving the wine a crisp and refreshing acidity; apple and citrus notes balance the wine and bring a creamy quality to the finish. 91 Points”

2010 Olema Chardonnay Sonoma County Valley – Wine Spectator:  “The citrus, nectarine and lemon notes are refreshing, smooth and balanced. Details of spice crescendo on the finish. Drink now through 2018.” 

Review Roll-up: January 2013

Notable reviews of Amici wines during the month of January:

2009 Amici Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Restaurant Wine:  “Very fine quality. Luscious and complex, this is an excellent wine: very ripely flavored (cassis, black licorice, plum jam), smooth and long on the palate, with a very persistent finish. Delicious. 4+ stars.”

2009 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Restaurant Wine: 
“Full bodied and fairly rich, this is an intensely flavored Cabernet with cassis, blackberry, cooked meat and spicy aromas/flavors, and a long, moderately tannic finish. An excellent wine and a fine value. (4 stars)”

Olema 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County  – Restaurant Wine:  “Excellent:  supple in texture, full bodied, and long on the palate; a Cabernet with moderate richness, good balance, and a smooth finish, tasting of blackberry, toast, pepper, cherry, and sage. (4 stars)”

Olema 2010 Chardonnay Sonoma County – Restaurant Wine:  “Fairly complex in style; a Chardonnay that is full bodied, softly textured, lightly oaky, and long on the finish. It tastes of ripe fruit (pear, apple), toast, oak, honey, and grapefruit. 50% aged in oak barrels. (4 stars)”

Review Roll-Up: December 2012

December was a busy month for Amici wine reviews as critics published their “Best of the Year” lists.  Of course, we’re thrilled by every mention we got and are grateful to all of those reviewers for taking the time to taste our wines.  Some of the highlights:

2009 Amici Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon95 Points, Wine Enthusiast Best of the Year Buying Guide:  “Another successful Cabernet from Amici, who turns to this esteemed vineyard for sourcing. It shows real pedigree and finesse, and it’s instantly appealing for its soft tannins and complex cherry, red currant, cocoa and spice flavors. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s Amici’s best Cabernet of the vintage, and this is as upscale as Napa Cabernet gets.”

2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast Best of the Year Buying Guide:  “This 100% Cabernet is soft, rich, fruity and almost sweet in ripe, jammy blackberry and cherry flavors… The acidity is firm and mouthwatering, and the tannins are wonderful. Drink now-2015.”

2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine:  “This wine is deep in cassis and tobacco-tinged fruit and hints at dusty soils from first to last. Its evident ripeness is never an issue or concern because the finely focused fruit stays the course and brings good balance and youthful energy to the insistent flavors. Supple in its texture in a way that belies its solid, tannin-firmed underbelly, it is a wine that is going to last for years to come even if capable of pleasing in the here now.”

2011 Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – Wine Enthusiast:  “Tart, clean and juicy, this has ripe flavors of apricot, citrus, tropical fruit and spice. With zesty acidity, it feels basically dry, despite the honeyed finish. A touch of oak lends vanilla and smoke notes.”

2011 Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – Wine Spectator:  “Touches of fresh herb highlight the crisp, juicy citrus, apple and pear flavors that lead to a refreshing finish. Drink now.” – M.W.

Review Roll-Up: November 2012

Some of the notable reviews Amici wines received during the month of November:

2009 Amici Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Wine Spectator:  “Firm, concentrated and well-built, with a tight band of cedar, dried berry, black licorice and crushed rock. Ends with good length and depth. Drink now through 2022.” – J.L.

2009 Amici Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Spectator:  “Aromas of ripe berry and crushed rock are both supple and firm, turning graceful and refined on the finish while maintaining focus. Drink now through 2020.”  – J.L.

2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 92 PointsWineReviewsOnline.com, “Amici is the new venture of Joel Aiken, the respected and well-liked winemaker who spent the most recent decades of his career at Beaulieu Vineyards as the keeper of the flame of the Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.  This Amici Cab – one of several that has just been released – is a lean, spicy, minerally mountain Cab with very good concentration of fresh, ripe (but not overripe), dark berry fruit with accents of fresh herbs and lovely definition.”