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Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018  - First Bottle


96 James Suckling -
Loads of blackberry, currant and dark-berry aromas follow through to a full body with chewy tannins and a long ,fine finish. This is very attractive, balanced and delicious now, but will gain from two or three years of cellaring. Try after 2024.
94 Jeb Dunnuck -
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is up-front and approachable, with lush blackberry and cassis fruit as well as tobacco and some graphite notes. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum on the palate, it has velvety yet certainly present tannins, plenty of baby fat, terrific overall balance, and a great finish. Displaying more floral and violet notes with time in the glass, I suspect this beautiful, elegant 2018 will have two decades of longevity.
93 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Etude's blended 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley skews toward bench-land vineyards from Rutherford and further south (Oakville, Coombsville). The nose features a gently lifted quality, blackberries and cassis underscored by dark chocolate. Full-bodied and sturdy, framed by firm tannins, this is not a wimpy, generic blend but a rich wine with some aging potential, finishing velvety and long.

Technical Details

  • BlendCabernet Sauvignon
  • WinemakerJon Priest
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • AppellationNapa Valley
  • VineyardMorisoli Vineyard in Rutherford, Vine Hill Ranch in Oakville, Meteor Vineyard in Coombsville, and Schoenstein Vineyard
  • Farming MethodOrganic Practices
  • Alcohol0.145%

Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018

Bordeaux Blends  |  US
JS96, JD94, WA93

Organic Practices
21% off retail!

Etude is a long-standing favorite producer of ours, and this cabernet sauvignon just might be the best we’ve ever tasted from the estate. 96 points for Napa cabernet is rare enough, but when that wine comes in way under $100...rarer still!

Etude was founded in 1982 by Tony Soter, an already famous winemaker who had just recently left Chappellet Vineyard up on Pritchard Hill to begin his own project. Set in the cool and windy Carneros AVA, the focus of the winery was pinot noir, and they make some of Napa’s best to this day. But you almost have to make Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, and as Tony already had experience making some of Napa’s best, Etude started securing fruit from elsewhere around the valley. Today, their preferred cabernet fruit comes from the benchlands across Napa Valley – with a fair bit of Rutherford and Oakville in the mix. Coombsville – with its cool climate and volcanic soils – also supplies a good chunk of cabernet for this wine...and the signature, Bordeaux-esque graphite note really shines as a hallmark of this region.

Jon Priest has made Etude wines since 2005, at the request of Etude’s founder and long-time winemaker, Tony Soter. Tony made a remarkable choice when it came to his successor, and over the years, Etude has remained as one of the most consistent, high-end producers in all of Napa Valley.

This lusciously rich wine swells with aromas of lilac, cocoa powder, Tahitian vanilla, and blackberry pie. The palate is impeccably smooth, with velvety mouth-filling mocha, crushed raspberry, creme de cassis, bay, black pepper, the aforementioned graphite, and sensuous French oak stylings. It’s fruit-forward too, but never overbearing and seamlessly integrated. This is just entering its prime, but expect another decade-plus of exceptional drinkability. For a Napa cab of this pedigree – this is simply remarkably well-priced. You’d do well to grab a few bottles and drink them with delight over the next decade-plus!

PAIRING IDEAS: This has me simply drooling for a burger. Saint Helena’s Farmstead Restaurant makes one of the valley’s best...but it’s not the one on their menu! Next time you're in town, order from the secret menu – just ask for “The Highlander” and thank me later!!

About the Producer

At Etude, our philosophy is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. We believe that inspired grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, and that superior wines that are grown, not made. Jon’s focus is on inspired winegrowing - growing grapes in the perfect place with the right conditions, creating superior wines of world class character. This intentful winemaking expresses the inherent qualities of each varietal while showcasing the unique characteristics and a defined sense of place.