Some wine regions have terroir uniquely suited for Cabernet Sauvignon, and Napa’s Rutherford is one of those regions. It’s within Rutherford’s soils that Whitehall Lane grows the grapes for the 2016 Whitehall Lane Leonardini Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a classic Cab you can buy today at a 35% discount and drink 20 years from now, recalling how smart you were to do so.
In 2016, Napa had its 5th consecutive outstanding vintage - so declared James Suckling - with a hot and dry growing season that saw no extremes or heat spikes. In Whitehall Lane’s estate vineyards, the fruit matured at a steady pace, allowing the grapes to hang on the vine until they reached optimal ripeness.
This Cabernet Sauvignon (with a touch of Petit Verdot) comes from four of the winery’s estate vineyards - Oak Glen, Leonardini, Millennium MM, and Fawn Park Estate vineyards. Fascinating fact about the Leonardini vineyard - it was first planted with grapes in the late 1800s because farmers had already recognized the region's soils were ideal for “black grapes.”
Fast forward about 120 years and one sip of this wine makes it clear those early farmers were on to something. Wine Advocate recognized that with this wine’s 93 point rating. So did James Suckling and Wine Enthusiast, each rating it 92 points.
Why the accolades? This is a quintessential Napa Cab. Dark black fruits, blueberries, cassis, violets, tobacco leaf, baking spices… everything you expect to find on the nose is there. Then you sip and a dense fruit character with baked berries, toasted walnuts, brioche, pencil shavings, and cedar excite your palate. Plush tannins let you know this wine will evolve for years to come.