2021 Acumen Mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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  • “A New Shining Star From Napa Valley” ~Forbes
  • "Astute and High-Toned, With Skyscraper Structure" ~94 Tasting Panel
  • 95-98 Point "Fabulous & Limited" Vintage
  • Winemaker Phillip Titus (Chappellet Vineyard)
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About the Wine

Acumen: Keenness, depth of perception, and discernment. The ability to make good judgments and decisions.

Founded by the visionary proprietor Eric Yuan and guided by a team that includes legendary Winemaker Phillip Titus and renowned Viticulturist Michael Wolf, Acumen is dedicated to creating the next great Napa Valley wine estate. 

Winemaker Phillip Titus, known for his 30-year tenure at Chappellet Vineyard on Pritchard Hill, is a renowned Napa Valley icon. His passion for wine was born early in life, growing up in Napa Valley and working alongside his family in their vineyard. After studying viticulture and enology at UC Davis, Phillip honed his skills in wineries both in California and abroad, ultimately becoming a master of his craft.

With 84 acres of vines nestled in the heart of Napa Valley’s Atlas Peak, Acumen focuses on crafting exceptional mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Drawing inspiration from the golden era of Napa Valley Cabernets in the 1960s and 1970s, Acumen's wines are celebrated for their balance, vineyard-driven complexity, and uncommon age-worthiness. The vineyards are managed by Michael Wolf, who has helped transform the vineyards at Scarecrow, Meteor, and Vine Hill Ranch into world class sites.

In 2012, entrepreneur Eric Yuan embarked on a quest to establish an estate vineyard capable of producing wines of classic balance, beauty, and structure. With the guidance of renowned founding Winemaker Denis Malbec and the discovery of Atlas Peak's unique terroir, Acumen found its home high on the slopes where temperatures are cooler, and volcanic soils add depth to the grapes.

Denis was a highly respected winemaker in Napa who’s expertise include Château Latour, Château Loudenne, Newton Vineyard, Blankiet Estate, and more.

This estate has quickly become a favorite among top critics and magazines. Fobes said, “The newest spotlight on Atlas Peak comes from Acumen Napa Valley, launched in 2012 by Eric Yuan and an impressive team, headed by now-late (and sorely missed) Denis Malbec.”

2021 is looking to be one of the vintages of the decade. Vinous Media blessed this year with a 95-98 point score, and said: "Two thousand twenty-one is a fabulous vintage in Napa Valley. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that production is down sharply, 30-50% in many cases. The wines have tremendous energy as well as finesse. In tasting, the 2021s show some of the savory intensity of other drought vintages – 2013 and 2014 come to mind – but with more aromatic explosiveness and greater inner sweetness."

Aging: in 80% New French Oak

Tasting Notes77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. From its inviting cherry and black currant aromas to its hints of vanilla, sage, and clove, this wine displays lovely French oak-inspired layers of sweetness and spice. The lush, dark berry layers echo on the beautifully balanced palate, where elegant, fine-grained tannins and an energetic beam of acidity frame the generous fruit flavors while carrying the wine to a long fruit and spice finish.


Astute and high-toned, with skyscraper structure. Purple plum, boysenberry bramble, and soy sauce are vibrant and zippy on the palate, which finishes with blue floral notes and a touch of sandalwood. The fruit was sourced from mountain and hillside vineyards and spent 18 months in (30% new) French Oak. ~94 Tasting Panel Magazine

This dark ruby colored Cabernet Sauvignon from Acumen opens with a black plum and pencil lead bouquet with a hint of blueberry, mustard seed, and tea leaves. On the palate, this wine is medium plus bodied with integrated medium acidity. The mouthfeel is nicely balanced, very smooth and polished. The flavor profile is gentle black currant and graphite blend with notes of black tea and black plum. We also detected some hints of black plum, black licorice, black pepper, and nutmeg. The finish is dry, and its refined tannins build-up a bit and then drift away. The Tasting Panel would pair this Cab with a veal Diane with wild mushrooms and marsala or with grilled Brazilian picanha steak. Enjoy. ~94 Ken's Wine Tasting Panel. 

This Cab blended with 19% Merlot and 4% Cab Franc possesses a burly character with a satin heart. Bing cherry, cinnamon, and tobacco make an impression up front before the juicy midpoint exudes a plethora of berry notes along with mountain brush; sleek, burnished cedar; and mulberry. ~95 Tasting Panel Magazine (v. 2019)

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