2018 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

  • 99 Point Vintage ~Wine Spectator
  • "Very Attractive, Balanced and Delicious Now" ~96 James Suckling
  • Fruit Sourced from TOP Vineyards in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville
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About the Wine

Established in 1982 by founding winemaker Tony Soter, Etude set its sights on the cool-climate Carneros region with a singular focus: producing world-class wines. With a passion for the delicate and transparent nature of Pinot Noir, Soter believed it to be the most appropriate vehicle for studying wine growing. "Pinot Noir is a humbling pursuit," he remarked, "but when it’s right, it is a glorious and moving thing."

In 2000, the Grace Benoist Ranch was developed after an eighteen-year journey to find the most suitable terroir for Etude's Estate vineyards. Here, a remarkable diversity of clonal varieties thrives, including seven Chardonnay clones, nine Heirloom Pinot Noir clones, and eight additional Pinot clones. These meticulously tended vineyard blocks, each with its own unique characteristics, yield fruit of unparalleled quality and concentration.

While rooted in Carneros, Etude explores diverse terroirs beyond California (including some of the best appellations in Napa Valley), sourcing fruit from the Central Coast, Oregon, and even New Zealand.

At Etude, wines are believed to be expressive of their birthplace. That's why the winery is committed to holistic winegrowing practices that respect the native ecosystems and minimize environmental impact. From nurturing the soil to fostering sustainable agriculture, Etude has achieved multiple Sustainable Certifications including: Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming Program, Napa Green Certified Land, Napa Green Certified Winery 

"Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard long before the harvest and that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in wine that is grown, not made.” - Jon Priest, Etude Winemaker.  

Jon's journey began at the legendary Wine Cask Company in Santa Barbara, where he refined his palate and passion for wine. Over the years, he honed his craft at esteemed wineries such as Wild Horse, Adelaida Cellars, and Taz, before joining Etude in 2005. 

The Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is carefully crafted from grapes grown in unique benchland vineyards that represent the main sub-appellations of Napa Valley. Grapes are sourced from renowned winegrowers across Napa Valley, including Vine Hill Ranch and Gamble Vineyard in Oakville, Bear Flats Vineyard in Calistoga, Morisoli Vineyards in Rutherford, and Meteor Vineyard in Coombsville. By deliberately choosing fruit from these exceptional vineyards, this wine highlights the full range of Cabernet fruit flavors and textures with liveliness and refinement.

2018 was an iconic year for Napa Valley. Wine Spectator blessed this year with 99 points and said it was a "Spectacular year, with wines that are rich and dark, but detailed, restrained in style and very terroir-driven."

Aging: 20 months in 100% French Oak (75% new).

Tasting Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A bold and complex Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is big and plush with voluptuous layers of ripe dark berry fruit aromas and flavors of black cherry, black currant, cassis and raspberry pie, alongside baking spice notes of cardamom, clove and nutmeg. Hints of cedar and oak spice dance on the palate (a hint at the well-integrated oak) and are enveloped by the velvety-rich tannins and unctuous structure. This Cabernet is warm and inviting with tremendous depth and concentration. Beautifully drinking upon release and will age for many years to come.


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. ~96 James Suckling

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. ~94 Jeb Dunnuck

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. ~93 Wine Advocate

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is bright and full of energy. Dark cherry, chocolate, licorice, cloves and plum all race out of the glass. A wine of vibrancy and depth, the Napa Valley Cabernet is a terrific introduction to the Etude wines. The 2018 is beautifully done from start to finish. ~92 Vinous Media

A solid, direct Cab, with a core of cassis and dark cherry compote flavors laced liberally with singed cedar and vanilla. Ends with bittersweet cocoa and tobacco notes through the finish. Drink now through 2032. 2,298 cases made. ~92 James Suckling 

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