To Kalon

The Tale of To Kalon

To Kalon. For any Californian winemaker, those two words represent the Holy Grail. This vineyard in Oakville, Napa, is undeniably the region’s most famous. Perched at the foot of the Mayacamas, west of Highway 29, this site has been recognized for producing fine wine since the 19th century. Literally translating as the “highest beauty” or…

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Some of the most exclusive Napa wines include Cabernet Sauvignon from Screaming Eagle, Schrader, and Opus One.

Exclusive Napa Wines: Rarest Ten Collectible Cabernets

When it comes to rare wines, it’s difficult to beat the cult Cabernet Sauvignon labels of Napa Valley, California. With a typical average production of only a few hundred cases per year, these exclusive Napa wines are not just some of the rarest wines in California, but they also rank among the most precious fine wine labels in the world. It’s a point of great pride when collectors manage to find a top-rated vintage from a sought-after cult Cabernet producer like Screaming Eagle, Harlan, or BOND.

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One of the finest cult wines, Napa Valley’s Harlan Estate, frequently receives top scores from critics, which is one of many reasons why so many collectors seek it out.

Cult Wines of Napa — Why Wine Collectors Choose these Exclusive Fine Wines

When it comes to cult wines, Napa Valley is the most lauded region in the world. This area of northern California is where the term “cult wine” originated and it’s home to some of the most praised and valuable cult wine labels in history. You may be wondering why exactly these wines have such recognition among critics and collectors. The answer is simple: they are rare, valuable, age-worthy, high in quality, and consistently rank near the top of the most traded wines on the market.

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Hearty dishes make perfect Napa Cabernet food pairings as they complement these powerful, concentrated wines.

The Best Napa Cabernet Food Pairings

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing food and wine pairing, it’s hard to go wrong with Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Napa Valley. Many of these wines are powerful, high in alcohol, and fruit-forward, balanced by bracing acidity and prominent oak. The finest Napa Valley Cabernet is bold and acidic enough to stand up to the heartiest dishes but also complex and interesting enough to serve on its own or with simple hors d’oeuvres. It’s very easy to find a great Napa Cabernet food pairing and there are a few classic pairings every wine enthusiast should try at least once. The foods in this pairing guide will bring out the best flavors in your Cabernet Sauvignon; we’ll also suggest some more unusual pairings that are sure to impress your dinner guests. 

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The Oakville AVA contains many illustrious vineyards.

Oakville AVA: Everything Collectors Should Know About This Region

What do Harlan Estate, Opus One, and Screaming Eagle have in common? All of these iconic producers own vineyards in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Oakville AVA is a small California winegrowing region located at the center of the Napa Valley that is famous for its production of top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon labels like Harlan Estate and Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnément are made in the tiny Oakville region. 

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Opus One vs Caymus wine compared next to each other

Opus One Vs. Caymus: Which Should You Collect?

As two of the biggest names in the Napa Valley wine industry, Opus One and Caymus make highly sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon blends of outstanding quality. However, this is where their similarities end. When you compare Opus One vs. Caymus, there’s a clear difference in style and flavor. In this guide, you’ll learn what the flavor differences are between Opus One and Caymus as well as the differences in value, age-worthiness, and collectability so that you can curate your ideal collection of great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

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2012 Colgin Tychson Hill Vineyard one of Colgin's 100-point wines.

Colgin’s 100-Point Wines Are Great Investments for Collectors

Colgin Cellars’ wines are supremely rare and exclusive. The Napa Valley winery sells fewer than 2,800 cases of wine per year to a handful of upscale restaurants and 8,000 members on its selective mailing list. Getting your hands on these complex and delectable red wines isn’t easy, particularly if you’re on the hunt for one of Colgin’s many 100-point vintages. These top-rated wines are highly sought-after among serious wine enthusiasts and tend to sell out very quickly on the secondary market. 

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One of the best Harlan Estate vintages is the 2001

A Guide to the Best Harlan Estate Vintages

Top-quality Harlan Estate vintages impress even the most experienced and judicious of wine critics. Tasting six Harlan Estate wines in 2018, Master of Wine Jancis Robinson says many exceeded her expectations. “Only the prejudiced would reject them as too sweet and too alcoholic,” she adds. While the price of these bottles is quite high compared to most other examples of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Robinson says the extra cost is generally worth it. These wines are deeply fragrant, powerful, and age-worthy–a tempting combination.    

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Top producers made great wine in the best years of Napa Cabernet

Ranking the Best Years for Napa Cabernet

A few years ago, I attended a retrospective tasting event of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at a local wine bar. We sampled wines from some of the best years for Napa Cabernet, and it was easy to see which vintages everyone enjoyed the most. The 2007 wines in particular were a huge hit among the crowd. The man sitting next to me gushed over a glass of intense, incredibly complex 2007 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, saying it was one of the best wines he’s ever had. Most of the 2007 wines received similar praise; it was clearly the winning vintage of the night.

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The 2018 Napa harvest was bountiful.

The 2018 Napa Harvest: A Winemaker’s Dream Vintage

The 2018 Napa harvest ended on a high note this fall. Most winemakers across the region are reporting superb grape quality, high yields, and low sugar concentration in the fruit. Hudson Vineyards director Kelly MacLeod says, “This year, it really was a winemaker’s dream. They got to consciously choose exactly what they wanted.” While it’s still too early to tell how these wines will develop over time, all of these factors could result in a collectible, age-worthy vintage. If you’re looking for flavorful New-World wines that are well-balanced with comparatively restrained alcohol, the 2018 vintage may be your dream year, too.

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