Wine Advocate #228

Wine Advocate #228 cover 2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake/95+ points

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake is their reserve wine and has been called this since 1991, no doubt because of the number of rattlesnakes that populated the property. It is usually their greatest wine, when they declare it. The color is opaque ruby/purple and the wine has a few extra gears in it, with plenty of blueberry, cassis, forest floor and white flowers, followed by a full-bodied, beautifully built style of wine. This wine goes on and on – it is incredible rich, but with no defects or hard edges. A full-bodied, lush, elegant, yet powerful wine, this is a classic Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 20+ years.

2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cyrus Ryan/92 points

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cyrus Ryan is from a tiny vineyard, not on Spring Mountain, but on the Napa Valley floor adjacent to the Silverado Trail just north of the town of St. Helena. This is a completely different animal, with loads of blackberry, cassis and a dark ruby/purple color. Juicy fruits hit the palate with a cascade of lushness, sweet tannin, beautiful extract and ripeness. Nothing is out of balance. The wine comes across as elegant, supple and irresistible. I don’t see the complexity that I see in the mountain cuvées, but it is satisfying and should age nicely for 15 or more years.

2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District/94 points

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot. A beautiful example of Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon with its blue and black fruits (raspberries, blueberries interwoven with white flowers), this wine has an opaque purple color, a wonderful sweet kiss of delicate oak and forest floor. It is full-bodied and rich with supple tannins. It is a classic 2014 that is approachable, and frankly irresistible already, but promises to evolve gracefully for another 15 or more years.

2014 Barnett Vineyards Merlot Spring Mountain/90 points

The 2014 Merlot is the kind of Merlot that can get this excessively criticized and maligned grape back in the minds, hearts and palates of wine consumers. This is a beauty from the Spring Mountain District, a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. A dense bluish/purple color with a big, sweet kiss of blueberries, black raspberries, a touch of cherry and licorice. It is complex, beautifully velvety, lush and exactly what Merlot should be. Impressive and long, this Merlot can be drunk now, or cellared for another ten years.

2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain/93 points

The 2014 Cabernet Franc, 77% Cabernet Franc and 23% Merlot, is a small cuvée of less than 500 cases. A stunning nose of forest floor, fall foliage and spring flowers along with blueberry and raspberry fruits. This is round, juicy and delicious with medium to full body, an elegant and complex mouthfeel, a lightness of being that is a hallmark of Cabernet Franc and a long, silky finish. This is a beauty to drink over the next decade or more and I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more explosive aromatics emerge from this beauty. Drink it over the next 12-15+ years.