100pts Jeb Dunnuck
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee comes from a mix of terroirs (Howell Mountain, Stags Leap, Oakville, Calistoga) and is brought up in 75% new French oak. Heavenly notes of red and black currants, dried tobacco, sandalwood, flowers, and spice give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet weightless texture that carries awesome tannins, no hard edges, and just flawless balance. This majestic, regal wine is going to drink brilliantly for 25 years or more.
99pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 20 months in French oak barrels, 75% new. Very deep garnet-purple in color, it soars out of the glass with seductive notes of crème de cassis, blueberry preserves and Black Forest cake, followed by suggestions of espresso, yeast extract, black truffles and charcoal plus a fragrant waft of violets. Full-bodied, rich and opulently fruited in the mouth, it has layer upon layer of black fruit preserves, earthy nuances and savory sparks, framed by firm, finely grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and fragrant.
96pts James Suckling
Complex and full-bodied, this shows notes of blackberries, plums, chocolate, herbs and minerals. The palate is velvety, ample, powerful and very balanced. Terrific finish that develops and lasts. Very structured and focused. This needs at least two to four years of bottle age. Try after 2023.
96pts Connoisseurs' Guide
Nothing less than a tour de force, the Lail 2018 J. Daniel Cuvée is a Cabernet of soaring beauty and fruity depth that combines amazing richness with an altogether remarkable degree of real sophistication. It offers layer upon layer of blackcurrant fruit, creamy oak, black olives and loam, and, although it is a wine of considerable concentration and muscle, it is also uncannily wellpolished for a wine that is as young and muscular as it is. We do not use the term “classic” lightly, but classic it is, and, while we have yet to see a great many of the top Cabernet Sauvignons from what is a heralded vintage, it sets a high standard that will be hard to beat. It is that good!
The Lail 2018 J. Daniel Cuvée absolutely sings with the beauty and purity of the vintage, with its bright red fruits (raspberry, cherry and pomegranate), gorgeous texture, and glorious length. The telltale blackberry jam, black cherry, and boysenberry are here as always, as is ripe and rich demeanor. The wonderful balance belies the power and scale of this stunning vintage for J. Daniel Cuvée.