93pts Wilfred Wong
The 2016 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon shows elegance and persistence from start to finish. TASTING NOTES: This wine offers aromas and flavors of bright red currants and dried herbs. Pair it with an oven roast game hen. (Tasted: February 21, 2020, St. Helena, CA)
The Palmazes bought a forgotten stone winery, a fine old house badly in need of renovation, and acres of land that had once produced fine Napa wines. The little valley had been the site of Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery, founded in 1881 by Henry Hagen, one of Napa Valley's pioneer winemakers.
The vineyards grow within more than fourteen unique terroirs at three elevations — 400, 1200, and 1400 feet above sea level and are nurtured under the respectful tenets of sustainable agriculture. They thrive on the slopes of Mount George at the southern end of the Vaca Range. The foundation for it all is base rock laid down during the Pliocene volcanic age. Vineyard geography ranges from steep slopes with shallow nutrient-poor soils, which produce concentrated grapes, to stony colluvial deposits made up of cobbles, gravel, and sandy loam. Variations of soil type, sun exposure, and elevation produce a robust range of flavors and concentration to create a wine with balance and complexity.
The winery's 24 fermentation tanks accommodate the yields of individual blocks within the estate, vinifying each parcel’s grapes separately to preserve the unique characteristics intrinsic to the parcels. This provides a complete and pure palette for the winemaker’s art — tasting, appreciating, and blending individual lots to bring balance to the wine.