2016 BOLD by RJV Cabernet sauvignon

Heady blackberry all over Manhattan. A nice piney mint rises up through it and a certain amount of the flabbiness breathes out with decanting, exposing all the bare metal and easy petrichor, but still super plump blackberry churns on.

You’ve seen me digging into these RJV’s lately and they are stunning quality Cabs. This of course–as I am sure you can tell by the label–is their foray into the bargain market.

In the mouth, all that rich cherry and savory olive in the nose influences hardcore as the glass moves to your lips. But then it hits your palate and one of the first things you notice is the amount of structure that is alongside this beautiful fruit. Any visions of flabbiness gained from the nose are dashed as soon as all this acid and tannin wrap your tongue, driving the fruit–which doesn’t feel so loud anymore–into the background. Licorice and tobacco claw at your insides, slowly releasing their grip on the now-bright fruit, tempering it with oil-rubbed wood and velvet theatre seats before it dries out COMPLETELY in the brash finish. Stephen McConnell

2014 RJV Cabernet Sauvignon

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass and has a fair amount of legs. Weighty masses of dark chocolate, eucalyptus, and alluring tobacco flavors manifest quickly to take center stage. The lush dark lip-smacking fruit dances throughout, framed by granite-lined cassis, violets, and raspberry notes that linger way in the back. The finish is tannic. But, in the most enjoyable way, and it’s flavors anchor to the tongue creating lasting memories. Pam Riley - Food and Wine Chronicles

Bold, peppered nose with a body that’s generous and not tightly wound. Dark chocolate raspberry/blueberry notes coexist with a bright acidity. Ripe and structured! 92 - Tasting Panel Magazine

2013 RJV Cabernet Sauvignon

Big, bodacious and beautiful, from the dense maroon purple to the cheeseburger & fries meatiness of the nose. Nectarine and mandarin attach themselves to sharp green shards of wood and wet bark, pulling rich tropical nectar into a breeze-way out of the rain. A gorgeous bit of green bean and artichoke bring sexy vegetal to the party, all spread on fresh-baked bread in newspaper past chestnuts roasted in oil-drums.

In the mouth, thick, rich fruit concentrates heavily on entry, violent acidity hand-in-hand and making anyone expecting a fat, lush Napa fruit-bomb to sit up straight. An almost syrupy initial blackberry sensation is forced aside by bold structure, green and ridiculously powerful, graphite and grated steel attempting to tame the hardcore tannins to little avail.

No, you’ve never heard of this wine: but you need to pay attention. This thing hits on all KINDS of levels and is a 20-year aging candidate. Beautifully fruited and blurringly-bodied, it is an extremely interesting 2013 and I can’t WAIT to get into my older vintages. How about this: buy 2 cases and drink one a year. That’s my advice. - Stephen McConnellSoif

A 100% varietal wine given 26 months in new French oak, this is a well-integrated, richly concentrated showcase for the Coombsville appellation. It is impressive in cinnamon, black pepper, jammy black cherry and plum. - 2018 World Wine Championships New York

Nearly opaque black garnet color. Aromas of cherry cola, lacquered wood, latex, demerara, cinnamon-cardamom custard, and sticky date pudding with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, long vanilla, anise, slate, cinnamon gelato with toasted coconut, and espresso finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A dark and dense Coombsville cab that lives up to expectations.

2011 RJV Cabernet Sauvignon

This is one of those beautiful stories where it starts out by somebody mentioning something and I go and stalk their brand and start absorbing their concept, scroll around on their website and it sparks some trials and a conversation, and BAM! I now have a new Napa Valley Cab I’ve never heard of in my entire life I am in love with.

I had the 13 a couple weeks back and if you read me regularly you know how excited I was to get into the 11. And boy oh boy is this a nice 11. Big mint and cellar must come out on initial pour, gradually breathing to some nice tertiary nuances but mostly a still-meaty briary minty fruit. 50/50 Pritchard Hill and Coombsville AVA, the hillside beauty really shines, with layers of stony reflection affronting not-shy fruit meandering in and out of tannic waves.

This is a beautifully-made wine with DECADES to go. Just gorgeous. The fruit slam, the acidic screech, the wild untamed earth and weed, but there’s this half–this balance point–of calm, even, ocean-breeze maintaining throughout. And that beautiful bitter eucalyptus vanilla bite churns on.

I love these wines. I’ve got the 14 sitting here too I can’t wait to visit. I mean– 13 and 11 are kinda, well, you know: litmus. I don’t heave to explain this to my following. You get it. And as much as it pains me to say this, at 90 bucks these things are bargains, not only from the comparison to their vineyard co-producers, but once you taste them. - Stephen McConnellSoif