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Jeb Dunnuck’s Review – Vintage 2016

August 6, 2019

2016 Carte Blanche Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – 97 Points

A different beast, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) is more backward and reticent, and while it needs 4-5 years of bottle age, is packed with potential. Both black and blue fruits, earth, tobacco, and freshly crushed rock notes all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has plenty of fine tannins, remarkable purity of fruit, and beautiful intensity and length. Do your best to give this some bottle age, and you’ll be rewarded with a phenomenal Napa Valley Cabernet that will keep for 2-3 decades.

2016 Carte Blanche Chardonnay, UV Vineyard, Sonoma Coast – 96 Points

From a great site on the Sonoma Coast, which is also known as the Laguna Vineyard, the 2016 Chardonnay UV Vineyard was barrel fermented and spent 16 months in 30% new French oak. This brilliant wine offers a medium gold color to go with rich, powerful notes of pineapple, crushed rocks, and brioche. It shows more and more minerality with time in the glass, has good acidity, and a concentrated, medium to full-bodied style that’s a joy to drink. It reminds me of a slightly Burgundian style Chardonnay from Mark Aubert.

2016 Carte Blanche Pinot Noir, Sun Chase Vineyard, Sonoma Coast – 95+ Points

As to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sun Chase Vineyard was mostly destemmed (there’s 30% stems) and spent 16 months in 40% new barrels. It’s another layered, rich, yet impeccably balanced wine and offers lots of red and black fruits, savory herbs, and earthy, forest floor-like nuances. Drink it over the coming decade or more.

2016 Carte Blanche Proprietary Red Wine, Napa Valley – 95 Points

Coming from Napa Valley, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, all aged in new barrels. This cuvée is made with the idea to be slightly more accessible and offers a St. Emilion-like feel in its blue fruits, tobacco leaf, crushed rocks, and cedary, spice-laced aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, has a layered, balanced texture, and terrific tannin quality. It’s another powerful yet elegant wine from Keplinger.