2016 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Wildfoote Vineyard, Vixen Block

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Stags Leap District

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 98 points

    June 22, 2018 - Bevan: A massively powerful and intense wine, packed with black core fruit. Burnt embers, scorched earth, black soil, river rock, pulverized granite, black pen ink, and some dark cassis. The front end is an onslaught of flavors and drive, with just enough texture to keep it from crossing the line into being a bruiser. This is the most powerful Wildfoote Bevan has ever crafted. Massive weight, but so much energy, it was never heavy or burdensome. The finish went on and on.

    This still needs time in the bottle to better integrate and develop a more seamless glide, however, it is a mega bottle of bad-assness that demands attention. 97-98+ points. Hold until after 2020.

    1 person found this helpful 4,246 views


  • TXRDW commented:

    7/4/18, 10:05 AM - Great note CSIMM. I’m thinking about buying a few bottles of Bevan. Other than a Chardonnay at a restaurant I’ve never tasted their wine. I’ve ordered quite a bit of the 2016 Carter and I’m curious how the Bevan compares... and I’d like your opinion on the top 2 or 3 Bevan wines to try.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/4/18, 10:25 AM - Hi TXRDW. As far as Bevan is concerned, I haven't had all of the 2016s yet, but I've been drinking his wines since the 2011 vintage, so I'll go based on my experience with that lineage historically. 2012 was Russell's best vintage in many ways in my opinion, but some 2015s and 2016s are notable as well. 2013 was my least favorite vintage from him (ironically, given the fame that vintage has seen thanks to Parker). I would avoid 2013s. Some of his 2014s are ok, but less intense than 2015.

    Anyway, I will say the 2016 Wildfoote is a very compelling wine. I like Stags Leap terroir, so the black rock components are interesting to me personally. Other Wildfoote vintages have been hit and miss (it is typically a more "feminine" wine (by Bevan standards at least), but 2016 is far from that. 2012 was a great version as well. If you're new to Bevan, order the '16 Ontogeny. I haven't had it yet, but Ontogeny is a good intro into Russell's style and it's half the price ($95) of his SVDs. I get Ontogeny every year because it punches above its price point almost every time.

    Depending on your style, Bevan's high end blends (EE and Sugarloaf) can be much more compelling than his Cabernets. Both are good, but the blends often offer more unique and complex flavor profiles - It mostly depends if you are Cab Franc adverse. If so, forget the EE and Sugarloaf. If you like Cab Franc, the 2015 EE is very compelling. Again, I haven't had 2016 yet, but it stands to be similar/equal. The 2015 EE is a great wine.

    For his Cabs, I'd check out Tench and Wildfoote. Saunders and Harbison are more rare and limited production, so they are well done and worth having as well simply because they are more unicorn wines. But the Tench and Wildfoote are more available and just as good.

    Hopefully that's not too confusing. In the end, if I had to pick 3 wines of his to get, I'd go with Ontogeny (good intro wine - and really well done for the QPR), EE (to showcase his blending with CS/CF), and Wildfoote. 2016 stands to be a great vintage, so that's plus, too. Hope that helps!

  • TXRDW commented:

    7/4/18, 11:08 AM - Thanks CSIMM! The three selections make sense. Your comment regarding 2013 was also interesting as I recently tried a Pride 2013 and it was very disappointing compared to other vintages. It will be fascinating long term to see how 2013 ends up given the critical acclaim. Trying to decide what money to allocate towards various choices each year is tough, but it is also what makes this hobby so much fun. A good example is the Shafer HSS, which now has their “buying window” open. I ask myself “Am I better off with one extra bottle of HSS or three bottles of Ontogeny?”. I know there is no right answer, but getting feedback adds to the fun of the selections.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/4/18, 11:41 AM - Having both in the cellar is a plus of course. HSS and Bevan wines are certainly crafted differently. Ontogeny will offer more immediate accessibility while your HSSs are resting for a while. If you already have HSS, I’d say having a couple Ontogeny is worth it.

  • TXRDW commented:

    7/4/18, 12:02 PM - Good advice. I’m heading off to a family 4th of July event with my 2012 Sherwin Family cab bottle etched with the American flag. If you haven’t seen this you should do a search for “Sherwin Family Etched Flag Bottle”. It is the only vineyard with government approval to etch an American flag on the bottle, and their estate cab is very good. You might check it out if you haven’t seen it. In fact there is a great tasting note on CT for the 2014 current release.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/4/18, 6:34 PM - Cool...thanks! I'll have to check it out. Happy 4th!

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