Red

2018 Julien Fayard Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • Cristal2000 Likes this wine: 93 points

    March 12, 2021 - Clearly very early on this wine. Notes after 24 hours of air. Aromas of fragrant earth, blackberries, tobacco, menthol and spice box. Fresh, with big tannins and lots of deeply mineral driven flavors. This is certainly not an extracted, fruit driven wine. Exceptional tension and structure, this begs for more time in the bottle, but alas, I am not that patient. A dry wine, with a very long lingering and fairly astringent finish at the moment. Overall, this is excellent at the price point, but don't think of it as an early drinker like others in this price range. Built for time in the bottle and very classic in its appeal (i.e. this is not Myriad or Bevan folks!).

    2 people found this helpful 1,778 views

18 Comments

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    3/13/21, 7:21 AM - Thanks for the notes Cristal2000. Did you pick up some of the SVD wines? Specifically Martinez and Sleeping Lady.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/13/21, 7:37 AM - Hi MJP: I grabbed a few Sleeping Lady's and a Martinez. I've never been a huge Fayard fan, but AG's 100 for SL compelled me to take the plunge. He doesn't give them out too often. This one experience seems to show they are way more restrained then Purlieu and older world, which is what I expected with AG loving them so much.

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    3/13/21, 7:40 AM - Yes, that score caught my eye and my wallet. I find myself agreeing with AG most of the time. I welcome classic and restrained styles of wine.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/13/21, 9:50 AM - I have definitely gravitated to more classically styled wines the longer I’ve been in the game. AG used to hate on Napa so much you’d never see a 100pt score, but he’s become more well rounded in my view. Now depending on the critic, you can basically understand their style preference and know what you’re likely to get. The day AG lays 100 on a Mike Smith, Russell Bevan or Kirk Venge wine I’ll know the world is really flat.

  • NickRut commented:

    3/13/21, 7:11 PM - He gave a Bevan wine a 98 this year so he’s coming around. A few realms got good scores and Mike’s top wine was 97 I believe. TRB gets respect too. He def is far less Napa loving than Jeb.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/13/21, 7:26 PM - Hi NR - yeah, I've noticed his scores coming around. When AG first took over for RP back in the day, man it was ugly. He had his Italian wine palate and gave perennial 99-100 wines like 92-93. Lol. RP had to take it back from him. He was persona non grata in Napa. Almost but not quite as bad as Tanzer.

    JD understands how the game is played, and is Mr. Wonderful in the valley - hanging out at BBQ's and giving everyone 96+ while handing out 100's like candy. Many wineries aren't even submitting to WA or V anymore. I think where AG has evolved to is a good place. His palate is more discriminating and I know what to expect when he rates a wine highly. With JD, no one really cares do they? I also appreciate LPB's palate. Most closely aligns with mine.

  • NickRut commented:

    3/13/21, 7:43 PM - I’ve seen the same evolution from AG. He’s getting wiser. Some stuff he loves I don’t quite appreciate as much but he is very difficult to get 100 pts out of. Jeb isn’t too bad but probably rates a couple points high. LPB does seem to be pretty solid. However I generally align best with a few of you folks on here so i guide my purchases on that. I did buy a few of the 18 FY wines because of AG and since I hadn’t heard of them.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/13/21, 8:05 PM - No doubt amateur reviews are becoming more influential, especially in a place like Napa with so much direct business and often times, very few cases made relative to French wines etc. RP used to completely move the market, and auction values would ride his scores. Now, there's no one reviewer out that that has that cache. Some in Napa really understand this dynamic with CT etc and use it to their advantage; others are still in the stone age.

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    3/14/21, 7:59 AM - I stopped following JD's reviews as of last year. I think he's more interested in being everyone's friend than giving honest reviews. AG & LPB are not afraid to call it like they see even with the most well respect producers. I also appreciate the vinous maps and the study of the history of these vineyards. Hard to say you can get that knowledge from following any other critic.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/14/21, 8:49 AM - I like JD's descriptions, but he lost me last year when he gave crazy high scores to 2017 wines that were just nowhere close to being deserved. That was galling. I like Bevan and all, but 97pts for the 17 Ontogeny is laughable (as one example).

    Interesting on the maps. I'll have to check that out.

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    3/14/21, 9:30 AM - Also, check out the live interviews which are fantastic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvR_VtoC6U8&t=1562s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doSQc_JD0kQ&t=474s

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    8/29/21, 6:03 PM - Coravine pull on this bottle tonight. Very impressive wine for $95. I bought one bottle to round out a 6 pack of sleeping lady. Going back in for more as I’d like to follow this wine over a decade. The perfume on this wine is intoxicating.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    8/30/21, 8:41 AM - Thanks for the update MJP!

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    8/30/21, 9:52 AM - Thanks for posting the original notes on this wine!

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    8/30/21, 11:40 AM - Sold out of the 18 Reserve. 19 releases in the Spring.

    Still some 18 Martinez left.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    8/30/21, 5:31 PM - Not that I was necessarily going to buy, but seems the only non-2017's left at 16 Sauv Blanc and 18 Classic Cab

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    8/30/21, 5:36 PM - Message from winery….

    Unfortunately, the 2018 Reserve is "Sold Out". The 2019 releases in the Spring of 2022.

    I have some 2018 Classic Cabernet Sauvignon @ $75 per or the 18 Martinez or 17 Sleeping Lady at the current prices.

    One other wine, 2018 Covert Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon @ $95 (https://www.covertestate.com/wines/)

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    8/30/21, 5:39 PM - Ah well, you wrote them. I just perused their site. Hi-Times near me has 3 bottles of the reserve for $95. I am in white wine phase, so no more for me now, but I do buy from them often. Maybe not so great for you...

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