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Community Tasting Notes (5) Avg Score: 95.3 points

  • Enjoyed with Shae Kinsman at Wheeler Farms. There is a lot of hype behind this wine and after tasting... it's well deserved. This is just a beautiful, delicate wine that amazingly has some drinkability in it's early youth, in fact it's what Shae used to lead off our tasting of this and the Kinsman Eades wines. Gorgeous expressive nose, with a soft mouthfeel. Tannins grip the tongue, but they're not aggressive. Beautiful black and red fruit. Structure is there to let this one go the distance, but I think in about 5 years this should be singing. Aged in french oak and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Petit Verdot (12%) and Cabernet Franc (8%). The $275 a bottle price tag is steep, but worth it. Sign up for this list now as the inaugural release will be first come, first served.

    6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Comments (24)

  • 2021 Napa - June 9-12: What an opener, I’m buying this. There are wines you can smell and taste early in their development and just know you are going to have trouble waiting on them to develop into beauty queens. This is one of those. Darker fruit profile, structured and chalky tannins, not a very helpful description, but just know this was delicious. Put these away for 5-7 years (longer for me) and then decant.

    4 people found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Comments (23)

  • Napa - All my COVID finds; 4/29/2021-5/5/2021 (Napa): Not much to add that hasn't been said in other notes. I definitely second the dark cherry/plum notes mixed with scorched earth on the mid palate. I found this wine really fun to drink.

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  • 3 days in Napa: Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Maxem, The French Laundry, Christopher Tynan, Kinsman, Harlan, Vice Versa, Accendo, Fairchild, Macdonald, and a truckload of others (Napa): This wine zips by the front end and rushes straight into mid-palate pleasure, with deep and dark plum and red and black cherry flavors complimented by earth and subtle spice notes. Stays ever-juicy until it hits the finish, drying up on the tail just enough to beautifully marry the tannins with the fruit into a crescendo that elongates the semi-serious finish. Again, a juxtaposition of sophistication and party-rockin’ flavor appear to be a hallmark of the winemaker here.

    Give the Bella Oaks 3+ years of cellar time minimum before tearing into a bottle. Ideally, I’d hold this for even longer to really get a sense of where it’s headed (5-7 years), but really who’s waiting that long to try their first bottle?! 95+ points.

    5 people found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Comments (27)

  • Fortunate to get an early preview of this wine. Obviously Bella Oaks has a storied history with Heitz and then Staglin, so I was super curious to see what Nigel and company was able to produce. Despite making some wine in 2016 and 2017, this was the first vintage that met the high standard necessary for release, and it's a knockout.

    I was able to follow this over two days, and it kept getting better and better with more air. Clearly the sign of a very good wine. A blend of mostly cabernet with little parts cab franc and petit verdot, the nose shows red cherries, violets, tobacco and loamy soil. Showing bright acidity and seamless freshness, this rides a bit higher on the palate than the Kinsman wines, but over time continues to put on weight and shows compelling levels of concentration and depth of flavor. The fruit is mostly blue and red, and the acidity and structure really shine. There's a nice mineral driven streak that shows on a long finish. This is another crazy good first vintage like Kinsman La Voleuse.

    3 people found this helpful, do you? Yes - No / Comments (13)

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  • By Antonio Galloni
    Napa Valley’s Thrilling 2018s & 2019s, Part 1 (Jan 2021), 1/1/2021, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon . Napa Valley Red) Login and sign up and see review text.

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