Vine Hill Ranch is a truly iconic Cabernet: a modern cult wine, an estate-grown wine with a real sense of place, the culmination of the Phillips family’s evolution from grapegrowing to winemaking over three generations. They’ve earned a real understanding of terroir through years of traversing the vineyard rows and tending the seven blocks by hand.
Winemaker Françoise Peschon’s approach to winemaking is to proceed with a minimal, gentle touch. Harvested in late September at optimal ripeness, grapes were hand-sorted, cold-soaked, and fermented by native yeast by vineyard lot. Following an extended maceration, the wine aged in new French oak for eight months before it was blended and returned to barrel for one year prior to release. Strikingly perfumed, intense yet lifted, it showcases the elegance, balance, and maturity of fruit from this unique benchland vineyard in southwestern Oakville. Lifted by a vein of minerality and bright acidity, the opulent palate imparts a complexity and lasting purity through a remarkably long finish.
“A bold, dramatic wine, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) appears to have a very bright future. What a gorgeous wine it is. A rush of blue/purplish fruit, lavender, menthol and spice infuse the powerful, structured finish. I tasted the 2016 from a base blend that may ultimately include at least one other block on the property.”
96-99 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, March 2018