The Great Californian Cellar

We are delighted to be able to offer a quite spectacular cellar of top, mature Californian wines of immaculate provenance.

The cellar was purchased from a single individual who has been collecting wine since the late 1970s. He had a temperature-controlled cellar built at his property in California and stored all of his purchases (which were mostly bought upon release) in this cellar. Many of the wines had been lying down in racks whilst some were in their original wooden or cardboard cases – unmoved since their purchase. The wine was airfreighted to Octavian Vaults in a temperature controlled environment.

There are photographs available of every single bottle of wine in this offer. Whilst the vast majority of bottles are loose, their conditions are, on the whole, immaculate – neck fills and excellent labels for the age – a clear sign of high quality, serious storage.

Californian wines (and Napa reds in particular) are often viewed as being unwieldy, too alcoholic and too concentrated. Whilst some are guilty, it is unfair to tar all with these labels. Where Bordeaux is given the benefit of the doubt, with many amateur and professional tasters alike stating that the wines need time to come together, California is rarely allowed such a luxury. The bottom line is that many of these wines are tasted when too young and written off too soon. As with all Cabernet, they really need time to mellow and hit their straps. If given the respect and time that they need, California can produce some truly special Cabernets that often show strongly in blind tastings against their Old World counterparts.

These are some of the very best wines from some of the region’s top producers in some of the greatest vintages of the past 30 years. This really is a remarkable collection – a rare opportunity to acquire some wonderful wines in excellent condition with fantastic provenance.


Minimum order – 3 loose bottles. All wines are in stock.



ARROWOOD

The Arrowood property was founded in Sonoma by Richard Arrowood in 1986. Back then, Napa was the first port-of-call for serious Cabernet and Sonoma was yet to find its feet. However, Arrowood was already experienced enough in the industry to see the potential that Sonoma’s terroir had to offer. Arrowood’s Reserve Speciale became the first premium Sonoma Cabernet and quickly put the region on the map - so much so that in 2000, Robert Mondavi bought the property. Today it is under the ownership of Jackson Family Wines, who make some of the finest Sonoma Cabs through their Verité operation.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1997Cabernet Sauvignon Réserve Spéciale, Arrowood

Not in original carton

BT101,500.00
1,380.00
cs96 TFAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

An ideal combo of youth and age, this is lush and rich, but still has backbone and muscle. Non-blind Arrowood tasting (February 2015)

96 points, Tim Fish, Wine Spectator, February 2015


BERINGER

Founded by two German brothers, Beringer’s first vintage was 1876. Until their deaths in the early 1900s, Beringer was regarded as one of California’s top producers. Prohibition coupled with poor management led to a very swift decline until Nestlé rescued the property in 1971. Huge investment followed as did several other changes of ownership but, despite this turmoil, quality remained consistent thanks in no small part to the loyalty and consistency of a handful of winemakers. Their best wine is undoubtedly the Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a selection of the best plots across their different vineyards. Home Vineyard is made from vines on the original estate (including one of the first hillside plots at 1000 feet on Spring Mountain).

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1992Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, Beringer

Not in original carton

BT201,200.00
1,080.00
cs92 RPAdd to Basket
U.S.A.1991Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, Beringer

Not in original carton

BT091,500.00
1,380.00
cs96 RPAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Please click the specific wine above for tasting notes.


LA JOTA VINEYARD CO.

La Jota has one of the richest and deepest histories of all Napa wineries. George Yount (who gave his name to the town of Yountville) was given the estate, then known as Rancho La Jota, by the Mexican Government in the late 19th century. Like many wineries, it was abandoned during prohibition but by the 1970s it was up and running again. Its fortunes continued to improve when Helen Turley, later founder of Marcassin, took over the wine-making reins and the property began to make a real name for itself. The 1990s in particular saw La Jota make some of the finest mountain-grown wines in California, (the vineyards are on Howell Mountain). This quality was especially evident in the Anniversary bottlings.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1995Cabernet Sauvignon 14th Anniversary, La Jota

Not in original carton

BT081,200.00
1,080.00
cs94 RPAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Please click the specific wine above for tasting notes.


CHATEAU MONTELENA

Founded in 1882, Montelena is one of the oldest wineries in California and one of Napa’s most northerly. The excitement around the property reached fever pitch after Stephen Spurrier’s Judgement of Paris tasting, where Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first place by an all-French panel ahead of French equivalents. When the trend was for over-extracted Cabernet, Montelena was often ignored as the style here is very much about balance and elegance. Arguably the estate’s finest years (until a renaissance recently) came in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. These wines are drinking brilliantly now as they are at their perfect level of maturity.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1992Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Château Montelena

Not in original carton

BT0111,950.00
1,740.00
cs95 RPAdd to Basket
U.S.A.1990Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Château Montelena

Not in original carton, slightly bin soiled

BT061,950.00
1,740.00
cs94 JLBAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Please click the specific wine above for tasting notes.


SILVER OAK

Silver Oak was born in 1972 with one mission – to make the best Cabernet Sauvignon possible and to just stick to one grape varietal. This was very odd when, at the time, most wineries in California had huge portfolios. Another brave decision was to dispense with technical winemaking and to focus on feel and intuition. The result was wines that were silky, velvety and very easy to drink, making them hugely popular very quickly. The Alexander Valley Cabernet tends to be a little more restrained than the Napa Valley bottling.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1991Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Silver Oak

Not in original carton

BT101,150.00
1,020.00
cs92 RPAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Please click the specific wine above for tasting notes.


SILVERADO VINEYARDS

Silverado has its beginnings firmly rooted in celebrity. Diane Disney Miller, the daughter of Walt Disney, bought this property in the Stag’s Leap District which was owned by Harry See of See’s Candies at the time. In 1981 Silverado turned out their first vintage. Thanks to winemakers staying for relatively long periods of time and it being a labour of love for the Miller family, the wines are consistently good and very reasonable value for money. Their best wine was bottled as ‘Limited Reserve’ and this 1991 was the very first vintage of it.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1991Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Reserve, Silverado Vineyards

Not in original carton

BT101,800.00
1,500.00
cs93 RPAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Deep, rich and focused, with herb-laced currant, black cherry and plummy fruit. Tightens up and turns richly tannic on the finish, with a touch of pencil lead. Has the balance and concentration for further cellaring.

92 points, James Laube, Wine Spectator (January 2002)


SPRING MOUNTAIN VINEYARD

This estate has had a very complicated and turbulent past. In short, its original inception (founded 1964) made decent if not rustic Cabernet and then it went bust in 1992. At that point it was bought by a Swiss investor who poured money into an aggressive expansion project which involved buying up neighbouring properties, all of which had their own historical significance. The result is a huge property with a vast array of microclimates and altitudes. Despite the scale and unlike its first bottlings, quality is now the key focus and only the best wine ends up in bottle with a vast amount being sold off in bulk, seen as unfit to bear the Spring Mountain Vineyard name.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1997Proprietary Red Reserve, Spring Mountain

Not in original carton

BT271,080.00
960.00
cs95 JLBAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

A big, rich, dense and distinctive California red that adds some earthy, leathery dimensions to its appealing core of currant and plummy, minerally Cabernet fruit flavors. Tightens on the finish, with mouthcoating tannins.

95 points, James Laube, Wine Spectator (February 2001)


ODDS & ENDS

Along with the marquee names already presented in this offer, there were several other very interesting bottles that, due to the very small number of bottles available of each, did not make it onto a full page producer profile. These are listed below.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
U.S.A.1997Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, Anderson's Conn Valley

Not in original carton

BT0155.00
50.00
bt92 STAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Please click the specific wine above for tasting notes.