Wow—it comes strutting out of the glass with flamboyant crème de cassis, ripe plums and black cherries notes followed by nuances of aniseed, chocolate box, wild thyme, violets and chargrill plus a fragrant suggestion of potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the densely packed perfumed black fruit layers are beautifully framed by perfectly ripe, finely grained tannins and fantastically knit freshness. It finishes long with the most incredible display of mineral sparks. 2,300 cases were produced. 100 points
Composed of 82% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot and 6% Malbec, the very deep purple-black colored 2016 Le Désir is a little closed to begin, opening out to reveal absolutely stunning scents of potpourri, roses and orange peel over a core of crushed blackcurrants, black cherries and dark chocolate with touches of cinnamon stick and cloves plus a waft of forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is exquisitely delicate and refined, with super ripe, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing with epic persistence. 3,500 cases produced. 99 points
The 2016 La Joie is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black in color, it gives up the most gorgeous scents of lilacs, baking spices, incense and star anise with a core of warm cassis, Black Forest cake, redcurrant jelly and unsmoked cigars. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, it has a firm frame of very ripe, grainy tannins and bold, multilayered black fruit, finishing very long and very spicy. 3,200 cases produced. 98 points
***La Muse - 100 points***
"Including the highest percentage of Merlot (at the moment anyway), the 2016 La Muse checks in as 93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Malbec that spent 15-16 months in roughly 90% new French oak. This magical wine shows how good Merlot (and Sonoma) can be and offers extraordinary notes of crushed violets, spring flowers, scorched earth, graphite, black cherries, and crème de cassis. As elegant and seamless as they come, it’s full-bodied, perfectly balanced, has an incredible spine of acidity and tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. It has the class and purity to drink well even today, but it’s not going to hit prime time for at least another decade and will keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!"
***La Joie - 100 points***
"Another perfect wine is the 2016 La Joie, which is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot sourced all from the estate vineyards in the Pocket Peak portion of the Alexander Valley. This full-bodied, powerful yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignon couldn’t be better and has incredible purity, layers of crème de cassis, white flowers, tobacco leaf, and flowers, a deep, multi-dimensional texture, and loads of ultra-fine tannins. I’d confidently put this up against any Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. As with the La Muse, it has the balance, purity, and class to drink spectacularly well even today, but it’s another wine that will benefit from a decade of cellaring and keep for 40-50 years."
***Le Desir - 99 points***
"The 2016 Le Desir checks in as 82% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 6% Malbec. Readers looking for world-class Cabernet Franc should beg, borrow, or steal to get hold of a bottle of this. Incredible floral, violet, forest floor, lead pencil, and cassis notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied red that’s flawlessly balanced, has ultra-fine tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. More intellectual and elegant than the La Joie, it’s still a wine of incredible intensity and class that builds incrementally on the palate, has an exotic, singular character, and the class to evolve for 30 years or more."