In February this year, we were invited to taste the magnificent 2018s from Abreu courtesy of the UK importer, Pol Roger. Presented by the irrepressible winemaker Brad Grimes, the Madrona Ranch, Cappella, Thorevilos and Las Posadas were a sublime quartet. Each effortlessly highlighted why Abreu is a benchmark for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and California fine wine.
Abreu – A Napa Icon
“Is anyone anywhere in the world making more consistently profound wines than the famous viticulturist David Abreu and his long-time sidekick and assistant, former chef Brad Grimes?” – Robert Parker 2016
Abreu sits comfortably at the top of the qualitative tree when it comes to fine Napa Cabernet. The Madrona, Cappella, Thorevilos and Las Posadas have attracted huge scores, effusive notes from the critics and a fanatical following over the years. Having tasted these 2018s it’s easy to see why.
Much of the success here must, of course, be attributed to David Abreu; but also to the brilliant Brad Grimes. A passionate but down-to-earth and enthusiastic speaker, Grimes is a winemaker that seems to make crafting some of the world’s best wines easy, delve more deeply into what he is saying and it’s clear that it’s anything but.
Grimes has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his vineyards while also making full use of a vineyard team with decades of experience in working these vines. This, in combination with meticulous attention to detail – picking vine by vine and cluster by cluster to ensure perfect ripeness, means Grimes can have a light touch in the winery. The results are stunning.
The Wines: Ethereal, noble and very sophisticated Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
This was a sublime tasting, with all of the wines showing superbly.
The 2018 Abreu Madrona Ranch was characterised by red fruit, a soft and silky mouthfeel and firm yet yielding tannins. These lead through to an expansive finish that hints at greatness to come. For Joe Czerwinski of the Wine Advocate, this is a perfect wine and has a 100-point score.
Abreu’s 2018 Cappella is a lovely counterpoint in 2018 and is deep brooding and structured in 2018. Czerwinski rates this at 99 points.
The 2018 Las Posadas is as rare as it is good as just 2,000 bottles of this were made. Few will have the chance to experience the complex and gorgeous darkly fruited nose and epic finish. Jeb Dunnuck is a huge fan, rating it at a potentially perfect 99+ points.
Finally, we tasted the 2018 Thorevilos. The biggest and most powerful of the quartet, this is voluptuous and mouth-filling while always being balanced and harmonious. The most overtly ‘Napa’ of the wines, it was brilliant in 2018 and has a perfect rating from Jeb Dunnuck.
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