2018 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2018 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley
Regular Price $72, Insiders Special $59.99 with shipping included on 6 bottles or more
One of the leitmotivs at PRIMA these past few years has been reaffirming our relationships and commitments to the Old School aristocracy of the California, the wineries and winemakers that grew up along with us, paid their dues along with us, and set the stage for the newest wave of the Valley’s micro-producers to gain the prestige and success they now enjoy. Our path has led us back over the past year to wineries like Heitz, School House, Duckhorn, Calera, Corison, Larkmead and many others: properties that not only created the template for California’s success way-back-when, but have remained relevant and even thrived in this Brave New World. One of the stalwarts we admire most from the halcyon days when you could actually make a turn across traffic onto Highway 29 is Groth. Their long term success is attributable to both real estate (the Groth’s estate vineyard sits in the middle of Oakville’s high rent Cabernet tenderloin with neighbors like Opus One and Screaming Eagle) and remarkable consistency. Since the winery’s founding by Dennis and Judy Groth in 1981 there have been only a couple of winemakers; the now-retired, ex-Mondavi/Vichon winemaker Michael Weis was at Groth for nearly thirty years and his successor Ted Henry is only the fourth winemaker ever. And, since the very first vintages of Groth Napa Valley Cabernet hit the streets in the mid-eighties to immediate acclaim (the 1985 Cab Reserve was the first California wine ever anointed with 100 points by Robert Parker!) the style has changed not at all! It remains an elevated, very pure expression of Oakville: honest, focused, long-lived and thoroughly delicious. As an ardent advocate of balanced wines that still have personality, it always gives me great pleasure to drink a Groth Cabernet. Back in the days when I was teaching wine, even though I had a cellar full of old Mondavi, I loved to showcase Groth in comparative tastings of Napa Valley appellations and the terroir of Oakville.
The 2018 Cabernet shows Groth at the top of its game- a top vintage for Oakville and a world-beater here. I have a glass right here alongside as I write this- here are the intense black currants, the whiff of snapped pencil-graphite, chocolate mint and the layers of flavors that show themselves only begrudgingly with air. Not massive but not mid-weight either- a classic of the ‘weighty-but-not-heavy’ school that draws its inspiration from Bordeaux. And the finish. The finish that hints at the sweetness to come, the tannins that will keep it for years and the quality for which this wine has been known for over thirty years. In a valley where wines like this routinely top three digits in price, it’s easy to mistrust real value when you’re looking right at it…..but look no further. It was right in front of us the whole time!
Vinous Media: A wine of depth as well as energy, the Oakville Cabernet is both complete and absolutely delicious. Time brings out a whole range of leather, spice and chocolate notes to play off a core of intense, dark-fleshed fruit. ... In a word: impressive. 94 points