Pulido-Walker Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard [Pre-arrival] 2018
JD100: Pure Napa Valley genius, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard comes from a vineyard on Pritchard Hill, just across from Colgin, and is all Cabernet brought up in around 80% new French oak. Stunningly pure notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, iron, crushed rock, and an almost meaty, bloody quality emerge from the glass, and this beauty is full-bodied, with a multi-dimensional, layered mouthfeel, loads of tannins, and a great, great finish. This flawless, heavenly Cabernet is going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and cruise for 20-30 years in cold cellars.
VM99: The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard emerges mostly from upper blocks on this site, a striking hillside that faces Colgin, where the steep exposure can yield wines of tremendous pedigree. That is exactly what comes through here. Inky red/purplish fruit, spice, rose petal, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco meld together effortlessly, with silky tannins that wrap it all up. Bold and luscious, but with tremendous nuance, the Melanson Cabernet is a total stunner in 2018. As I have written in the past, farming here has improved tremendously in recent years. This is another superb example of the quality that this site is capable of. Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown gave the 2018 a relatively short 10 days on the skins. I imagine he thought the site would take care of the rest. It's hard to argue with that. The 2018 is off the charts great. Don't miss it.