Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Robin Lail and her husband is still a baby in terms of development. Notes of sweet damp earth, forest floor, charcoal, graphite, black currants and white chocolate emerge from this full-bodied, complete, textured wine. It needs another 2-4 years of cellaring to resolve its tannin, but it is a long, pure, rich, riveting example of Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink well for another two decades or more.
Made from Howell Mountain grapes, yet rich and approachable in youth. There are huge, chewy tannins, but they're sweet, and frame black currant and cherry-chocolate fudge flavors. This makes it sound like a dessert wine, but it's dry and balanced and entirely satisfying.
Robin Daniel Lail’s heritage began in 1879 with the founding of Inglenook Vineyards by her great -granduncle, the iconic Captain Gustave Niebaum. By the early 1890s, this brilliant man’s obsession for achieving the pinnacle of excellence earned Inglenook wines the status of being considered by many as the finest produced in the country.
The determination to achieve excellence was carried forward through the decades following Niebaum’s death in 1908, with a crescendo in the thirty years following the repeal of Prohibition under the meticulous, passionate stewardship of John Daniel, Jr., Robin’s father. The collection of Cabernets coming from his years of ownership is still celebrated today as some of the finest red wines on earth.
Although Inglenook was sold in 1964, the passion for winemaking did not fade. Robin inherited her father’s respect for tradition. After working as the personal assistant to her mentor, Robert Mondavi, for five years, she left in 1982 to co-found Dominus Estate with Christian Moueix. The following year she co-founded Merryvale Vineyards with Bill Harlan, serving as president for a decade, before finally launching on her eponymous venture, Lail Vineyards, with her two daughters in 1995. Today her family honors his legacy with their relentless pursuit to produce wines second to none.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wine. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.