About The Producer
AD VIVUM is a story of a special vineyard, a seasoned winemaker, a meticulous farmer, and Mother Nature.
AD VIVUM is a single-vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine crafted by Chris Phelps, a long-time Napa Valley winemaker who has earned a reputation for his ability to consistently produce unique wines that honestly reflect the terroir of their vineyard origin.
After many years of searching, Chris was introduced to Sleeping Lady Vineyard just south of Yountville by owner/farmer Larry Bettinelli, a fifth-generation farmer with a mission to do whatever it takes to grow Cabernet Sauvignon at the highest level. Chris & Larry had already collaborated on many small-lot experimental wines, starting in 1990, as Larry researched trellis design, clones, rootstocks and other key vineyard design features.
After several years of collaboration and experimentation with Sleeping Lady Cabernet, Chris knew for sure that this vineyard was not just one more Napa Cabernet vineyard – rather, it was simply some of the most exceptional vineyard ground in Napa Valley. Based on this knowledge, he made the commitment in 2007 to begin his own winemaking project.
Chris knew his new venture needed a name as big as the wine it represented - and that is where Mother Nature intervened. Chris found the inspiration from a personal experience in 2005 that further drove his passion for life and his love of winemaking – being struck by lightning and living to tell the story. Bringing together the Latin words AD (toward) and VIVUM (Vivere, to live + Vinum, wine) AD VIVUM was born – quite literally, in Chris’ mind – as the mystical intersection of wine and life.
Grape / Blend
Napa Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Ad Vivum is deep garnet red with a trademark Sleeping Lady iridescent violet edge. Aromas call to mind an array of profound fruits: cassis, plum, cherry and black raspberry, along with vanilla and espresso bean. In terms of texture, a slate-like minerality and very finely-grained ripe tannins are in harmony with sweet oak.
96 Points - Wine Enthusiast
A tiny production from winemaker Chris Phelps of Inglenook, this wine is softly round and richly structured, with a backbone of silky tannin and integrated oak. Black cherry and toffee mocha stand out most prominently around savory characteristics of sage, graphite and pencil. This is a lovely, elegant and 100% varietal wine.
96 Ponts - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A barrel sample produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from the Sleeping Lady Vineyard in Yountville, 56% from Clone 7 and 44% from Clone 191, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard gives up vibrant black currant, blackberries and violets notions with hints of black soil, roses and cigar box. The palate is full-bodied and concentrated with firm, grainy tannins and loads of earthy/mineral layers, finishing long and perfumed. It is anticipated that 437 cases will be made.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
From an up-and-coming vineyard that’s producing some spectacular wines these days, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard offers terrific crème de cassis, violets, graphite, and tobacco notes as well as a full-bodied, seamless, impeccably balanced style on the palate. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage yet has plenty of oomph. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 70% new oak, drink it any time over the coming two decades.
94 Points - Vinous
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard is pliant, succulent and super-inviting. Dark cherry, plum, lavender and sweet spice notes are all given an extra kick of plushness in a gracious, silky Cabernet that captures the essence of Sleeping Lady. The purity of the fruit alone is striking. Perfumed, suave and wonderfully detailed, the 2016 is exquisitely beautiful. When I think of reference-point wines from Sleeping Lady, Chris Phelps' Cabernet is very often on top of my mind.
93 Points - Wine Spectator
Dense and slightly chewy in feel, with intense black currant, fig and blackberry paste flavors supported by a tarry spine and rumbling through a ganache- and roasted alder–accented finish. Not shy on heft. For fans of the style. Best from 2022 through 2036.
Product size: 750ml