Tierra Roja Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, 2017/2018
Overview of the Wine "Winery owner and vineyard manager Linda Neal has managed vineyards around Napa for the past 20 years. More recently, she chose to focus on her own vineyard, near Oakville, where the land has been planted to vines as early as the 1920’s.
This is a gem of a wine that garners critical acclaim year after year. Prior to its first release, it was, in fact, a “secret” wine: Neal made the wine in private for three years before she was certain that she could release an exceptional wine on a consistent basis. This is an elegant yet powerful Cabernet that captures the essence of the estate vineyard’s unique red soil (tierra roja). The colour is so remarkable that when it is bare, the soil can be seen like a blaze from the far side of the valley.
Tierra Roja consistently produces some of the finest wines Oakville has to offer: there are no rough edges evident, just a solid core of expansive flavour. The wine plays out on the palate in seamless layers of cherry, blackberry, spicy plum, and mocha. Integrated and opulent, this vintage has soft, round tannins and promises serious longevity.
Beginning with the 2015 vintage, Jeff Ames has been the winemaker for Tierra Roja. Jeff is acclaimed for many of his wines, including his own Rudius brand. Jeff has been making wine from Tierra Roja grapes since 2010, as the winemaker for Tor Kenward, where he fashions the TOR Tierra Roja vineyard designate, among others. He also blends some of the Tierra Roja fruit into Rudius."
Grape / Blend Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin Napa Valley, California
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast Spicy and concentrated in red fruit, this is a stunning wine from vineyard owner Linda Neal and Winemaker Jeff Ames. Spicy in black pepper, sage and oak, it effortlessly combines deft, dense layers of briary blackberry and plum with inviting flavors of dark chocolate, clove and coffee. It is lush in texture and well integrated. Time in the cellar is recommended; enjoy 2026–2036. - Virginie Boone