Sourced from our oldest Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, 2018 Solari presents an exuberantly perfumed nose of red cherries, pomegranates, spiced rum, dark chocolate, molasses, and fresh pine forest. The wine continues to evolve with more time in the glass, exploding with bright red fruit aromas balanced by confectionary notes of toasted spices. This wine has at once both great length and levity; soft yet gripping tannins coat all corners of the mouth, giving way to a finish of cocoa and orange blossoms that lift and balance the momentous weight of the wine.
97 Points Decanter – “The flagship single-vineyard wine from Dan Petroski at Larkmead is remarkable in 2018. Comprised of two parcels at the southern border of Calistoga, bordering St. Helena. Soils are a combination of Cortina gravel and Pleasanton clay. A major level up in every dimension from the already fantastic Napa Valley Cabernet, the nose is enthralling: savoury and floral, ripe but restrained, smoldering and spry. The texture is seamless, multidimensional, bubt has a rustic authentically to it. A truly fantastic wine, and one to be looked to as a benchmark for balance, complexity, age-worthiness and transparency. Drinking Window: 2026 – 2059.”
97 Points James Suckling – “Beautiful aromas of currants, blackberries and flowers follow through to a full body with ultra fine tannins that are polished and so long and persistent. Linear and very, very fine, yet structured. Try after 2025, but already very impressive to taste.”
97 Points & Cellar Selection Wine Enthusiast – “This Cabernet Sauvignon is crunchy, textured and elegant. The palate is driven by grippy tannins, with lifted elements of herbs, crushed rock and violet lingering over ripe flavors of dark cherry and currant. Enjoy from 2028 – 2038.”
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck – “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari is all Cabernet and was brought up in mostly new French oak. A gorgeous wine from this estate, it has incredible notes of blackcurrants, camphor, new leather, and dried tobacco. It takes some air yet gets even more complex, with ample licorice and loamy soil notes developing as it sits in the glass. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has terrific overall balance, lots of underlying structure, and a great, great finish. It’s going to need 5-7 years for these tannins to melt away, but this is a beauty.”
93-96 Points Antonio Galloni – “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari is rich, ample and wonderfully expressive, with striking textural richness and density. Red cherry, red plum, cedar, tobacco, menthol, licorice and blood orange all open up in the glass. More than anything else, the Solari is a wine of textural depth and resonance. The 2018 is very promising; it is shaping up to be a real beauty.”
95 Points Wine Spectator – “Supersleek in feel, with a very precisely cut swath of cassis, bitter cherry and raspberry coulis notes coursing through, supported with sanguine and iron details and a flash of savory at the end. Restrained, refined and very long. Best from 2022 through 2036.”
94+ Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – “Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari (Black Label) was aged in French oak, 92% new. It sports a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notions of boysenberries, black and red cherry preserves and black currant pastilles with hints of garrigue, sautéed herbs and tobacco leaf plus a waft of charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is elegant and refreshing, features a racy backbone and has finely grained tannins that support the intense red and black fruits, finishing with refreshing herbal lift. 1,238 cases were made.”