WINEMAKER SELECT CUVÉES
2018 CHARDONNAY | SIMPATICO RANCH
96 points, Jeb Dunnuck
A wine that needs no introduction to the Argot faithful. Following the EPIC 2014 and 2015 vintages, Simpatico Ranch makes a grand return to the portfolio under the 2018 banner. With its 45-year old vines and singular terroir, we positively cherish the opportunity to work with this fruit.
Due to Simpatico’s particularly cool climate, cooler growing seasons often prove challenging. However, as October gloriously ticked along, each warm and dry day followed by the next, our giddiness for the potential here could not be contained. When harvest finally commenced on the morning of November 1st(!?!), it was obvious from the jump that a thrilling wine was in the works.
Per usual, our winemaking regimen remains strongly informed by the Meursault tradition. Perfectly golden clusters, no bigger than a fist, dripped green-tinged juice from the press, which was delivered directly to barrel (with all the goodies in-tow) for fermentation. Long, cool ferments continued fizzing away well into the new year. A bit of lees stirring at fermentation’s conclusion, followed by a year of barrel elevage on the heavy lees resulted in a extraordinary edition of this wine!
2018 “INDIGO” | SYRAH
96+ points, Jeb Dunnuck
A mesmerizing wine—massively delicious and monumentally complex—that eagerly awaits your presence.
Pouring shockingly dark, in the glass Indigo reveals a regal hue that exists somewhere in the spectrum between blue and violet. With each successive swirl the cornucopia of Syrah complexities—fruit, spice, garrigue and Earth—lures the nose in and dominates the senses. Bewitching and haunting, the palate exists as both overtly suave and generous, while remaining dense and unrelenting in its core. Indigo is a come-hither Syrah with head-spinning levels of everything.
2018’s harvest finally came to a close on November 4th, as the last of the Syrah destined for Indigo was delivered to the winery. While it felt touCh-and-go for Syrah as October neared its ides, October’s ideal closing weeks pushed these grapes over their finish line a mere three days before season-ending rains arrived.
2018 “BASTARD TONGUE” | PINOT NOIR
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck
For Bastard Tongue‘s 8th incarnation, Mother Nature delivered a stellar Pinot Noir growing season. The 2018 vintage was long, on the moderate side of warm, and lacked any disruptive weather events (heat or rain). This scenario allowed our vines the perfect ripening opportunity.
What arrives in the glass is a BT of unprecedented charm that retains all the impressive fruit and impact fans of this bottling have come to cherish. A beguiling wine, that is somehow both deftly elegant and intensely powerful with each swirl, sniff and sip.
Bastard Tongue‘s unbroken string of success has created expectations we relish, and are continually motivated to exceed. This is a pinnacle Sonoma County Pinot Noir, nearly two years in the making, that we could not be more excited to finally share with you.
2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON | SAGE RIDGE VINEYARD
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck
The untamed, dramatic, ridgetop landscape of Sage Ridge Vineyard delivers a wine that refuses to relent in its captivation of the senses. An incomparable expression of Cabernet Sauvignon due to its significant beauty, power and lift.
The massively pure fruit character charges out of the glass with unbridled enthusiasm, aromatically lifted by the unmistakable terroir-driven mélange of botanicals. Considering the intensity of flavor, everything is exactly in its right place, and the package is delivered with the utmost finesse. A wine that beautifully marries vintage with place.
The potential of this site remains endlessly exciting, and has only just begun its reveal. In an era when it can feel as if every stone has already been turned in Napa Valley, this terroir proves to be both fresh and of immense quality.
2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON | SUGARLOAF VINEYARD
94+ points, Jeb Dunnuck
A vineyard we have adored working with since 2010. One block. One selection. One of the latest harvests each vintage. As such, Sugarloaf turns out supremely classic wines. In its youth, structured and firm in its fruitfulness. With each passing year in the cellar, new layers of revelation unveil themselves.
2018 took Sugarloaf’s terroir to a new level. The cool growing season, coupled with October’s extended warmth, led to a perfectly-ripe crop, that produced a stunningly classic wine. Impeccably pure black and red fruit character, freshly-tilled earth, classic Napa notes of cigar leaf and eucalyptus, and a prominent hit of all-spice.
Per usual, this bottling’s beautiful structure, along with its deep well of nuance that unspools into the finish, leads us to encourage the burying of a few bottles in the back of the cellar.