Robert Parker 95-97 Points The barrel sample of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvée (100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the identical sources) exhibits beautiful, sweet tannin, loads of charcoal, a full-bodied flavor profile of blue and black fruits, softer tannins and a more open-knit, up-front appeal than the somewhat firm and more closed blockbuster 2013. In keeping with this vintage character, the wine is very showy, charming and should drink beautifully when released in a year or so, evolving gracefully for at least two decades.
Vinous 91-94 Points "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon John Daniel Cuvée offers up a compelling mélange of smoke, minerals, graphite and crushed rocks that nicely balances the deep, inky fruit that is such a signature of this bottling. Robin Lail and here winemaker, Philippe Melka, push ripeness to the edge. The 2014 has a bit more freshness and energy than is the norm, both of which offer an attractive counterpoint to the wine's unctuousness.
Lail Vineyards traces its Napa Valley roots back five generations to the founding of Inglenook in 1879 by Gustav Niebaum, great-grand uncle of Robin Daniel Lail. Passed down to third generation owner John Daniel Jr., Inglenook thrived under his direction from 1933 to 1964 as he played a major role in the development of the Napa Valley appellation. He was recently inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone. Today, Robin and her family partnerships continue the passionate quest to produce some of the finest wines in the world.
Lail saw its first vintage in 1995. For the first 5 years of production, the winery produced sole the J. Daniel Cuveé. In 2001, they introduced the Blurprint Cabernet Sauvignon and Georgia's Sauvignon Blanc to their library.
Today, Philippe Melka is Lail's winemaker. A Bordeaux native, Philippe grew up staging in reputable wineries such as Château Haut Brion, Dominus (owned by Château Pétrus). Robin Lail, a co-founder of Dominus, met Philippe there and brought him on board the Lail team shortly thereafter.