Encosta by GandonaCabernet Sauvignon 2016

Pritchard Hill, Napa Valley
$95 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $85)

Gandona Estate vineyards are planted atop the steep terrain of Pritchard Hill which is coined as “Oakville on a hill” as it is where some of the best of the best Napa wineries are sourcing their fruit from. No one can label their wines with “Pritchard Hill” because Chappellet trademarked that name. But if you know, you know.

Combine Pritchard Hill quality grapes with brilliant winemaker Philippe Melka, and you’ve got Gandona. Philippe spent much of his youth in Bordeaux, France, earning a geology degree from the University of Bordeaux. On a whim, he took a wine course in his final year of study – a decision that changed his life. Yearning to know more, Philippe traveled to Napa Valley (Dominus Estate), Western Australia (Chittering Estate), Chianti in Italy (Badia O Coltibuono) and Bordeaux (Chateau Petrus), where he divided his time between soil study and winemaking.

Philippe has been named one of the top nine wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker. Using the knowledge he gained from his experiences around the world, Philippe has devoted the past 15 years to winemaking in Napa as a consultant to the most highly regarded estate wineries and as co-proprietor of Melka Wines with his wife, Cherie.

This wine is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. We would recommend this for Thanksgiving if you skip the turkey and opt for a roast lamb, beef tenderloin, or braised short rib.

“The 2016 Gandona Vineyards Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon is very deep garnet-black in color and scented of warm plums, crushed black cherries and black berries with touches of pencil lead, cedar chest, menthol and fragrant earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with wonderful freshness and great intensity of red and black fruits in the mouth, with a grainy frame and minty lift to finish.” – 91 points, The Wine Advocate

Taylor Morgan – November 2021

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