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2016 Etude Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Etude Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Etude Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon


Tasting Notes

The 2016 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is fresh, vibrant and youthful showing remarkable depth and complexity, tributes of the cooler western bench of Oakville. Exhibiting notes of intense dark black cherry, red and black currants, dark chocolate, and supported by savory, earthy layers of dried lavender, black olive tapenade, graphite and black licorice. This Cabernet is exceptionally concentrated and balanced with fine-grained tannins that are well-integrated and smooth, leading to a long lingering finish. It will continue to open and evolve in complexity and hedonistic pleasure over many years to come.

Technical Information

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 2016
Appellation Napa Valley
Blend 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak Treatment 100% French oak barrels (75% new) for 20 months
Alcohol % 14.5%
Enclosure Type Cork
pH 3.89

Scores & Accolades

  • 93+
    Wine Advocate - "Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville is deep garnet-purple colored and features scents of blackcurrant pastilles, baked plums and black cherries with hints of wild thyme, cedar chest, pencil lead and mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, ripe, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long with layer upon layer of savory nuances. 227 cases were made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 13th, 2020
  • 92
    "Alluring, featuring waves of steeped loganberry, boysenberry and plum flavors, carried by a silky structure and infused with dark tea and mesquite nuances. Shows sparkle and detail through the mineral-tinged finish, with the fruit lingering pleasantly. A bit of an atypical profile for Oakville Cabernet, coming off as Burgundian in feel, but lovely nonetheless. Drink now through 2029. 227 cases made.” - James Molesworth
  • 95 - "I like the black tea and blue fruit to this flavorful, structured red with linear, polished tannins and a long, beautiful finish. It’s reserved and focused on the palate. Give it a two or three years to come completely together. Better after 2022.” - James Suckling


The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and fermented on their skins in open top fermenters. An extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels – using a selection of coopers and forests to accentuate the vineyard distinctions – where it aged for 20 months in 100% French Oak (75% new). Each lot was kept separate until final blending. The resulting wine was returned to barrel for an additional nine months of aging.


After a relatively dry January, significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than in 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. The extended season helped to balance acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Warm temperatures arrived as harvest began, but ultimately, everything came together in the best possible way.


Grapes were sourced exclusively from Block Three of the Vine Hill Ranch, planted to Clone 337, nestled along the hills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range at the south end of the Oakville AVA. The Phillips family has carefully managed this alluvial benchland vineyard with cobbly soils for three generations, home to some of the most expressive and concentrated Cabernet grapes in the Napa Valley. Michael Wolf, who has watched over Vine Hill for nearly two decades, makes certain the vineyard is healthy and offering its ultimate expression for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaker Jon Priest