Review: Wines of Clos du Val, 2016 Vintage
These wines were released at the end of 2019, representing some of Napa-based Clos du Val‘s most prized bottlings. All three of these bottlings are drawn from the 2016 vintage.
2016 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Franc Stags Leap District – Immediately inviting, the nose of the wine finds the depth of cabernet sauvignon with a floral edge on top. The wine’s palate is much more dense, with notes of dried blueberries, dark chocolate, spearmint, and a hint of spice — all giving the moderate tannins a lift. That said, it could use some cellar time to further develop. B+ / $100
2016 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Vineyard Stags Leap District – 100% cabernet. Surprisingly quiet. There’s a bold raspberry note — surprisingly sweet — that dominates, backed up by a brambly, chunky character that immediately dulls the entire experience. The finish feels both green and underdeveloped, slightly sour on the finish, as if the flavor has somehow been stripped out of it. Cellar time may change the equation, but this isn’t showing at the top of its game. B / $100
2016 Clos du Val Three Graces – Clos du Val’s top-end wine, this year made from 83% cabernet sauvignon, 16% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot – a much different blend than 2015’s release (see link above). It’s also quite a delight, a rich and expressive wine that folds together notes of mocha and caramel sauce with unctuous currant, blackberry, and black raspberry notes. The finish pushes all of this together but keeps the focus most squarely on the dense fruit notes. While ready to drink now, this wine will likely stand a solid 10-plus years in cellar before even thinking about fading. A / $175
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