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The Story

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, IX Estate Napa Valley Red is distinguished by complex fruit interplays, a luscious nose of rustic herbs, iron, clay and black fruits, huge layers of flavor and supple, sweet tannins impeccably well-balanced. The number IX refers to the parcel number and is also significant as the date Ann and Joe were married: 9/9. The 2002 vintage was the first, of four vintages, from this property to achieve the highest accolade of “a perfect wine”. Each year the blend displays extraordinary intensity, a beautiful purity, and a remarkably long finish. Approachable when young, it ages most gracefully

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2018 IX Estate is a wine of extraordinary depth and intensity. The aromatics along are positively dazzling. Crushed herbs, lavender, spice, menthol, chocolate, licorice and gravel lend tremendous power and gravitas. Just as impressive it was last year, the 2018 is positively riveting today. What a wine!

  • 99p

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot from the hills overlooking Oakville and Lake Hennessey, at 1,100–1,400 ft. Approximately 65% new oak (mainly Taransaud, with Sylvain M+ toast being the remainder). They have been gradually reducing the percentage of new oak since 2010. Total production 1,650 cases.
Very dark crimson with a bit of garnet at the rim. Dense colour with opaque core. Deep, rich, complex, deep in black fruit but also a more savoury, tarry quality. Woodland and spice. Extremely concentrated and extremely thickly textured. Knife and fork needed here and nowhere near ready to drink. Opens up to a bloody/iron note. Alcohol is high but does not stand out. This is huge, dark and charry/savoury on the finish. What I like about it is the lack of any sort of sweetness, either fruit or oak. Long, thick, deep. There's just a touch of the Cabernet Franc freshness but fresh is not the word for this wine even if it is not overripe. It is just madly concentrated. (JH)

  • 94p

The 2018 "IX Estate" begins with granite, charcoal, and sage aromas which transform into wild blueberry and black cherry. Salivating spices of turmeric and ginger add wildness and intrigue, building a strong sense of character in the wine. The texture of the 2018 "IX Estate" is intensely structured with sculpted tannins. The wine’s vibrant minerality and chiseled dense core stand out in its youth, yet will lead to a long, velvety quality on the palate as the wine evolves with time.

The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley will be remembered for its mild weather throughout the year. The dormant season of winter, however, began with an unusually dry spell. Half of the rain we received did not arrive until after March 1st. A modest 20 inches in total, slightly below our average (notably less than half of what fell in the unusual winter of 2017). By mid-April, the rains ceased and a contented season in the vineyard unfolded. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the entire season was the burgeoning grasses on the vineyard floor, a sign of the healthy soils.

Weather in May was cool, giving us moderate growth of the vines. A few sprinkles of rain occurred at the tail end, causing some flowers to shatter during bloom, resulting in looser clusters at harvest. Temperatures for the remainder of the season were incredibly mild. Much like 2013 and 2016, there was only 1 day over 100 degrees at the IX Estate for the entire year.

The Merlot and Syrah were harvested the last week in September, before a rain event the first week of October. Drying winds coupled with our timely removal of leaves enhanced airflow around the clusters. We began harvesting once again in the second week of October. The photogenic clusters harvested in 2018 had dark blue plump berries rich in flavor.

The wines of this vintage are classic and pure, with a spectrum of flavor and are aromatically pixelated. They exhibit an intellectual character which displays distinct moods with time in the glass. Counter to some vintages, the 2018’s transform from savory aromatics into deeply fruity aromatics rather than vice versa. As they open, their chiseled, firm tannins evolve into a very full, velvety texture.

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St. Helena, Napa Valley


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