Hillside Select is a wine of a place, produced each vintage from carefully selected blocks of the hillside vineyards surrounding the winery. These grapes are small and deeply colored, with concentrated flavors enhanced by meticulous winemaking and extensive aging in French oak barrels. Hillside Select consistently expresses the voluptuous fruit, rich flavors and velvety texture that characterize grapes grown in Stags Leap District. The 2014 vintage opens with an aromatic wave of deep, intense fruit and spices such as black plum, blackberry pie filling, cassis, and anise, along with nutmeg, dark toast, and dried rose petals. The energy in the nose is just as dramatic in the mouth with open, beautiful ripeness, mocha, briar fruit, pomegranate, baking spice, and ripe tannins that collectors will recognize as offering the promise of sensational things to come in the cellar.
Very deep inky-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is incredibly intense and impactful on the nose, revealing notes of crushed black cherries, blackberries and fresh black currants with underlying notions of charcoal, sautéed herbs, black soil, chargrilled meat and pencil lead, plus a waft of violets. Very full-bodied, very rich and wonderfully concentrated, the wall of fruit is well matched by a firm structure of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing with great length and depth.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 98 pts
The famous wine lives up to its mighty reputation in this vintage. Densely packed in tones of red currant, cassis and cocoa powder, the palate offers a sublime texture that lingers despite an overall powerful punch of structure and tannin. Elements of crushed rock and black licorice unfold on the finish. Enjoy from 2024–2034.
- Wine Enthusiast, 97 pts
Lastly, the flagship 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (the only vintage where it wasn’t 100% was in 1984, when it included 9% Cabernet Franc) brought up all in high-class French oak. A textbook example of the balanced nature of the 2014 vintage, it offers a complex bouquet of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco leaf, and subtle minerality. Finesse-driven yet powerful on the palate, with full-bodied richness, its tannin structure is perfectly integrated into the wine, it has notable purity and freshness, and a great finish. It’s relatively approachable by this cuvée’s standard but has another 20-30 years of longevity ahead of it.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 97 pts