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 IX Estate is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal earth and mineral scents of iron ore, tilled soil, forest floor and truffles with ripe red and black currants, kirsch, Black Forest cake and mulberries plus nuances of tar, lilacs and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the palate has a rock-solid frame of firm, grainy tannins and exhilarating freshness supporting the taut, muscular fruit. Mineral and savory accents linger long into the epic finish. A thought-provoking, pensive, mesmerizing wine.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 100 pts.
Another perfect wine, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon IX Estate is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 14% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, all from the estate on Pritchard Hill. A monster of a wine that needs serious bottle age, it reveals a dense purple hue as well as a mineral-drenched bouquet of pure crème de cassis, charcoal, spring flowers, tobacco, and earth. Just incredible on the palate, it’s full-bodied and flawlessly balanced, with remarkable purity and a finish that won’t quit. Cabernet – or red wine for that matter – doesn’t get any better! It needs a solid 5-7 years of bottle age. but this legendary wine will see its 50th birthday in fine form.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 100 pts.
Extraordinary aromas of black truffles, blackberries, bark and violets. Essence of blackberries. Then it goes to crushed stones and pine needles. Aromatic perfection. Full-bodied with well framed tannins and beautiful dark fruit. Superb finish and intensity. Mountain character. Tannic at the end. Cooler and fresher undertone. 77% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc, 8% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Try after 2027.
- James Suckling, 98 pts.