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Review: Wines of Clos du Val, 2018 Releases

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A full passel of new releases from Clos du Val, these six wines run the gamut from summer sippers to serious steakhouse experiences. Let’s dig in.

2017 Clos du Val Estate Rose of Pinot Noir Carneros – Fruity but also floral, this strawberry-scented offering is moderately acidic but also chewy — perhaps a bit gummy at times. Some notes of pineapple upside down cake offer sweetness, but a big, flowery finish ultimately reminds you this is truly a classic rose at heart. B+ / $30

2016 Clos du Val Estate Chardonnay Carneros – Solid chardonnay, through and through. Light oak and gentle roasted meat notes kick things off, but the guts of the experience is bright and lively, with notes of pear and buttery baked apples leading the charge. Silky on the tongue, with a toasty finish. B+ / $32

2016 Clos du Val Estate Pinot Noir Carneros – A very light example of the style, with fresh fruit, slightly sweet but cut by a bit of acidity, its berry notes finding a floral element at times, but also a touch of brown sugar. Relatively simple — despite a finish of licorice candy — but highly drinkable. B+ / $38

2015 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Simple but well structured, this is a vibrant wine with lots of fruit (and a bit of sweetness on the back end), including loads of blueberry and strawberry notes, plus hints of chocolate. The tannin structure isn’t the strongest, but there’s enough here to at least remind you this is Napa cabernet. Again that silky finish helps smooth out any rough edges. B+ / $52

2015 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Vineyard Stags Leap District – This single vineyard cabernet sauvignon (100% cab) is a powerhouse from the start, a monster showcase of cassis and red berries, restrained raisin notes, and ample dark chocolate. Long on the palate with lingering notes of spice and cocoa powder, it’s an iconic example of Stags Leap cabernet… and the best wine in this lineup. A / $120

2015 Clos du Val Three Graces – 54% cabernet sauvignon, 45% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot. The two “cabs” duel for superiority here — with ample cassis and dried herbs, and a smoldering molasses note that comes up from the deep to take things into a lightly raisiny/pruny direction. Intense but approachable, it’s got silky chocolate notes alongside graphite, licorice, and lingering red berries on the finish. A- / $175

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Summary
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Reviewed Item
2015 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Vineyard Stags Leap District
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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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