Sweet white chocolate with currant, plum and subtle hazelnut on the nose. Some other spices, such as nutmeg and cloves. Floral. Full-bodied with extremely fine tannins that go on and on. Beautiful center plate that is dense yet polished and fine and continues on. Exceptional. Fantastic finish. Drinkable now, but needs four or five years to show it’s true greatness.
Helms vineyard consists of five acres on gravelly loam, right on the northern edge of the Rutherford bench, planted in 1997 and 1998 to Cabernet Sauvignon clones See and 337. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Helms Vineyard is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rolls out of the glass with seductive scents of Morello cherries, blackcurrant pastilles and mulberries with hints of chocolate mint, violets and forest floor, plus a waft of cinnamon toast. Full-bodied, the palate has an ethereal weight, dancing with bright, vibrant black and blue fruits and a lively line of freshness, textured with beautifully ripe, velvety tannins, finishing long and mineral laced. Wow. 422 cases were made. I'm continually awed by the level of dedication, attention to detail and no-compromises attitude at Dana Estates. The three recent vintages tasted (2017, 2018 and 2019) show off the very best Napa Valley has to offer in these years.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Helms Vineyard is a pretty, sensual wine that shows the more restrained style of the year. Soft and open-knit, the 2018 is quite expressive today, its recent bottling notwithstanding. Red/purplish berry notes mocha and raspberry jam all grace this exquisite, wonderfully nuanced Cabernet Sauvignon.