99 points Jeb Dunnuck
Just about as close to perfection as a wine can get, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from winemaker Chris Carpenter comes mostly from mountain vineyards and is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot. This full-bodied, rounded, thrillingly textured beauty boasts a saturated purple color as well as a huge nose of crème de cassis, new saddle leather, barbecue smoke, and scorched earth. It has perfect integration of its fruit, tannins, acidity, and oak, carries remarkable power and intensity, yet still glides over the palate with no heaviness or sensation of weight. It’s going to be a legendary Napa Valley Cabernet and will have 3 decades or more of longevity. (JD) (1/2019)
98 points Decanter
Along with its sister brand Lokoya, Cardinale is the crown jewel of Jackson Family Estates. Longtime winemaker Chris Carpenter’s nickname is ‘mountain man’—a reference to his experience making wines from all four of Napa’s top mountain districts: Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain, Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain. Cardinale is a delicious symphony of mountain grapes from all of them. Very nuanced, with flavours that exude spiciness, savoriness, minerality, and a noble bitterness. Extraordinarily long. (KM) (10/2019)
97 points Wine Advocate
The deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot. It opens with compelling chocolate box and licorice scents over a core of black and red currants, warm plums and baking spices with hints of cedar chest and pencil lead. The palate is full-bodied with layers of cassis and kirsch flavors framed by firm, grainy tannins and fabulous freshness, finishing long and spicy. 4,772 cases produced. (LPB) (10/2018)
96 points Vinous
The 2016 Cardinale is distinctly aromatic and nuanced. In 2016, winemaker Chris Carpenter built Cardinale around a core of Spring Mountain fruit. Perhaps for that reason, Cardinale is a bit more refined in the early going than is often the case. Silky, fine-grained tannins and mid-weight structure frame expressive dark cherry, plum, chocolate and new leather, but it is really the wine’s overall feel that stands out most. A dollop of Merlot adds to a feeling of openness in this super-expressive Cardinale from winemaker Chris Carpenter. A range of sites in Stags Leap, Howell Mountain, Diamond Mountain, Mt. Veeder and St. Helena round out the blend. (AG) (12/2018)
96 points Wine Enthusiast
With 11% Merlot, the grapes sourced from multiple stellar sites, this captivating red impresses in its firm grasp of complex herb and spice. Sage, clove and woody tannin grip a core of currant, cranberry and high-toned red fruit, the texture dusty and lengthy. This will do well in the cellar, but is equally irresistible now. *Editors’ Choice* (VB) (3/2020)
Always stored on its side in a climate controlled cellar.
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