It’s satisfying to see good things happen to big people. It is therefore gratifying in many ways that the Cabernet Blueprint Lail 2017 has been awarded the title of Best Wine 2020.

At the head of the winery is Robin Daniel Lale, one of the brightest minds in the wine industry. She is a true survivor of her ups and downs and investigates how, slowly and steadily, heavy trends can sometimes be overcome.

The ability to see past flashes is an important part of the Enthusiast 100. On the list of the best of the 25,000 bottles tasted each year by our team of world experts.

Leil was born in the Napa Valley and is the great-grandson of Gustav Nibaum, who founded Inglenook Winery in 1879 in Rutherford. She is also the daughter of John Daniel Jr. who came to this flourishing wine region in 1914 to live in Inglenuk.

Shannon, Robin and Erin Lale Shannon, Robin and Erin Lale / Courtesy of Lale Winery

According to a barren law, Daniel Inglenuk brought back glory and fame. He launched the Cabernet Sauvignon line, which has won awards around the world, including at the Golden Gate Bridge International Exhibition in San Francisco.

Some years were better than others.

 

Among those bad years was the sale of Inglenook to United Vintners in 1964 and the subsequent purchase by Heublein five years later. For many years, a once impressive name has been transformed into a wine brand in a decanter. This lasted until 1994, when the famous director Francis Ford Coppola came to revive it.

However, the direct connection between Leil and Inglenuk was interrupted. Instead, she rolled up her sleeves and worked with some of the pioneers of the new era in Napa, including her mentor Robert Mondavi and Christian Muykes, with whom she co-founded Dominus Vineyards. There’s also Bill Harlan, with whom she founded the Merryvale Vineyards.

Each shade is finely tuned to a set. The dominant blue fruit is beautiful and lush, with elastic tannins and well integrated oak.

A few decades ago it sold its shares in both partnerships to go its own way. In 1995, together with her two daughters, she founded Lail Vineyards, which continued her family’s relationship with Napa Valley. She was the first to hire Bordeaux winemaker Philippe Melka as a consultant to help her produce Leil wines. This partnership continues to this day.

Lail has learned the subtleties of what it takes to achieve perfection through years of work and application. It’s not a nocturnal hit. And it’s even better that one of Leila’s bottles is the best wine.

It took years of agricultural improvements, cellar development and mix testing to achieve this level of perfection and beauty. This is even more impressive for a vintage that is considered strong and will be grown in a context of heat and fire during the 2017 growing season.

Drawing of the Cabernet Sauvignon tail Thanks to the tail wines

The Cabernet Blueprint produced by Chalky and his team comes from three acres of Leil Winery, Mole Hill Estate, located at an altitude of 1,700 meters on Mount Howell, as well as other vineyards in the valley.

With a share of 11% Merlot and 6% Pti Verdo it has an enormous mixing capacity, not only in terms of varieties but also in terms of location. Each shade is finely tuned to a set. The dominant blue fruit is beautiful and lush, with elastic tannins and well integrated oak.

The wine is called Blueprint, after the man of Leil, John Leil, an architect whose work defines the landscape of the Napa valley. It also paid tribute to his work on the Protocol, a global initiative to combat climate change, which is a further testimony to its greatness.

Published on the 23rd. November 2020

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