“Tom Thornton and Brenda Mixson’s property sits at the northern edge of Calistoga, near Jericho Canyon. Thomas Rivers Brown took over winemaking in 2012, but 2013 is the first vintage he and his team have overseen farming and winemaking from the beginning of the year through the harvest. Tasted from the barrel, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is terrific, and most importantly, full of promise. The GRADE is going to be a fascinating project to follow over the coming years, and hopefully, beyond." -- Antonio Galloni, May 2014
Galloni tasted this wine twice. His first notes came in 2014 when he remarked "The Grade's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate boasts tons of pure raw power, intense tannins and massive concentration. Waves of expressive dark fruit hit the palate with captivating intensity and never let up. The 2013 is going to be thrilling to follow over the next two-plus decades, even if today it is a bit of a brute."
Then, late last year, he went back and tasted the wine out of bottle. His was even more impressed. "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is just as fabulous as it was last year. Nuanced, chiseled and finely cut, the 2013 possesses remarkable precision throughout. White pepper, flowers and mint add a super-appealing upper register that balances some of the wine's darker leanings. This is a fabulous showing from The Grade."
He scored the wine 96 Points which, was even higher than some other releases from names like O'Shaughnessy, Pride, Continuum, Lokoya, Robert Mondavi and more.
Almost impossible to find. Ultra limited production.
Only 395 cases were made.
This is one of the reasons we are so thrilled to be able to offer to all of you today! When we travel to Napa, we are looking for wines just like this.Wines that are not available everywhere. Wines that are more difficult to find. Wines that we can introduce to all of you for the first time.
In this case, the amount we were able to buy was small because of the very limited production,
but we will thrilled to get what we have and can't wait for all of you to try it!
California Cabernet collectors take note here. If your cellar contains Napa Cabernet or Cabernet
blends from the likes of Caymus, Dominus, Insignia, Opus, Silver Oak or others... this is a no brainer!!
Made by Thomas Rivers Brown, one of Napa's biggest names
Notable winemaker has been involved with names like Outpost, Maybach, Schrader, Revana in
addition to his own project, Rivers-Marie
Galloni's notes are above. Below, you will find the notes from TRB on this most recent release of the Grade.
“In 2013 there was an abundance of positive confluence regarding wine grape growing for The Grade. One of the main goals in the vineyard each year is to take a step back and reflect on how to do things better and more advantageous given the conditions of the site. 2013 was a year where our adjustments in farming practices really began to show in wide-scale balance and evenness in both Blocks 1 and 5.
On top of the quality farming, we had an exceptional growing season that went deep into the fall allowing the fruit to fully mature at a steady pace. That is what every grape grower and winemaker hope for every year, and that positive confluence comes through in the finished wine.
Nuanced aromas of orange zest, spiced plum, gravelly soil, and sandalwood emanate from the glass. The palate has a very uniform, fine set of tannins that progress evenly from front to back encompassing notes of lavender, charred meat, nutmeg and blueberry extract. With a solid 3 hour decant this wine will show remarkably well today and with 3-5 years in your cellar it will unfold and reveal all the finer points of what good farming, a stellar vintage and a natural approach to winemaking can accomplish together" - Thomas Rivers Brown
Bottom line, these are the wines we are flat out thrilled to find and offer to all of you! Quantity today is limited so this is available while supply lasts!