VHR, Napa Valley
Vine Hill Ranch

VHR, Napa Valley


Destination

vintage

portfolio
Portfolio
These wines are in stock and are available for delivery at your convenience.

2018
75cl
DP
£215.80

2018
3x75cl
DP
£647.39

Broking
Broking
These are wines from our broking list and have an average delivery window of 15 working days.

2018
3x75cl
DP
£647.39

2019
3x75cl
DP
£731.39

2019
3x75cl
DP
£767.39

En primeur
En Primeur
The following wines are either En Primeur or Ex-Chateau and currently abroad awaiting shipment to the UK. These wines are subject to final confirmation from the Justerini & Brooks team.

2020
3x75cl
EP
£575.00


Vine Hill Ranch, VHR, Napa Valley

2018
2019
2020

Tasting Notes


Maturity:
Keep

ABV:
14.8 %

Notes

This 11th iteration of the Phillip's family's VHR unfurls from the glass gaining in nuance and refinement as it takes on air.Iinitial richness is shot through with sparks of red berry, a fine seam of graphite, cool gravelly stones and then blueberry. Still very much in its primary phase it hits the palate and the just opened bottle grips and holds the tongue with a cloak of fine tannins, a sleek rich pool of dark fruit behind. Mouth filling and clearly intense, yet also nimble and almost refreshing, this is both powerful and very precise, finishing long but also somehow airy and transparent. It is very impressive to see density, concentration and length allied to such energy, latent freshness and layer after layer of flavour. Superb!

Critics score


Score:
98

100

Source:
Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Date:
07/2023

Notes
The 2018 VHR – Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is off the charts. What a wine. Nearly seamless in feel, the 2018 possesses tremendous stature and intensity from the very first taste. Dark-fleshed fruit, menthol, dried herbs, leather and graphite are some of the many notes that saturate the palate. The 2018 is a wine that continues to blossom, exceeding even my own early expectation. This is an especially fine showing, the best yet.

specifications

country:
USA

region:
California

Appellation:


style:

Grape Variety:

Allergen Information:
This product may contain sulphites. Full allergen information is available upon request, please call our Customer Relations Team on +44 (0)20 7484 6430.


Vine Hill Ranch

Vine Hill Ranch

Walking out into the family vineyard in the heart of prime Oakville in the early noughties, Bruce Phillips’ father Robert asked him a question; “Are the accolades being given to the wines coming out of this vineyard down to the vineyard itself, or to fancy winemaking?” At this time, the family had farmed the vineyard for over 40 years, supplying grapes to some of the valley’s most sought after bottlings. It was no secret to them or their partners just how special this vineyard was. Furthermore, Bob Parker had recently lifted the lid on Vine Hill Ranch being the source of Bill Harlan’s BOND Vecina bottling, so the wider wine world was sitting up and taking notice too. The only surprising thing for most of those involved was that Phillips family hadn’t yet tried releasing a wine.

Fast forward twenty years and the 2018 vintage marked just the 11th vintage of the Phillips family’s own VHR cuvee. It is a remarkable vineyard, a 70-acre plot that runs from the classic Oakville benchlands right up to the forest’s edge on the slopes of the Mayacamas range. Catching the morning sun, it borders Harlan Estate to the north and Christian Moueix’s Dominus to the east. It is a beautiful, undulating site, whose alluvial fans are dotted with rare seams of white volcanic rhyolitic bedrock. The family calls it moondust, such is its rarity and stark appearance. For many vintners, vineyards in the valley don’t get much better than this.

And indeed, many vintners have purchased Vine Hill Ranch fruit from the Phillips family. The vineyard has historical pedigree stretching back to the days of Andre Tchelistcheff and the iconic BV Georges de Latour bottlings that came in large part from this vineyard. And indeed way before that right back to the late 19th century. But it is really in the last 30 years, particularly post-phylloxera, that the vineyard has really cemented its place at the high table of Napa Valley vineyards.

It was Bruce’s father Robert who took the inspired and forward-thinking decision to plant the entire vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon in the aftermath of Phylloxera. This he did only after identifying a number of distinct vineyard blocks, which he would plant specifically to achieve the greatest expression of the single variety from each one. Today, the 7 blocks have been subdivided into 18 sub plots, each of them offering up another side of the vineyard’s personality. There’s even a block planted to the rare old Eisele clone; a mother block given to Bruce by Bart & Daphne Araujo when Eisele was sold, to provide material for future plantings. The fruit from the gnarled, low yielding bunches of this block (a sub-plot of block one) first appear in the blend with the 2016 vintage.

The seven identified blocks today play host to no fewer than 13 vineyard partners, 80% of whom release a coveted vineyard designate. Over the years the list of wineries and winemakers who have been seduced by the refined tannic structures and beautiful fruit purity of Vine Hill Ranch is like a who’s who of Napa vintner royalty: BOND, Lail, Colgin, Tor, Arrow and Branch, Cakebread, Mondavi, Araujo, Tchelistcheff have all been beneficiaries of this site, and there are many more.

For VHR, the family draw from parcels that sit across the seven blocks of the vineyard, to produce a single blend of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. Their simple aim is to show off the very best that this ideally situated site has to offer. Francois Peschon’s invisible winemaking weaves the various blocks together, allowing features of the more gravel rich benchland plots (blocks three and four) to co-exist with those from the steeper and more forest influenced blocks (blocks one and the upper parts of six). The results, as evidenced by recent vintages like 2016, 2018 and 2019 are now genuinely up there with the very best the valley has to offer.

In combination with vineyard Manager Mike Wolfe and winemaker Francois Peschon, Bruce and Heather Phillips have succeeded in producing a wine that in a little more than a decade, has cemented itself amongst the very biggest names in Napa’s illustrious upper echelons; a layered, nuanced, complex blend of the best plots from across a remarkable vineyard.

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