CORNELL CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 VM98
98 pts Vinous
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant and nuanced from the very first taste. Over the last year, the 2018 has developed from a powerhouse into a much more refined wine. There is plenty of mountain tannin and structure, but those elements are completely enrobed by the fruit. Hints of iron, cedar, dried herbs, mint and sweet red cherry fruit emerge with a bit of time in the glass. The 2018 is a very rare, quintessentially elegant mountain Cabernet. Best of all, the 2018 won't take years to come together. I would drink it ahead of the 2016 or 2017, but if opened young it needs several hours of aeration. - By Antonio Galloni on December 2020
98-100 pts Vinous
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine that establishes Cornell as a major player in California. The last few vintages provided some clues as to where this wine was going, but the 2018 really crystallizes all of the investment and work that has been done here over the years. Dark, voluptuous and incredibly alluring, the 2018 simply has it all. Black cherry, graphite, leather, menthol and spices are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop with a bit of time in the glass. My only regret is having had to move on to my next appointment, as the 2018 was absolutely riveting when I tasted it last fall. - By Antonio Galloni on October 2019
I was quite simply blown away by the wines I tasted from Cornell this year. It wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t include these wines in my regional reports because they weren’t interesting enough. Somewhere around 2013, things started to change for the better. Today, Cornell is one of the most exciting and dynamic estate wineries in northern California. The rugged hillside vineyard lies on Spring Mountain, just beyond Pride, on the Sonoma side of the mountain, a part of Sonoma that is especially well suited to the cultivation of Bordeaux varieties. Winemaker Elizabeth Tangney and Consulting Winemaker Françoise Peschon are doing brilliant work. The 2017 turned out beautifully, while the 2018 may very well turn out to be epic. Readers who enjoy the more classically-leaning side of Napa/Sonoma Cabernet will absolutely adore these wines. Kudos to Henry and Vanessa Cornell for their unrelenting drive to excellence. The results of many years of hard work and significant investment are in the glass.
These new and upcoming releases from Cornell are positively stellar. Readers will note the introduction of a new second wine, Courtship. The first two editions are impressive, to say the least. Cornell is also experimenting with an extended barrel version of their flagship Cabernet that is incredibly distinctive.
Winemaker Elizabeth Tangney describes 2018 as a year marked by cool weather and no major shock events, with wines that required a bit more time to extract. Two thousand nineteen saw more heat, especially at the end of September, although harvest wrapped up later. Tannin levels are higher, and the wines extracted more easily than in 2018. Over the last few years, Cornell has come on strong with a series of superb wines. This district on the Napa/Sonoma border, a corridor that includes Pride, Fisher and Vineyard 7&8, is one of the most intriguing micro-areas in Northern California for the production of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.