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Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Abreu is now calling his vineyard on Howell Mountain (a tract of 33 acres with 15 planted) Las Posadas, after the road high on the mountain that seems to be the Fifth Avenue of Howell Mountain vineyard sites. The seamless 2015 Las Posadas Proprietary Red nearly redefines opulence, extravagance, and intensity in its haute couture style. A candidate for perfection, the wine has notes of fruitcake, licorice, black truffle, forest floor, spring flowers, and black fruits that literally soar from the glass and continue across the palate with a cascade of earthly delights. This is a magnificent, almost chillingly perfect wine that has to be tasted to be experienced.
Is anyone anywhere in the world making more consistently profound wines than the famous viticulturalist David Abreu and his long-time sidekick and assistant, former chef Brad Grimes? Working from relatively small sites, two of them adjacent to the back streets of St. Helena (the six-acre Cappella Vineyard alongside a cemetery and the home estate of Madrona Ranch at the base of Spring Mountain) to the co-owned vineyard with Ric Forman, the magnificent Thorevilos Vineyard behind the Meadowood Resort. There is also his own 2,000-foot elevation site on Howell Mountain. These wines are all proprietary reds, probably containing at least 60-65% Cabernet Sauvignon, the rest largely Cabernet Franc with a little Petit Verdot and occasionally tiny amounts of Merlot. They spend a full two years in 100% new French oak and are bottled without any fining or filtration. They are exquisite examples of Bordeaux blends that are true first growths in every sense. So how do I go about describing these wines, which are so exciting and satisfying on both hedonistic and intellectual levels?