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(99 - 100)RP
2016 - 2066
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Probably one of my favorite vineyards in all of Napa Valley, even though it is not entitled to any particular AVA designation, is the steep hillside vineyard behind the luxury resort of Meadowood in St. Helena called Thorevilos. It is co-owned by David Abreu and Ric Forman. I have now tasted 16 vintages of this wine, and six and possibly seven (the 2015) have merited perfect scores, which is just mind-boggling even to someone who has been doing this for 38+ years. This wine contains a considerable quantity of Cabernet Franc (probably 30% or more, although Abreu and Grimes are never specific) and there may even be a small percentage of Petit Verdot included in the blend. This is always the most floral of the Abreu wines, but it also has what the French call je ne sais quoi, a quality that is hard to pin down. The 2015 Thorevilos is, like its siblings, inky blue/black/purple, with incredible amounts of flamboyant, majestic blueberry, blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with raspberries, spring flowers, wet rocks, truffles and foresty notes. Incredibly intense on the palate, the blueberry and graphite character seems to come forward along with a suggestion of toast. It is an amazingly viscous, thick and juicy wine, but it cuts a ballerina’s silhouette across the palate, as there is no heaviness or boredom. This is an exhilarating elixir – no doubt about it. Moreover, it is another 50-year wine.
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?