Previous Vintages/Cellar Information

2006 Roberta’s Reserve

The 2006 growing season began with a relatively warm February followed by one of the wettest March’s on record.  From February 26th to April 17th there was measurable rain on all but six days. The rains helped to create an abundance of moisture in the soil, which lead to a vigorous and healthy cover crop. This resulted in a delayed trend for bud-break and bloom cycles slightly behind previous seasons.  Our Estate vineyard experienced a mild growing season until the final week of July, when temperatures reached 117 degrees on July 23rd with a very low relative humidity. The extreme temperatures caused some severe leaf and fruit burn in the merlot, causing us to be very selective with cluster selection.  August thru October the weather pattern remained moderate with mild temperatures, giving us the ability for controlled maturation and hang time.  Harvest was delayed by two weeks, allowing for complete physiological maturation and ripeness.  This ended up to be one of the longest seasons in recent memory.  Last Cabernet Sauvignon harvest date was November 06, 2006 without a drop of rain.

We employed draconian yield reduction in order to ensure the absolute optimal physiological maturity.  Sorting was done first by bunches to remove irregularly ripened fruit and any leaf material and then put through a de-stemmer.  The individual berries were then given an additional hand sort to remove any remaining stem material from the berries prior to being transferred and vinified in small stainless steel fermenters.  The wine was initially cold soaked; followed by alcoholic fermentation with daily pump-overs. The barrels were topped every 2 weeks, hand racked once every three months and aged in 90% new French oak and 10% new Hungarian oak  until May 2008 when the wine was bottled.

Production Notes

Appellation: Yountville (Napa Valley), CA
Barrel Age: 20 months 100% new French oak
Blend: 94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 14.1 %
pH: 3.65
Release Date: February 2009
Production (750ml): 265 Cases
2006 Roberta’s Reserve


Wine Advocate # 192

The 2008 Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard (96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc) is virtually perfect. This offering is just as strong as the 2007, but slightly more forward and irresistible than the backward 2007. It boasts a dense inky/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of blackberry liqueur intermixed with cocoa, forest floor, graphite and subtle hints of smoke as well as camphor. The wine reveals fresh acids, laser-like precision and an extraordinary plump, fleshy mouthfeel. Already approachable, it should evolve for 20-25+ years.


Good deep red-ruby. Compelling nose combines cassis, blackberry, licorice, tropical dark chocolate, orange peel and violet. Then broad, round and sweet in the way of a top Pomerol but with terrific inner-palate lift and minerality. This wonderfully fine-grained and utterly palate-saturating wine finishes with outstanding breadth and rising persistence. A great Napa Valley merlot, but there are just 100 cases of this elixir, the lowest quantity to date, due to strict selection of the merlot in 2007.

Wine Advocate # 186

Nearly as extraordinary, and a wine that may turn out to be pure perfection in a few years is the 2007 Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard. Composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc (only 100 cases produced), this dense purple-hued Merlot offers up an exotic nose of mocha, cocoa, orange blossoms, cassis, and cherries. Its elegance combined with tremendous substance, power, and richness is exhilarating. This compelling wine possesses an extraordinary deep mid-palate as well as aromatic fireworks. It can be drunk now, but it promises to be even better in 4-5 years, and last for three decades.


Bright medium ruby. Captivating, slightly exotic aromas of blackberry, lavender, dark chocolate and road tar. Sweet, broad and lush, with a pronounced bitter chocolate character sexed up by flowers and fresh herbs. Compared to the estate's flagship cabernet, this one finishes with softer, finer-grained tannin and more early appeal.

Wine Advocate # 180

I was blown away by the 2006 Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard, which was even better from bottle than it was from barrel. Sadly, there are only 250 cases of this amazing Merlot-based effort (94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc). Prodigious aromas of melted chocolate, licorice, espresso roast, black cherries, black currants, and underlying floral and forest floor scents are followed by a sensationally concentrated, opulent, rich wine. This amazing Napa Valley tour de force makes a strong argument, particularly when tasted alongside the 2005 and 2007, that there is no better Merlot-based wine being made in California. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.

Wine Advocate # 180

A blend of 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc aged 20 months in new French oak, the 2005 Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard is a fantastic wine. The clay soil-grown Merlot gives it a chocolaty, exotic red and black fruit character along with notes of mocha, espresso coffee, and roasted herbs. This stunning wine is the most approachable of the three 2005 cuvees. It should drink well for 15-20+ years.