Press Reviews

Vintage 2014
 
California State Fair Wine Competition, 2017
Silver Medal, 91 points

James Suckling 2014 Cabernet Tasting, 2017
90 points
"Blackcurrants and blackberries with hints of almonds. Some tar, too. Medium body, juicy fruit and a subtle finish. Drink now or hold."


San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2017

Silver Medal


Robert Parker, Dec 2016 Issue

88+? points
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 6 dates from a Bordeaux selection that came to Napa in the late 1800s. The wine has an interesting bell-pepper character in addition to cassis fruit and spice. There is a lot going on here and it is much more complex than the 337, but the herbal component is off-putting. Nevertheless there is plenty of fruit, it is rich and generally well-made. Drink now-2030."

 
Vintage 2013

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March, 2017
"From a section of the Beckstoffer Georges III vineyard originally planted by Beaulieu Vineyard in 1928, this wine exalts in this particular clone that imparts classic elements of forest floor and dried herb. Intense and smooth, with a backbone of chalky tannin, the fruit shines in black plum and cherry." - VB
91 points


San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2016

Silver Medal


California State Fair Wine Competition, 2016
Silver Medal, 91 points

Decanter, February 2017
"Coconut and vanilla tones of American oak filter through the ripe Christmas cake fruit - it certainly doesn't lack weight." SB: 89 | SK: 89 | RS: 86
Drink 2017-2026
88 points, recommended

 
Vintage 2012


California State Fair Wine Competition, 2015
Double Gold Medal, 98 points “Best of Class of Region”

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2015
Gold Medal

eRobertParker, Nov 2014

88 points


San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo: International Wine Competition, 2017
Bronze Medal


Vintage 2011

Grand Harvest Awards, 2014
Silver Medal


Vintage 2010

Grand Harvest Awards, 2013
Silver Medal

California State Fair Wine Competition, 2013
Silver Medal

eRobertParker, Oct 2013
90 points

Decanter Magazine, Feb 2014
4 stars, Highly Recommended


Vintage 2009

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Dec 2013
"This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was grown in the well-known Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard. It’s at a funny stage of development, with primary cherry and blackberry fruit starting to fade, while sage, dill, green olive and dried fruit notes are emerging. The tannins remain robust, while the acidity is just about perfect for Napa Valley. Awkward now, but with a promising future, it should emerge from the doldrums after 2017." —S.H.
92 points, Cellar Selection


Grand Harvest Awards, 2012
Silver Medal


Vintage 2008

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Dec 2012
"Made from 100% Cabernet grown in the Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, and aged in mostly new French and American oak, its tannins are tough as nails. Yet there’s a vast core of blackberry and black cherry fruit that’s just yearning to break out. With modest alcohol (the official reading is a mere 13.2% by volume), it’s a natural choice for the cellar. It should begin to blossom by 2016 and continue to develop beyond 2020." — S.H. (12/1/2012)
94 points

Decanter Magazine, Feb 2012
4 stars, Highly Recommended

Orange County Fair Wine Competition, 2011
Silver Medal

Grand Harvest Awards, 2011
Silver Medal

California State Fair Wine Competition, 2011
Silver Medal

Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition, 2012
Bronze Medal


Vintage 2007

Decanter Magazine, Feb 2011
4 stars, Highly Recommended

Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine
91 points


Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2010
90 points, Cellar Selection

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2010
Double Gold Medal

San Diego Wine Competition
Platinum Medal

Vintage 2006

Decanter Magazine, Feb 2010
3 Stars, Recommended

Wine Enthusiast, Nov 2010
"This 100% Cabernet has a very strong flavor. It's almost assaultive in blackberries and black currants that are sweet and jammy, while oak adds even sweeter notes of caramel and butterscotch. The result is something awkward, too much of a good thing. Seems like it needs time to integrate and resolve contradictions. Try after 2013." (SH)
90 points, Cellar Selection

San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2010
Silver Medal

Vintage 2005
Source - eRobertParker.com #219, Jun 2015 Reviewer - Robert M. Parker, Jr.
"Cherry, cranberry and mulberry fruit notes as well as plum jump from the galss of this dark garnet wine that is just lightening at the edge. The wine is spicy, with a hints of herbs and some foresty notes. Medium-bodied and Mediterranean-inspired, with spiciness and a garrigue-like herbaceousness, it is soft, round, fully drinkable, yet capable of going another 5 - 7 years."
Rating - 88   Maturity - Drink: 2015 to 2022   Current cost $350   Release cost $90


SF Chronicle Tasting Panel, November 2008
3 Stars, Excellent

Tasting Panel, Anthony Dias Blue, August 2008
"Smooth, ripe, and showing rich plum and blackberry fruit; dense, complex, supple and long with herbs, spice, and well-balanced flavors."
93 points

Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Awards, 2008
Best of Class, Gold

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2008
Double Gold

Wine Enthusiast, 2009
93 points

Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine, 2008
"Easily the best bottling that we have yet seen from this winery, this very deep and carefully crafted Cabernet is rife with keenly defined, ripe-currant fruit and comes with just the right measure of rich oak. Firmed by integral tannins, yet supple and fleshy in feel,... has all the pieces in place for genuine beauty and increased complexity if held for another five years."
90 points

Decanter Magazine, 2009

3 Stars, Recommended

California State Fair Wine Competition, 2008
Silver Medal, 91 points

Grand Harvest Awards, 2008

Silver Medal


Vintage 2004

Robert Parker (2004 Vintage Retrospective)
"This may be the finest Cabernet Sauvignon I have yet tasted from Bell Wine Cellars.  A complex bouquet of cedarwood, forest floor, red and black currants soars from the glass.  The color leans toward a dark plum/ruby.  In the mouth, this full-bodied, opulent wine is pure silk with lots of finesse as well as a long finish.  Drink it over the next decade."
94 points

Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Comp, 2007
Gold Medal

New World International Wine Competition, 2007
Gold Medal

Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, 2007
Gold Medal

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2007
Gold Medal

Houston Livestock & Rodeo Wine Competition, 2007

Silver Medal

San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2007
Silver Medal 

San Diego Wine Competition, 2007
Silver Medal

**Note – The entire 2003 vintage was lost in the Mare Island Fire**


Vintage 2002

Decanter, January 2006, California Wines

4 Stars, Highly Recommended

Wine Enthusiast, 2006
87 points

Vintage 2001

Los Angeles County Fair, 2005

Best of Class, Gold Medal

San Diego International Wine Competition, 2005
Silver Medal

Grand Harvest Awards, 2005

Silver Medal

Decanter Magazine, 2005

3 Stars, Recommended

Vintage 2000

Vino Challenge Int’l Wine Competition, 2004
Gold Medal

Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition, 2004
Best of Class, Gold Meda
l

Decanter Magazine, 2005

4 Stars, Highly Recommended

Orange County Fair Wine Competition, 2004
Silver Medal

San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2004

Silver Medal

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2004
Silver Medal

Grand Harvest Awards, 2004
Silver Medal

New World International Wine Competition, 2004

Silver Medal

Vintage 1999

Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2002

"Opulent as heck, thick enough to paint with, with massive flavors of blackcurrants, blackberries, plums, tobacco, sage and white chocolate. An elaborate overlay of oak adds vanilla and smoke. The tannins are rich and fabulous, but as with so many other Napa Cabs, the acids fall flat and overly soft, and the wine loses a few points.
Editors Choice Best of the Year, 92 points

Vino Challenge International, 2003

Gold Medal

Grand Harvest Awards, 2003

Bronze Medal

Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition, 2003
Silver Medal

Hilton head Wine Festival, 2003
Silver Medal

International Eastern Wine Competition
Bronze Medal

Colorado Wine News, Jan - Mar 2003
"Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, sweet rhubarb, and jellied cranberry to which after it opens, are added black raspberry introduce smooth, fresh flavors of the same fruit plus spice and a significant amount of fine tannin and after opening shows additional flavors of tar and leather. It finishes medium-broad and truncated. Well balanced, integrated, and structured, it should gain in richness, weight, and depth after a few years in the bottle. Nicely made."

Vintage 1998

Wine Enthusiast, May 2002
"Inky dark, this wine brims with important aromas of cassis, mint and fine, smoky oak. Fully ripe Cabernet blackberry flavors are wrapped in elegant tannins, dry and dusty. The structure is impeccable, the finish long. It's complex but approachable enough for immediate drinking."
93 points

Wine & Spirits Magazine, December 2002
Top Ten Cabernets

Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2002
"...his intimate knowledge of the vineyard paid off in '98, a difficult year that produced some spectacular wines and any number of duds. Prepare to fall in love with its bright raspberry appeal, with the meltingly rich texture, with the bold spice that opens up in the finish as wide as the Napa sky. On one level it's almost port; on another, it's fruit sweetness in service of a place, expressing the terroir with a cigar box and leather scent underscoring all the freshness. Filled with life right now, though even better things will come for those who wait."
94 points

Wine Country Buyers Guide
Larry Walker states: " A splendid wine, balanced and complex with supple tannins that carry the concentrated flavors through to a long and layered finish. This is clearly one of the best Cabernets of the 1998 vintage. Aside from the usual red meats, this would pare well with salmon in red wine sauce."

New World International Wine Competition, 2002
Gold Medal

Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, 2002
Gold Medal

Atlanta International Wine Challenge, 2002

Gold Medal

Riverside International Wine Competition, 2002
Gold Medal

Grand Harvest Awards, 2002
Gold Medal

National Orange Show Wine Competition, 2002
Silver Medal

West Coast Wine Competition, 2002

Silver Medal

Grand Harvest Awards Wine Competition, 2002
Silver Medal

San Diego National Wine Competition, 2002
Bronze Medal

Quarterly Review of Wines, June 2002 QRW's 18th Annual Best of the Best

"Wines of such remarkable character and quality as to be in a class by themselves." "Deep ruby color; intense, smoky, bell-peppery, black currant and anise nose; big, rich, ripe, succulent, well-concentrated, black fruit and toasty oak flavors; good sturdy structure; long, powerful finish."
5-star wine

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Bronze Medal

Vintage 1997

Quarterly Review of Wines, Summer 2001

5-star wine

Wine & Spirits Magazine, August 2001

"...As grown by Baritelle since the '91 vintage, the Jackson Clone creates a complex cabernet essence out of his Rutherford terroir. The great '97 vintage will likely be a benchmark for this wine - a dynamic force that will develop for years. Right now, it has the immediacy of a deep currant scent, a super-rich texture, a dark plummy and black olive savor that lasts. The tannins brace all the flavor without getting in its way, a wall of cabernet intensity rushing forward. Oak offers cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix, enhancing the boldness of the taste that should grow more elegant and eloquent with time. With a day or two of air, the texture and brightness of the fruit continues to gain, lifting the wine into a cloud of currants. Even if this wine goes a bit beyond your normal wine budget, it's well worth seeking some out to cellar. Ten years from the vintage, you"ll be extremely pleased.
94 points

Wine Enthusiast, 2000
"Some cedar and olives accent an earthy nose. Cassis and some cherry make up the pleasant palate, which features necely integrated oak as a high point. Fairly long and drying on the back end, with ever-so-slightly prickly tannins."

90 points

Wine Spectator Magazine
"Stylish and focused, with mellow black currant, herb and earth flavors that integrate nicely with coffee tones and firm, ripe tannins. Shortens up on the finish. Drink now through 2007. 1,733 cases made. –JL
88 points

Wine & Spirits Magazine, 2001

Top Ten Cabernet’s of 2001

Quarterly Review of Wines, Summer 2001

"Medium ruby color; ripe,spicy, black-fruit nose; ripe, spicy, well-focused, black-fruit and oak-vanillin flavors; supple texture; elegant finish."
Best of the Best, Excellent

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2001
Cellar Selection

The Press Democrat, May 9, 2001
"Full-bodied, complex and spicy. Jammy with rich blackberry and cherry fruit. Integrated with sweet oak. Good tannin structure."
3.5 Stars

Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition, 2001
Silver Medal

Atlanta International Wine Challenge, 2001

Silver Medal

New World International Wine Competition, 2001

Bronze Medal

Vintage 1996

Vin Hunter, Volume Four
"Even though the vineyard source is in the heart of the famous "Rutherford Bench" there seems to be more than meets the eye (or palate) to this wine. This wine rings a bell. Vin can't get past the feeling that this baby is a First-Growth Bordeaux in Napa clothing. Tony Bell's flair for the spectacular means a wine that is chock full of smoky, toasty, and earthy flavors that seem to intensify with each sip. No matter what the label says, Vin will always think this Bell is a dead "ringer" for great Bordeaux."

Wine Enthusiast, September 2000
"The earthy nose never completely sheds its slightly green quality, but everything else is right on the money. It's full-bodied, with a soft, sensual mouthfeel. Nice cassis fruit and some layered oak appear on the finish. Good acidity sparks a juicy mouthfeel, and there's character and depth throughout."
89 points

California Grapevine, 2000
84 points

Decanter Magazine
"Silky smokiness on the nose, with ripe, red fruit aromas. Lovely, soft ripe tannins on the palate: coffee notes: a winner, with a huge life ahead."
4-Stars, Highly Recommended

Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, 2000
Gold Medal

Vintage 1995

Eric Anderson, Wine Tastings

"Medium-brown garnet colors. Big beefy and BBQ nose, with additional aromas of cassis, anise, toast, shoe polish, and blueberry. Semi-sweet mouthfeel, big on fruit, excellent palate coverage, smooth tannins that seem to get more pronounced at finish. Never heard of this producer or vineyard before, but I'm impressed."
Scored A-

Wine Enthusiast, June 1999

"Another super 1995 Cabernet with layers of fruit and spice supported by ripe tannins and excellent acidity. It tastes just fine now, but give this wine five to eight years in bottle and it may well gain a few points."
94 points

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2016
"Dull medium red. Sexy, fully developed aromas of plum, redcurrant, sandalwood, balsamic underbrush, spices and leather. Offers decent sweetness and a fine-grained texture on entry but turns much more gritty and tannic on the back half, finishing with a slightly peppery quality. Not bad, but drink this soon."
87 points


Vintage 1994

Wine Spectator Magazine, 1998

"Medium-weight, with supple cedar, sage and currant flavors and finishing with a hint of spice, but overall it lacks intensity, focus and concentration. Drink now. 1,270 cases made." –JL
82 points

Vintage 1992

Wine Spectator Magazine, 1996
"A bit rustic, with a mineral quality, while currant, cherry and plum flavors emerge to give balance and depth. Picks up a minty note, with supple tannins. Best after 1999. 4,656 cases made."
89 points

Vintage 1991


Wine Spectator Magazine, December 1995 Issue
"Crisp in texture with currant and blackberry flavors that push out into a wide band of flavors that finish with a tingle of acidity. Drinkable now. New wine from Anthony Bell, former manager of Beaulieu Vineyard. 460 cases made.
83 points

Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 6, Rutherford

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