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Ad Vivum 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Sleeping Lady Vineyard” Yountville Napa Valley

Master Sommelier Dan Pilkey
August 24th, 2022 | 2 mins


Sincerely a “rising-star” vineyard site of Napa Valley, Sleeping Lady is owned by Chris’ longtime friend Larry Bettinelli. They’ve spent copious amounts of time learning about how this vineyard should be planted, farmed, specifically detailing its row orientation, trellising, and clonal selection with the intent of producing a herculean wine. Sleeping Lady has seen the pinnacle of Napa’s blue-blood customers: Philippe Melka, Benoit Touquette, Alpha Omega, Roam, Zeitgeist and Kinsman Eades and in my humble opinion, the Phelps family has just made Cabernet history! 

Given that it’s the current release of Ad Vivum Cab, it has an above average density and backbone. It was exciting to drink all three vintages to see the raw power and trajectory of this special vineyard from the Phelps family. They’ve made another blockbuster Cab which in 2018 is showing like young St. Estephe: Cassis liqueur, black cherry, rosemary and amaro, all layered by wet leaves toasted oak. Drink now, sure. But it’s destined to go far! Drink 2025-2040  

Made from 55% of Clone 191 and 45% of Clone 7 – this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% worthy of a vertical collection, hence why we’re offering these 3 vintages. (’16, ’17, ’18). French clones of Cabernet can ripen too quickly causing them to be overripe or accidentally picked to late. The clone 191 is a Bordeaux clone and perfectly situated for Yountville’s climate which is heavily affected by the cold San Pablo Bay. Beneath your feet as stand at Sleeping Lady is a rare soil called Keefer – not common to Napa’s terroir – composed of gravelly clay-loam and dates to an original soil survey in 1938 that Chris has. Overall my friends…DO NOT MISS!  

Closure: Natural Cork

Taste Team Reviews
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