Oakville – Napa Valley
Ulysses is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Budbreak: April 3rd
Bloom: May 24th
Veraison: Aug 4th
Harvest Start: Sept 26th
Harvest End: Oct 15th
Yields: 2.5 to 3.2 tons/acre
Bottling: May 2020
Cases Produced: 1300
Release Date: 2022
UPC: 750ML 636595518752
The 2018 season started late and harvest from September 26 – October 15 was 6 days later than our historical average. Seasonal rainfall was light (22” versus 31” annual average) and the beginning of summer remained consistently warm. In late summer, temperatures dropped below norms with morning fog in August and September. The fruit ripened slowly in the absence of heat spikes and harvest began with young vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. A storm system which brought 1.2” of rain on October 2 and 3 interrupted picking. Hot and very dry weather returned on October 5 and harvest continued with Cabernet Sauvignon on October 8, followed by Petit Verdot. We picked 57% of our fruit between October 8 – 15. The grapes were full and ripe and the resulting wines are deep, complex and well-articulated.
Notes of truffle, blackberries, cassis bud and tobacco with tight polished tannins. A vertical structure and persistent intensity.
Jeb Dunnuck – 99 Points
MATURITY 2027 – 2060 Napa Valley’s 2020s and 2021s Just about pure perfection and the finest wine I’ve tasted from this address, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon yet includes smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a site just north of Dominus. This deep, inky hued beauty offers up a beautiful, full-bodied, richly textured, and incredibly concentrated style that carries ample black and blue fruit as well as notes of crushed stone, scorched earth, graphite, and lead pencil. It has the focused, structured style of the 2018 vintage and is going to benefit from 4-6 years (if not a decade) of bottle age and will be a 30+ year wine.
James Suckling – 98 Points
#45 in James Sucklings Top 100 Wines from the USA
Aromas of terra cotta, chocolate and hazelnut with iron and ink. Dusty. Full-bodied and round. Layered. Flamboyant and juicy. Rather soft and gorgeous. Some walnut and chocolate at the end. Persistent. Always there. Drinkable now, but will age wonderfully.
Vinous – 97 Points
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is the best wine off Christian Moueix’s Oakville ranch so far. Deep, creamy and generous, the 2018 captures the unqiue blend of fruit in a savoriness that is typical of the southern sector of Oakville where cooling winds from the south lend palpable freshness and vivacity to the vines. Black fruit, chocolate, spice, lavender and new leather are some of the many notes that build into the sumptuous finish. — Antonio Galloni – Drink 2028 – 2043
Wine Advocate – 96 Points
The current-release 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon shows more cherries and bay leaf on the nose than prior vintages. There’s still a solid framework of cedar, loam and cassis, hints of mocha and licorice, but there’s also a bit more freshness and lift. It’s medium to full-bodied and densely concentrated yet silky and finessed, with a long, elegant finish.
Wine Spectator – 95 Points
Dark and reserved in style, with a core of black currant and blackberry reduction wrapped in singed alder and warm loam. Tightly wound for now, with the fruit held in check, but the underlying structure is polished and there’s mineral-laced drive on the finish. Requires patience. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M.