Accolades

Profiled by SyrahQueen on February 20, 2021: “Classic Napa Cabernet done right”

Calla Lily Winery – A Boutique Napa Valley Winery Off The Beaten Path

February 20, 2021

When visiting Napa Valley, a trip to Pope Valley is a must.  Experience authentic Napa Valley, it is the quieter and less pretentious side of Napa.  Pope Valley has risen in stature in recent years, producing prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon’s that are intense and vibrant.  One of the newer and more renowned projects in the Pope Valley is Calla Lily Winery. Calla Lily has an elegant portfolio of wines that are produced around the imagery of calla lily, a flower of enormous beauty and refinement.  These are the exact qualities that the winery strives to express in its wines.

Calla Lily Winery spans 95 acres in Pope Valley, just down the hill from Howell Mountain in the heart of Napa Valley.  With the help of Cary Gott, Calla Lily was founded by Anthony Fung and Andy Chui, two Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs. The goal is to produce artisanal, low-production, boutique wines.

Calla Lily produces only estate wines, with 20-acres of estate vineyards consisting of Bordeaux varieties.  The first vines were planted in 1995 and today there are 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 acres of Petite Sirah, and 1 acre each of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot.  The vines are established on the eastern side of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 800 feet, making it cooler than the valley floor.  Combined with the elevation, soil, and microclimate, winemaker Cary Gott says, “Pope Valley is a hidden gem in Napa Valley”

Cary Gott is an icon in the wine industry.  He is a fourth-generation California winemaker who’s had a hand in more than twenty wineries.  With 40 years of experience, he has managed multiple ultra-premium vineyards; he was the Senior Vice President of Seagram Classics, the President of Sterling Vineyards, and the Winemaster of Mumm Napa Valley.  He is known to have helped many enter the wine business and get them on the right path to building a wine brand. The Gott family also owns food and wine businesses in Napa Valley and San Francisco, most notably Gott’s Roadside and Joel Gott Wines.

Calla Lily Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc; 6% Merlot; 4% Petit Verdot.  Intriguing notes of blueberries, plum, cinnamon, thyme, and sage exude from the glass.  The palate is layered and concentrated with notes of black fruit, cocoa, and spice. This is a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon done right. Only 1032 cases produced.

Calla Lily AUDAX Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015

AUDAX, meaning “bold” in Latin, is Calla Lily’s barrel-selection reserve wine made as a tribute to the pioneers of Napa Valley, many of whom settled in Pope Valley.  The bottle and packaging are luxurious and elegant.  This is a wine that needs to be enjoyed in a high-quality Bordeaux wine glass, for the best experience. AUDAX is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon; 4% Merlot; 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec and is energetic and vibrant.

There are quintessential notes of dark fruit, oak, chocolate, and dried flowers. There is a wonderful tension between the fruits and tannins.  The finish is rich, spicy, and seductive. This Napa Cabernet is extremely well-balanced and elegant. You can drink now, but the wine will continue to evolve in the bottle, making it a perfect wine to cellar.  There are only 134 cases produced.

https://syrahqueen.com/calla-lily-winery/

Profiled by SyrahQueen on February 20, 2021: “Classic Napa Cabernet done right”2021-04-08T17:08:35+00:00

90 points for 2015 Audax in April 2021 Wine Enthusiast

From the producer’s Howell Mountain estate, this wine bursts in juicy red fruit and baking spice. It is a lengthy and full-bodied expression of the grape blended with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Supple tannins show a lasting intensity.

90 points for 2015 Audax in April 2021 Wine Enthusiast2021-04-08T17:07:17+00:00

2016 Ultimate reviewed in April 2021 Wine Enthusiast

From a vineyard high atop Howell Mountain, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, this red is thick and densely built in mocha, sage and cedar. Rich layers of vanilla and milk chocolate give it a roundedness and soft, supple structure.

2016 Ultimate reviewed in April 2021 Wine Enthusiast2021-04-08T17:08:36+00:00

95 points for 2015 Audax from The Tasting Panel

In the November-December issue of The Tasting Panel Magazine, the 2015 Audax is reviewed:

95 points, 4 ½ kisses: This estate-bottled Cabernet Sauvignon (with small additions of Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec) is weighty and powerful. Tobacco, slate and espresso manage to arouse both the nose and a palate whose earthiness transitions to plum coated in bittersweet dark chocolate. Venturing from tightly wound to lush, the wine coasts to a velvet-lined finish accented by notes of leather.

 

p. 80, https://www.tastingpanelmag.com/the-tasting-panel-magazine-nov-dec-2020/

95 points for 2015 Audax from The Tasting Panel2021-04-08T17:07:17+00:00

Wine Enthusiast awards 94 points to 2014 Audax

94 points: Blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this wine succeeds in its rich coming-together of plum, lavender and black-currant flavors, the palate densely packed in fruit and tight-grained tannin. Effusively perfumed in oak and cedar, it is nicely integrated and shows great complexity.

June 2019

https://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/calla-lily-2014-audax-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley/

Wine Enthusiast awards 94 points to 2014 Audax2021-04-08T17:07:17+00:00

Wine Enthusiast awards 91 points to 2013 Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon

91 points: Muted on the nose, this wine develops at its own pace, revealing juicy, dusty layers of integrated tannin and oak, with lingering red currant and raspberry fruit. Medium in body and light in mouthfeel, it’s softened by the addition of 11% Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Franc.

July 2017

https://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/calla-lily-2013-ultimate-red-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley/

Wine Enthusiast awards 91 points to 2013 Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon2021-04-08T17:08:36+00:00

Owen Bargreen gives the 2015 Audax 94 points

94 points: 2015 Audax Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Audax Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder smaller portions Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot. Aged for 27 months in 50% new French oak, the wine shows gorgeous kirsch tones that combine with creme de cassis, wild herbs and mocha tones that all mingle together in unison. The palate has a seamless texture and wonderful sense of opulence. Layers of dark fruits combine with dark chocolate shavings, thyme and sweet pipe tobacco with loamy terroir. A complete wine, this is simply marvelous now at the five year mark as the 2015 Audax Cabernet Sauvignon will provide drinking enjoyment for many decades to come. Drink 2020-2038.

October 2020

http://owenbargreen.com/

Owen Bargreen gives the 2015 Audax 94 points2021-04-08T16:49:45+00:00

Owen Bargreen gives 2016 Ultimate Red 92 points

92 points: The 2016 Calla Lily ‘Ultimate Red’ is comprised of nearly all Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) sourced from the 20 acre estate vineyard located in the Pope Valley and is a really good effort by winemaker Cary Gott. Aged for 22 months in 40% new French oak, the toasty oak tones neatly combine with layers of dark fruits, fresh thyme and chocolate that all come together aromatically. The palate is velvety with light tannins that frame the core of downright delicious dark fruits with chocolate tones. Fantastic to savor in its youth, this beautiful wine will cellar well for more than a decade. Drink 2020-2032.

October 2020

http://owenbargreen.com/

Owen Bargreen gives 2016 Ultimate Red 92 points2021-04-08T16:46:17+00:00

2016 Ultimate reviewed by NittanyEpicurean

This wine is mostly cabernet sauvignon (84%) blended with small amounts of cabernet franc (6%), merlot (6%) and petit verdot (4%). The fruit was all grown in the Napa Valley. Following fermentation, the wine was aged for 26 months in French oak barrels (40% new). It comes in at 14.5% ABV. The wine showed a dark ruby almost opaque color. Black cherry, raspberry preserves, cassis, vanilla, licorice and oak all arrived on the robust and complex nose. Black cherry, raspberry preserves, cassis, vanilla, eucalyptus, licorice and oak followed on the palate where the black cherry stole the show. The wine was full-bodied and exhibited excellent length along with big, chewy tannins. This wine could cellar for 5-6 years or enjoyed now after decanting alongside a grilled Tomahawk ribeye.

October 14, 2020

https://nittanyepicurean.blogspot.com/2020/08/2016-calla-lily-ultimate-red-cabernet.html

2016 Ultimate reviewed by NittanyEpicurean2021-04-08T17:08:36+00:00

2017 Ultimate receives 93 points from James Suckling

James Suckling reviewed the 2017 Ultimate:

93 points: A tight, well-structured red with currant, chocolate and hazelnut aromas and flavors. Medium to full body and a rich palate with juicy fruit, yet there’s underlying freshness and focus. Needs a year or two to come together, but already looking excellent. Better after 2022.

https://www.jamessuckling.com/tasting-notes/136947/calla-lily-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley-ultimate-red-2017/

2017 Ultimate receives 93 points from James Suckling2021-04-08T17:08:36+00:00

2016 Ultimate awarded 93 points in September Tasting Panel Magazine

September 2020 issue of Tasting Panel Magazine:

93 points: Winemaker Cary Gott crafted this small-production blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, which aged 22 months in (40% new) French oak. At 14.8% ABV, it possesses a statuesque and broad-shouldered character. Tarry blackberry, dark chocolate, slate and licorice take command on the palate’s luxurious pinnacle alongside great acidity.

2016 Ultimate awarded 93 points in September Tasting Panel Magazine2021-04-08T17:08:37+00:00

2016 Ultimate Red is highly recommended in California Grapevine

September 2020 issue of California Grapevine:

Highly recommended. Medium to medium-dark ruby; fragrant, floral, blackberry fruit aroma with hints of cassis, cocoa powder, and black olive; full body; rich, rounded, dark fruit flavors with hints of dried herbs and baking spice, and undertones of sweet oak; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Could use another year or two of bottle aging.

2016 Ultimate Red is highly recommended in California Grapevine2021-04-08T17:08:37+00:00

2016 Ultimate awarded 93 points by James Suckling:

93 points: Deep, rich and velvety, this has a ton of fine tannins to balance the ripe blackberry, cassis and plum aromas. Although this isn’t tart, beneath the plush exterior is nice freshness that keeps this straight and prevents it from feeling heavy. Lovely interplay between delicately sweet fruit and dry tannins at the long finish. Drink or hold.

2016 Ultimate awarded 93 points by James Suckling:2021-04-08T17:08:39+00:00
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