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Ratings and Reviews

LAMB VINEYARD, CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Napa Valley

VintageRatingPublication
201494 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard is the most powerful and structured of these Cabernets from Fisher. Dark stone fruit, mocha, smoke and licorice notes abound, while the toast influence from the oak has not yet fully integrated. This is an especially virile, imposing wine. Accordingly, it is best cellared for at least a few years.
 
201394+ PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Firm beams of tannin give the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard much of its energy. Finely sculpted yet also quite generous on the palate, the 2013 is wonderfully expressive today. Mineral and savory notes. The Lamb is the biggest and most structured of Fisher's Napa Valley wines. It is also a bit somber today. Still, this is another wine that has come together beautifully over the last year.
 
201394 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
An absolutely brilliant wine is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard, which comes from their five-acre parcel in northeast Napa Valley. Notes of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit interwoven with chocolate, wet stones and smoky barbecue notes are followed by an opulent, full-bodied, gorgeously proportioned and pure wine, with loads of character and richness. It should drink well for up to 20 or more years.
 
201293 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
From their Napa Valley Vineyard, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard (a relatively small production of 250-365 cases in most vintages) offers a Mission Haut-Brion-like wet gravelly nose intermixed with blueberry and blackcurrant fruit. It is full-bodied, exhibits impressive ripeness, purity and already a burgeoning complexity. Like most 2012s, it is relatively exuberant and already showing plenty of complexity and potential. Drink it over the next 12-15 years.
 
201292+ PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Dark cherries, plums, mint, spices, new leather and cedar are laced together in the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard. A bit darker and more powerful than the Coach Insignia, the Lamb Vineyard impresses for its balance and pure class. Readers should plan on cellaring bottles for another 1-2 years to allow the tannins to soften a touch.
 
201191 PointsStephen Tanzer, Vinous Media
Inky ruby. Explosive aromas of blackcurrant, cherry-vanilla, pipe tobacco and candied rose, with a subtle licorice nuance building with air. Plush and expansive on the palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors that become firmer and spicier with air. In a forward, fruit-driven style, with soft tannins folding smoothly into the wine's sweet fruit on the clinging finish.
 
201094 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
(100% new oak): Bright purple. Ripe dark berry, singed plum and incense on the highly aromatic nose, which also displays notes of vanilla and cured tobacco. Shows superb clarity to its broad and palate-staining flavors of dark cherry, cassis and candied lavender. Smoothly plays richness off energy, with serious finishing punch and smooth, sneaky tannins.
 
201095 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
Fisher's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard has turned out even better than I had originally envisioned last year. Plums, menthol, violets, smoke, tar, and melted asphalt all seem to jump from the glass. Vibrant and beautifully articulated, the 2010 is endowed with superb pedigree and class. Today the tannins are a bit firm, but that shouldn't be an issue in another few years. The 100% new oak barrels are totally integrated. Savory herbs and black olives are some of the notes that add complexity in this expressive, polished Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
201092-95 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard comes across as inward and tightly wound. There is a lot of energy in the glass, but today the 2010 isn't ready to show all of its cards. Still, there is more than enough finesse and intensity to make me very optimistic about the future. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
 
200993 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
Glass-staining ruby. Explosive aromas of candied black and blue fruits, vanilla, cola and lavender. Sweet and intensely aromatic in the mouth, showing suave blueberry and cassis flavors, a velvety texture and an array of smoky spice qualities. Finishes sappy, sweet and very long, with lingering florality and very soft tannins.
 
200991 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard possesses gorgeous textural elegance and depth. Black cherries, plush, licorice, spices and flowers blossom with time in the glass as the wine opens up gradually. The 2009 boasts considerable richness and weight, not to mention terrific overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
 
200893 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard emerges from the glass with ripe dark fruit, spices and mint in a decidedly, richer, more textured style of Cabernet compared to the Coach Insignia. Layers of fruit blossom in the glass, giving the finish a plush, voluptuous quality that is impossible to resist. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
 
200893 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Sexy, expansive aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote and smoky oak, with a suave floral quality that gains power with air. Sweet, supple and broad, with intense dark berry fruit complemented by vanillin oak spices and given shape by soft, harmonious acidity. Seductively fruit-driven cabernet that finishes with velvety tannins and excellent persistence.
 
200793 PointsRobert Parker's, Wine Advocate
The dense ruby/purple-hued 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard reveals beautiful blueberry and blackberry fruit along with a subtle gravelly, smoky component, a full-bodied, rich, silky mouthfeel that builds incrementally, outstanding purity and texture, and a personality reminiscent of a great northern Graves Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine from Bordeaux. This beauty is approachable, but it will be even better in 7-8 years, and should last 20-25 years thereafter.
 
200793 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
Opaque ruby. Slow-to-unfold aromas expand with air, suggesting blackcurrant, cherry preserves, pipe tobacco, smoky Indian spices and dried flowers. Broad, palate-staining dark berry and bitter cherry flavors are sweetened by a suave vanilla quality and given spine by sneaky minerality. Very rich and admirably intense but there's a core of fresh acidity here that gives the wine an unlikely impression of elegance for its power. The finish repeats the cherry and floral notes and clings with excellent tenacity.
 
200694 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Brooding aromas of blackcurrant and kirsch, with complicating notes of incense and fruitcake gaining strength in the glass. Expansive dark berry liqueur and bitter cherry flavors become smoky and meaty with air, gaining depth and structure too. The finish is surprisingly fresh and focused, with a strong cracked pepper note that lingers tenaciously. Really benefits from aeration, suggesting that this youngster should be stashed away for a while.
 
200391+ PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2006)
Deep ruby-red. Reticent nose hints at cassis, minerals and licorice. Tightly wound and firmly built; less sweet than the Coach Insignia but still reasonably dense and pliant. Flavors of berries, minerals and cool tobacco leaf convey a juicy character. The firm tannins of this wine will require three or four years of patience. But this is exactly the kind of '03 that should reward cellaring.
 
200390 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard (they hadn't decided whether to declassify the 2004 or not) possesses a distinctive style reminiscent of a northern Graves wine from Bordeaux. The wine's scorched earth/virile, masculine style, primordial backwardness, and big, black currant, gravelly nose with hints of graphite and hot rocks, are followed by a tannic, medium-bodied, austere wine with undeniable long term aging potential, but not the charm or seductiveness of the other reds. Give it 3-5 years of bottle age, and drink it over the following two decades.
 
200292 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Lamb Vineyard reveals that Bordeaux-like personality with notes of scorched earth/hot rocks, chocolate, black and blue fruits, and strong mineral component. Beautifully made with excellent, concentrated fruit, this 2002 requires 2-3 years of bottle age. It should drink well for 15+ years.
 
200290-92 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2004)
Deep ruby-red. Vibrant, cool aromas of blackcurrant, mint and cinnamon. Juicy and lively in the mouth, with firm currant and cherry flavors complemented by a note of milk chocolate. Today the wine's brightness is accentuated by firm tannins. Not lush or fat (the RCF merlot is chewier) but quite distinctive. In contrast to the Coach Insignia, this wine seemed to go into a shell in the glass.
 
200191-94 PointsStephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2004)
Bright, saturated ruby. Cool, highly aromatic nose combines cassis, pomegranate, maple syrup, sassafras and spices. Minerally and highly concentrated; dense and quite suave. Boasts a creamy sweetness verging on liqueur-like. This has superb depth of fruit. Finishes with big, sweet, broad tannins and terrific length.
 
200195 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate (Published 6-30-11)
The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard is a Fisher-owned site in the northeastern sector of Napa Valley not far from Araujo’s Eisele Vineyard. The wine reveals a saturated ruby/purple color as well as broad, expansive flavors of cassis, camphor, forest floor, truffles and earth. The oak component is completely integrated in this full-bodied, stunningly opulent, pure Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink this beauty over the next 15-20 years.
 
200193 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The fabulous 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard exhibits an inky/purple color as well as a gorgeous perfume of scorched earth, graphite, chocolate, blackberries, cassis, and minerals. Dense, full-bodied, and heady, but tannic and structured, this masculine Cabernet needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for two decades.
 
199991 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
Pushes ripeness to the max, with jammy black cherry and blackberry fruit woven together with cedary oak, anise and spicy floral notes. Shows some heat and raw tannins on the finish. Needs short-term cellaring. Best from 2004 through 2012. 292 cases made.
 
199795 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The awesome opaque purple-colored 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard exhibits a fabulous nose of lead pencil, coffee, minerals, black currants, and licorice. The wine's massive richness, full body, and super-intense, concentrated fruit make for a spectacular, unctuously-textured, backward wine. As it sat in the glass, some of the mountain blueberry notes came forward. This Cabernet requires 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for 25-30 years... at the minimum.
 
199794 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
There's wonderful richness, depth, complexity and concentration to this Napa Cabernet, its layers of spicy currant, anise, blackberry, plum and light toasty oak folding together for a delicious aftertaste, firming up nicely on the finish. Has all the right ingredients. Best from 2003 through 2014. 490 cases made.
 
199691 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The powerful (14.1% alcohol) 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard has been aged in barrel, of which 50% are new. Like all of Fisher's reds, it is bottled without filtration. The color is an opaque purple, and the wine is closed, offering hints of licorice, blueberries, black currants, and spicy oak. In the mouth, it is long, rich, restrained, with the tannin still making a noticeable impression, outstanding purity, a full-bodied mouth-feel, and superb potential. This wine requires another 4-5 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020.

The Lamb Vineyard emerges from a Napa parcel on Pickett Lane, near the Araujo estate.

Production is limited with only 100-500 cases produced. 1996 and 1997 were strong vintages for Fisher Vineyards. The 1996s are undoubtedly lower in alcoholic power than the heady 1997s.
 
199690 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
Firm, focused and concentrated, with rich, chunky, spicy currant, plum, herb, cedar and blackberry, turning complex with earthy, mineral flavors. Strikes a nice balance between its rustic properties and a sense of elegance. Best from 2000 through 2007. 486 cases made.
 
199490 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
Napa's Lamb Vineyard has turned out some marvelous Cabernets (Fisher's 1993 Lamb Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is sensational). The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, and a sweet nose of cassis fruit, lead pencil, and spice. While the wine may have been slightly tired when I saw it a few months after bottling, it still revealed plenty of intensity, sweet berry fruit nicely wrapped in oak, medium to full body, and moderate tannin in the long finish. Sadly, there are only 595 cases of this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fisher produces three Cabernet Sauvignon cuvees. The least expensive is the Coach Insignia, with the more limited production Lamb Vineyard and Wedding Vineyard relatively difficult to find in the marketplace.
 
199492 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
Big, ripe, intense and concentrated, with a firmly tannic core of earthy currant, spice, plum and cherry flavors. Given the tannin level, it's best to cellar this into 2001. 570 cases made.
 
199395 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fred Fisher has performed a complete turnabout with respect to the quality of his wines. For much of this decade his Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon have been among the most exciting wines being made in California. The 1993 reds appear to be richer and more impressive than the 1994s.

Fred Fisher also produces 600 cases of a Cabernet Sauvignon from the five-acre Lamb Vineyard, located near the Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley. The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon Lamb Vineyard is an intense, concentrated, opaque purple-colored wine with gobs of black-raspberry and chocolate-like fruit. Extremely young, it requires 5-7 years of cellaring. Impressive and pure, it is one of Fisher's most concentrated Cabernet Sauvignons. My experience has been that this wine explodes in the glass with 4-6 hours of decanting! It was interesting to see how crisp, restrained, and less concentrated Fisher's 1994s were when compared to the extremely rich and successful 1993s.