Cresta Velia

2016 Ithica Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon •Ithica Vineyard

California: Napa Valley: Rutherford

Offer Expired:Jun 07, 2020 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

Mission Briefing



When Robert Parker introduces a newcomer with; “Cresta Velia is a project run by an assistant of well-known winemaker Thomas Brown. These are fairly priced, high-quality Cabernets.” inadvertently you pay attention.

You know that feeling when you discover something NOBODY knows about YET? Like Amazon stock in 1997 (back when the internet was a “fad”)…well, here’s one for the Cabernet Sauvignon collectors or anyone who wants to get in on the ground floor of a relatively unknown (for now) producer making some truly outstanding wines. With a healthy 94 points, this wine was already “fairly priced”, as Robert Parker noted. With our discount, however, it’s an OBSCENE value that drinks way, WAY above its price point.

John Giannini scored a job from Thomas “100 Points” Rivers Brown working the 2003 harvest. A few years later he became Cellar Master at Outpost and by 2007 he was an assistant winemaker. John was personally responsible for cranking out a crazy number of high scoring wines at Outpost and with Rivers’ urging, he started Cresta Velia. One sip of this and you can be sure he soaked up all kinds of secrets from the wunderkind winemaker.

Pop the cork and you’ll find some prime, Grade A, 100% Rutherford Cabernet ready to rock your world. This is the real deal. Raised in 80% new oak, it has deep and concentrated flavors. Creamy red raspberry, dusty plum, freshly laid tar and sweet dusty earth. Round and supple, or “lifted and sexy” as Jeb Dunnuck says, it’s enjoyable right now but totally ready to spend another 5-10 years.

You want a low-key Cabernet that delivers BIG time for the price? Dunnuck raved that this is “a great value” at $85. At $49? Say no more. Just move quickly because the secret is out!

94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck

“Trained under the likes of Thomas Brown, John Giannini created Cresta Velia in 2010 and named it after his mother’s maiden name (Cresta) & grandmothers name (Velia). The wines are made at Outpost, on Howell Mountain, and both his 2015 and 2016 releases are brilliant wines, although production is tiny. I think a great value, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford comes from the northern end of this appellation (near Zinfandel Lane) and is all Cabernet aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It has loads of spicy, peppermint, and candied black and blue fruits as well as full-bodied richness, a pretty, elegant texture, and plenty of opulent fruit. This lifted, sexy 2016 is ideal for drinking over the coming decade or so. Drink 2020-2030.”

92-94+ Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“A barrel sample, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon sports a deep garnet-purple color and notes of blueberry preserves, black cherries and plums with hints of licorice, tar and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, rich and voluptuous, it has plenty of pepper and spice notes and a chewy texture, finishing with great length.”

Tasting Profile


Near opaque, deep ruby with a narrow glowing rim.


Cedarwood, black currant, kirsch, licorice, floral, and spice.


Mineral-laced dusty sweet tannin, full-body, and a beguiling, lush mouthfeel.


Seamless fruit, silky texture, superb purity, and lasting power.


Prime rib, with creamy horseradish, garlicky peas, and carrots.

What the Winery Says

John Giannini
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
Ithica Vineyard
Clone 4
20 months
80% new French oak
5 barrels

About the Winery

Offer Expired:Jun 07, 2020 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price
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