Vol. 18, No. 1
Jan-Mar 2008

Pillar Rock 2004 “Best Wine” on
cover of "The Colorado Wine News"

The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (Stags Leap District), $125, 650 cases, contains 8.8% Merlot, spent about 20 months in oak, and has attractive tree bark, earth, cherry, and currant aromas before smooth, clean, juicy flavors of the same but with the bark becoming smoky oak and all accented with dry tannin. Everything carries through the long, medium-broad finish. Light bodied now, but if you give it another three years in the bottle to develop and open it will become an explosive wine much in the currently favored big, lush extracted powerful style, with a bouquet and flavors of blueberry, blackberry, coffee and dark chocolate. The broad, long, persistent finish will add lots of pepper. Well structured, balanced and integrated. Very Good. BEST WINE.

December 10, 2007
by Deirdre Woolard

I recently had a chance to sample the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon from Pillar Rock Vineyard. Pillar Rock is a small (22 acres) estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 91.2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.8% Merlot. The wine is exactly what you expect when you think of a Stags Leap Cab, a dark and fleshy wine, a velvet hammer, rich and powerful but kissed with a gentle finish. It's not for those who like a big fruit-forward push; it's more subtle, spicy and dark. The producers say it can be aged for two decades and I suspect that it will be even more amazing after some cellar time.

Robert Mondavi: “Distinctly elegant. You have put your heart and soul in what you do and how you do it. You are a great asset to the Valley.”

Tim Mondavi: “the wine has great depth, tastes rich, ripe and opulent.”

91 points
Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District 2001

Supple, with rich mocha and brownie flavors and lively currant and spice. While the flavors are concentrated and the wine is well-structured, it offers a sense of finesse and complexity. Drink now through 2010. 580 cases made. –JL

June 15, 2004 issue

91 points
Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District 1999

A deceptively complex, understated and polished wine, with layers of currant, black cherry and toasty mocha-scented oak flavors that build to a long, rich, detailed aftertaste. Drink now through 2010. 550 cases made. –JL

January 1, 2004 issue

90 points

Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District 2002

Supple and graceful, with a tasty mix of currant, mocha, nutmeg and dill. Mildly tannic, it wins points for its balance, harmony, depth and concentration. Drink now through 2011. 650 cases made. –JL

May 31, 2005 issue

88 points

Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District 2004

Rich and plush, with a mix of mocha and currant flavors, yet also well-structured and focused, ending with tight, ripe tannins, a dash of cedar and nutmeg and a complex aftertaste. Best from 2008 through 2013. 650 cases made.

September 30, 2007 issue

88 points

Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags Leap District 2000,
Barbara Olson Vintage

Pleasantly complex and well-balanced, with understated cedary currant, herb and green olive scents, finishing with a touch of herb and mocha. Drink now through 2010. 670 cases made. –JL

January 1, 2004 issue