Neal Family Cab is a Liquid Art classic for many reasons. It is a top quality Napa Cab with an impeccable pedigree produced by one of the valley's great winegrowing families but, because the family is not predisposed to pandering to journalists, it tends to be un-reviewed, and therefore has no place in the pantheon of point scores.
What we have here then is a wine lover's dream come true: an almost totally under-the-radar wine full of character and class that massively over-delivers for the price point. Please DO NOT tell your friends—there will be more for us!
Mark Neal can’t help but infuse his wines with the terroir they originate from. His father, Jack Neal, founded one of Napa Valley’s first vineyard management societies in 1968, and the company now farms an astonishing 2,000 acres, from Coombsville to Calistoga. Since the establishment of the winery in 2001, Mark Neal has planned to grow Napa’s most sought-after varieties and to use the fruit of these vines to create Napa Valley’s and specific vineyard sites’ selections. To achieve his goal, Mark spent 5 years selecting root stocks and clones for each site and looking for parcels that he believed best expressed the true character of the Napa Valley. Ultimately, Mark has selected 8 high-quality parcels to produce his organic wine (Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Mount Veeder, Coombsville, Atlas Peak and Saint Helena).
Mark and his vineyard managers, Pedro Rubio and Gove Celio, have refined their farming practices for many years. They all share a common goal: grow high quality grapes in order to produce high quality wines.
Meticulous organic farming produces cabernet grapes with great purity of flavour. From there, winemaker Kelly Wheat crafts the Neal style which emphasizes balance, integration, and elegance rather than power, evoking the classic wines of Napa's golden era. The wines are old school Napa to the max, combining the telltale aromas of mown hay, cassis, and cedar with ripe tannins and persistence of flavour. In classic Napa fashion, it is irresistibly delicious to drink now, but will only get better with age.