Abreu Vineyards - Small and Daring Expressions of the Napa Valley’s Diverse Terroirs
Written by Carl Robinson
Abreu Vineyards is named for its founder, David Abreu, a third-generation Napa Valley viticulturalist. One of the region’s most respected and sought-after vineyard managers, David’s client list reads like a Who’s Who of Valley royalty - Harlan Estate, Colgin Cellars, Staglin Family Vineyards, Blankiet Estate, Araujo Estate, Pahlmeyer Vineyards, Grace Family, Bryant Family and Screaming Eagle, amongst others.
It is, however, in the wines of his own spectacular estate vineyards that we see some of the greatest terroir-driven expressions of the Napa Valley.
In 1986, Abreu Vineyards purchased their first vineyard with the 23-acre Madrona Ranch Vineyard. Today, they control close to 70 acres of prime vineyards in Napa. From these, they produce five wines: Madrona Ranch, Thorevilos, Capella, Las Posadas Howell Mountain and Rothwell Hyde. All are Californian-Cabernet-Sauvignon-based Bordeaux style blends, with a smattering of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot
The wines are made by long-term winemaker, Brad Grimes. Like David, ex-chef Brad is a perfectionist, and the wines are finely crafted and precisely balanced. This winning combination of Brad, David and the outstanding vineyards results in some of the finest Napa Valley wines, year after year. Stylistically, they are elegant and refined, yet simultaneously show copious amounts of perfectly ripe fruit and silky tannins. Big, rich, and ripe, but never over the top - great examples of what Napa does best. Critical acclaim has followed too. The wines have been awarded 100 points a staggering 16 times, including 8 perfect or potential perfect scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Abreu Madrona Vineyards
debuted with the 1987 vintage. On average, the blend is about 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35-40% Cabernet Franc, with the remainder Merlot and a small quantity of Petit Verdot. Production is under 500 cases per year. Madrona Ranch is also a working ranch with horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, and goats, as well as mature olive groves.
David planted out the 22-acre Thorevilos vineyard in 1990. This is the only Abreu vineyard that is not located in any of the numerous Napa Valley appellations. It sits between St. Helena and Howell Mountain and has an elevation of 800 feet at its peak. The soils are mostly volcanic rock, with stones, pebbles, ash, and red clay. The wine is usually a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35-40% Cabernet Franc, with most of the remainder being Petit Verdot, along with a dash of Merlot. Under 500 cases are produced each year.
Abreu Vineyards Capella
comes from a 6-acre, hillside vineyard near St. Helena. First cultivated in 1869, Capella is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley. The wine ranges from 60-70% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder being Cabernet Franc and a small quantity of Petit Verdot.
Abreu Vineyards Las Posadas Howell Mountain
produced from an 18-acre vineyard high on Howell Mountain. Sitting at close to 2,000 feet, this vineyard is one of the highest on the mountain and benefits from a unique, high-elevation micro-climate. The soils are a combination of white volcanic stone, limestone, and red clay.
The extreme elevation places the vineyard above the fog line, meaning the fruit is still able ripen fully. The wine is a blend of approximately 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, with the remainder being Petit Verdot. The tannins are very polished, which is notoriously difficult to achieve with mountain fruit.
a blend of all the Abreu sites. A true Napa style Cabernet.
The Abreu Vineyards wines are must-have items for any serious Napa Valley collector.
Explore our collection of Abreu wines here