BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Domestic Red Wines: Dana Estates 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard
Though Dana Estates’ first release was its 2005 vintage, the winery is nevertheless deeply rooted in the history of Napa Valley. The property’s owner, Hi Sang Lee—a longtime wine enthusiast and importer in his native South Korea—has developed close friendships with many of California’s leading vintners. His own career as a producer of fine wine began with the purchase of 6 acres of storied vineyard property in Rutherford that once belonged to the winemaking pioneer H. W. Helms. There, he set about restoring a 19th-century ghost winery into a 19,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. Still, even this impressive architectural feat does not surpass the structure and detail of the Dana Estates 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard (www.danaestates.com, $400). This dense red from the eastern foothills of St. Helena exhibits breathtaking structure—a silky texture and tannins as sturdy and smooth as burnished hardwood—without sacrificing the charming touches of violet, anise, and roasted coffee within its ripe-blackberry profile.