Fresh Off the Truck: 2017 Wolfe Grade Sonoma Cabernet [$300+ for $32]

Friday, March 5, 2021

Free shipping on $120+
14.9% Alcohol

Dense and brooding, almost completely opaque, this clings to the glass with authority.

Starts off a bit reticent on the nose (fresh off the truck mind you) but picks up steam with time. An appealing combination of brambly dark berry fruit preserves with supporting chocolate notes reminiscent of Phelps Insignia. The strength here is really on the palate where it's plush velvet for days with a long finish devoid of off notes.

Despite its impressive density this is still delightfully easy to drink, inviting another sip.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

Clues and Discussion

Wine Access is pretty forthcoming with the hints on this one, but the rabbit hole the research leads us down is as interesting as the wine. 
  • Robert Parker: "a quintessential example of what perfection is in my business"
  • Jeb Dunnuck: "The Cabernet from this estate earned 100 points in 2016, with critic Jeb Dunnuck urging his readers, “if you want to taste pure perfection from Sonoma, try this wine!"

Throw in a brand name change and a high profile celebrity investment and things get interesting.

The Parker quote was for a 2013 vintage wine. Hidden Ridge changed its name to Immortal Estate around 2016.

I had a little trouble finding the Dunnuck quote, but the 100 point rating for a 2016 vintage Immortal Estate did turn up on a Facebook page.

In 2019 Kate Upton and Justin Verlander became co-owners of Immortal Estate. I'm not sure why the Wine Access write-up didn't include this tidbit. Too obvious? Or too complicated?

But regardless, throw all this together (here's a good summary on Wine-Searcher) and it's not hard to imagine some bottles needing to find a home under this Wolfe Grade label.


The "high quality wine gets lost in a branding shuffle" seems to be a common Wine Access storyline. It's not hard to figure out the vineyard, estate, or winemaker - but it is difficult to discern the exact relationship the bottle being offered has to its association.

Today Immortal Estate offers two wines:
  • Impassable Mountain Reserve $303/btl
  • Slope $75/btl
What we're getting here for $32-38/btl is anyone's guess. But it's a delight to drink and, I think, an outstanding wine.

Deals to Stack

If you don't have a Wine Access account:
If you do have a Wine Access account get 20% off with this offer.
If you've already used those, try this link for 15% off your next 3 orders.
And if you've used that 15% try this one.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately I show this 2017 Wolfe Grade Cabernet as sold out at the moment. These NDA wines sometimes come back in stock, and they may have some inventory available in your area.

The 2015 Editorial I wrote about yesterday is still available, and I think makes a more direct connection with its suspected and beloved producer.

And each bottle of the 2018 Moundsman I've tried has been terrific as well.

You really can't get wrong with any of these. All solidly 93-94 points in my book in the $35 range before discounts.


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