Fresh Off the Truck: 2017 The Phoenix Cabernet [100 Point $500/btl Estate wine for $45?]

Thursday, June 17, 2021

This is a wine that Wine Access has offered before but is back for a return engagement.

$45/btl is pushing the limits of what a mystery/NDA wine can fetch. The prose is quite striking and the price per bottle from the associated winery is astronomical. Let's see if we can figure out who this one is from...


Food & Wine has profiled as “one of the valley’s most exquisite small gems.”
This article supports this as being Dana Estate (pronounced Dah-nah).

We’ve celebrated birthdays in the grand, raftered dining room
and sipped wines at the long oak table
Sounds like this could be Dana Estate.

14.8% Alcohol
$45 1-5 bottles
$43 4% off 6-11 bottles
$40 11% off 12 + bottles
Free shipping on $120+
$50 off first $150+ order through referral

Medium to full-bodied visually. About 70% opaque.

An array of ample ripe fruits dominate the aromatic profile. Melted red licorice, poached plums, and just a hint of eucalyptus in the background.

Satisfying weight on the palate.  Pleasantly brooding with formiddable but ultra-plush velvety tannins with the slightest bit of grip.

Not an off note in the bottle.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

No doubt about it, this wine is a joy to drink. I would have rated it higher if it had more acidity, more structure. It's a "drink now" kind of wine for better or worse which is surprising given the lofty price points of the associated winery.

For what it's worth Dana Estate wines really do retail for $500+ a bottle and the scores from Spectator, while impressive, don't exactly convey value.


It's worth keeping in mind that a lot of these Wine Access NDA wineries and vineyards also have second labels of their own.

I think that's a more reasonable comparison point than to the flagship wine.

Dana Estate has a second label in VASO which Wine Access has offered before and I was similarly impressed with. But at a price point of $85/btl there's still relative value to be had in this Phoenix NDA wine.

It's in stock and ships quickly in the northeast. 

The Phoenix label could use some improvement but I'd say it's worth a try if you, like me, appreciate a fruit-forward Napa Cab that's ready to go.


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