David Abreu is one of the most influential, talented, and hard-working viticulturalists in Napa Valley. He has consulted on the planting and vineyard management at some of the most important estates in Napa (Screaming Eagle, Staglin Family Vineyard, Colgin Cellars, Harlan Estate, Bryant Family Vineyard, Araujo Estate Wines and Grace Family Vineyards, among others). His tireless energy and meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard, which, as every wine lover knows is where all great wine starts, translates to beautiful wines all over Napa.
It is no surprise then that his own personal winery Abreu, started in 1980, is one of the most sought after and well-regarded of the Cult Napa wines. His four single vineyards sites are painstakingly tended to by Abreu and then crafted into just 12,000 bottles of wine by Brad Grimes (winemaker at Abreu for nearly 20 years). Each site is unique in soil, composition, and elevation, but each wine is majority Cabernet Sauvignon based and blended with what tends to be a higher percentage of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Madrona Ranch – Abreu’s first vineyard site and the heart of the estate. Wide diversity in soil types, which range from red Aiken to white tufa to dark clay and rocks. The first commercial release here was 1987.
Thorevilos – Higher elevation site at 800 feet above the valley floor and sits between the St. Helena and Howell Mountain AVAs. The soil is mostly volcanic rock, tan in color and peppered with orange-brown pebbles.
Cappella - One of the oldest vineyard sites in the St. Helena AVA. The land lay fallow for decades before David could replant so the vines are still relatively young.
Los Posadas Howell Mountain - At about 2000 feet elevation, Las Posadas sits above the fog line, surrounded by a protected forest of fir and pine. Red Aiken soils are layered over white tufa, and the rocks that littered the site before it was planted now form walls defining the property.
No matter which vineyard you select the result is the same. You are enjoying superbly crafted and beautiful expressions of the terroir. Says Robert Parker about the wines of Abreu, “They achieve a level of aromatic intensity and complexity in their wines that few in the world can match. If you have access to these world class wines, do not hesitate to purchase them if you can afford them - they are that special.”
Abreu Madrona 2001
“While I am not surprised that the 2001 Thorevilos turned out to be perfect, the 2001 Madrona Ranch was more of an eye-opener in that it has become even more extraordinary than I predicted eight years ago. A prodigious wine, with complex notes of subtle barbecue smoke intermixed with blueberry pie, black currant liqueur, acacia flowers, lead pencil shavings, and sweet foresty floor notes, this wine builds incrementally with layer upon layer of fruit, glycerin and concentration. The finish goes well past a minute, and the wine is full-bodied and deep, with wonderfully sweet tannin. It is still an adolescent in terms of its total evolution, but it is irresistible simply because of the flawless nature of the wine and incredible perfume and flavor intensity. Simply amazing! Both of these wines are adolescents, and probably won’t peak for another 5-8 years and keep for 30-40.” - 100, Robert Parker
Abreu Thorevilos 2013
“Probably one of my favorite vineyards in all of Napa Valley, even though it is not entitled to any particular AVA designation, is the steep hillside vineyard behind the luxury resort of Meadowood in St. Helena called Thorevilos. It is co-owned by David Abreu and Ric Forman. I have now tasted 16 vintages of this wine, and six and possibly seven (the 2015) have merited perfect scores, which is just mind-boggling even to someone who has been doing this for 38+ years. This wine contains a considerable quantity of Cabernet Franc (probably 30% or more, although Abreu and Grimes are never specific) and there may even be a small percentage of Petit Verdot included in the blend. This is always the most floral of the Abreu wines, but it also has what the French call je ne sais quoi, a quality that is hard to pin down. The 2013 defines what Thorevilos is all about, with copious quantities of blueberries, black raspberries, truffles, violets, crushed rock, forest floor notes and oodles of glycerin in its full-bodied, incredibly pure and amazing texture and length. It is a spectacular wine, with the cascade of fruit hiding what must be some considerable tannic clout. It’s not showing through just yet, but I suspect it will come as the wine closes down in bottle once it gets into a cold cellar. This is simply other-worldly and a tribute to all things Napa, California, and in a way, America. Drink it over the next 50+ years.” - 100, Robert Parker
Abreu Las Posadas 2016
“The 2016 Las Posadas is a stunning Howell Mountain wine. Inky, rich and hedonistically beautiful, the 2016 is simply magnificent. Crème de cassis, chocolate, menthol, licorice, lavender, cloves, mint, graphite and crushed rocks are all amped up in the glass. Unctuous, creamy and super-expressive, the Posadas captures the opulence of Howell Mountain. It is simply magnificent in every way.” - 100, Antonio Galloni