2003 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP97
2004 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP96
2006 Abreu, Cappella, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP94
2006 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP96+
2006 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) [Scuffed Label] RP96+
2006 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml),  [Slightly Scuffed Label RP98
2006 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, D-Magnum (3L) [Rare Non-Production Format] RP98
2009 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP98/AG98
2010 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP98/AG98
2010 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) [Slightly Scuffed Label] RP98/AG98
2010 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) AG98+
2011 Abreu, Howell Mountain, Howell Mountain, Bottle (750ml) RP95/AG95
2011 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP96/AG96
2012 Abreu, Howell Mountain, Howell Mountain, Case of 3 Btls RP99
2012 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) RP99+
2013 Abreu, Las Posadas, Howell Mountain, Bottle (750ml) RP100
2015 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Case of 3 Btls JD100/JS99
2017 Abreu, Cappella, Napa Valley, Case of 3 Btls JS98/JD97
2017 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Case of 3 Btls JS99
2017 Abreu, Thorevilos, Napa Valley, Case of 3 Btls RP99/AG98
2018 Abreu, Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Case of 3 Btls RP100

David Abreu: Unparalleled Influence on Napa's Vineyards

David Abreu, the preeminent viticulturist in Napa Valley, boasts an unparalleled legacy. His fingerprints grace a constellation of the region's most esteemed estates, an illustrious roster that includes Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Colgin, Bryant Family, Sloan, and others of equal stature. As aptly phrased by Bob Foley, the former vintner behind Heitz Cellars and Pride Mountain, "it's only a matter of time before everything he touches turns to gold.” After four decades of shaping the Napa landscape, the Midas touch is more than a mere myth—it's a tangible manifestation of Abreu's meticulous dedication to the vineyard. His hands have woven a glistening tapestry across Napa's expanse, leaving few upper-echelon vineyards untouched. His rare aptitude for harmonizing soil compositions and sunlit exposures, yielding premium fruits of unparalleled quality, casts him as an invaluable pillar within Napa's finest domains.

Catalyst for Success

Born into a lineage steeped in vineyard stewardship, Abreu charted a trajectory aligned with the wisdom of his father and grandfather. Abreu's upbringing in Rutherford among Napa ranchers laid the foundation for his later exploits. His formative years were spent laboring amidst the hallowed grounds of Rutherford's renowned Inglenook estate. These humble origins acted as an incubator for his eventual trailblazing role as Napa Valley's leading vineyard manager.

In the late 1970s, devoid of formal viticultural education, David commenced his journey at Caymus. Under the wing of his steadfast confidante, Ric Forman, a veteran boasting 35 years in winemaking, and propelled by an unwavering work ethic, Abreu evolved into the preeminent caretaker of Napa's vineyards. A sojourn to Bordeaux provided the educational immersion that laid the groundwork for his storied tenure as a maestro of vineyard management.

1980 heralded the inception of Abreu's vineyard management career, a venture that by the mid-90s etched him as Napa's virtuoso of viticulture. His ascent seamlessly paralleled the infusion of prosperity into Napa Valley. Fueled by the deep-pocketed proprietors eagerly dedicated to capturing the apex of wine, Abreu's expertise emerged as the sought-after elixir.

The Vineyards

Abreu Vineyards owns four distinct vineyard sites, each with its own unique characteristics and microclimate. These sites include Madrona Ranch, Thorevilos, Capella, and Las Posadas. The diverse terroir of these vineyards allows the cultivation of various grape varieties, contributing to the complexity and depth of Abreu wines.

Madrona Ranch - If Abreu Vineyards has a heart, it undeniably beats within Madrona Ranch. The first property that captured David Abreu's heart in the 1980s, Madrona is a working ranch that weaves canyons, curves, and diverse soils ranging from red Aiken to white tufa to dark clay. Beyond the vineyards, livestock, including cattle, goats, pigs, chickens, and honeybees, share the land, creating a symbiotic relationship that adds a touch of enchantment to this magical site. Situated in the St. Helena appellation with ideal sun exposure, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape variety grown here, producing wines with a perfect balance of power and elegance.

Thorevilos - Tucked 800 feet above the valley floor, between the St. Helena and Howell Mountain AVAs, Thorevilos defies categorization. Unbound by sub-appellation boundaries, this outlier captures David Abreu's childhood memories of pine trees, redwoods, and an old olive grove. The soil, characterized by white tufa turning to fine powder beneath your feet, tannish soil peppered with orange-brown pebbles, and streaks of dry, red earth, adds to the allure of this unique vineyard. Thorevilos benefits from well-drained soils and a cooler climate. This vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, resulting in wines with great structure and aging potential.

Capella - Capella is a historic vineyard site that dates back to 1869. Abandoned for nearly two decades, David Abreu faced the challenge of resurrecting this jewel when the church requested the removal of old vines in the 1980s. A setback due to diseased rootstock tested the vineyard's resilience, but Abreu's commitment prevailed. Today, Capella's six acres yield grapes that speak of history, determination, and the promise of exceptional wine.

Las Posadas - Perched at about 2000 feet above sea level on Howell Mountain, Las Posadas comes with an unexpected perk – first growth redwood stakes dating back over a century. David Abreu's meticulous approach extends beyond vineyards; he has preserved these relics, setting them aside as reminders of an earlier agricultural era. Surrounded by a protected forest and layered with red Aiken soils over white tufa, Las Posadas boasts a unique terroir that contributes to the distinct character of Abreu wines. Las Posadas enjoys a warmer climate and rocky soils. This vineyard primarily cultivates Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, yielding wines with rich fruit flavors and a velvety texture.

Legacy of Precision

At the crux of Abreu's mastery lies his meticulous attention to detail. A hallmark ideal for vineyard management, he excels in crafting untouched terrains. His unparalleled capacity to mold soils and topographies paired with optimal sun exposure, culminating in high quality fruit, distinguishes him from the viticultural crowd. While others prioritize the ease of cultivation, David's aim is centered around fruit quality. It's no coincidence that almost every vintner harboring aspirations of first-growth caliber wines seeks Abreu's abilities.

An ensemble of vineyard crews, under Abreu's domain, wields a distinct singularity. Consistently assigned to the same vineyards, they embrace a pride that nurtures informed decisions regarding pruning and canopy care. An Abreu-tended vineyard isn't just a cradle for premium fruit; it transforms into a living canvas complete with olive groves, stone walls, and, in a one instance, a Japanese rock garden. Abreu's mastery extends beyond vineyards; he's an architect of landscapes.

Expanding Horizons

Given his prowess, venturing into winemaking was an inevitability for Abreu. The year 1986 saw the inception of his own label, stemming from the renowned Madrona Vineyard. However, the maiden vintage never saw light, as Abreu's discernment deemed it unworthy. His reverence for that inaugural commercial release, as a precursor of future success, underscored his conviction. The following year, Abreu unshackled his inaugural commercial vintage that would define the subsequent decade. Acclaim flowed from discerning critics, cementing his status among the valley's elite by the mid-1990s.

Abreu expanded his collection of prized vineyards, securing gems like Thorevilos, Cappella, and Las Posadas. The latter, a long-cherished terroir, fell into his grasp in 2000 via auction. Today, his roster of prestigious vineyards bear wines synonymous with "first growth" quality, a testament to their superlative quality. Benefitting from an assortment of gifted winemakers while steering Napa's paramount estates, Abreu became well-versed in standard winemaking practices. Collaborations with talents like Mia Klein, Tony Soter, Helen Turley, and Heidi Barrett charted a course toward remarkable achievements.

Collector's Essential

David Abreu isn't just a figurehead in one of the world's most revered viticultural regions; he embodies the spirit of a maverick. A vineyard virtuoso who understands that the beginning of greatness in every bottle traces back to the vineyard itself. His careful diligence in sculpting vineyard landscapes optimized for high-quality fruit is the key to his distinct touch. Abreu's pervasive influence extends across Napa Valley, likely touching wines you've enjoyed. However, acquiring a bottle of his own label is akin to a rite of passage for collectors and connoisseurs of Napa's great reds. If you've yet to assemble your collection of these brilliant wines, the window remains invitingly open.

Written by: Craig Headding & Arabella Maislinger

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