Arcudi Wines 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Sears Vineyard, Howell Mountain ($150)yard

As if the prestigious high-altitude appelation of Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley wasn’t unique enough, winemaker/owner Tony Arcudi makes this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a single organic, biodynamic site— Black Sears Vineyard—the highest vineyard on Howell Mountain. Arcudi, once a missile navigation engineer, apprenticed under wine-making superstar Heidi Barrett and at Maison M. Chapoutier, which explains why this is The Tasting Panel’s “Most Extraordinary” wine for 2016.

Exquisitely balanced mountain fruitshows rich blueberry fruit, smoke,spice and vanilla; it’s big and complex but never overbearing—elegant, restrained and stylish; loaded with nuance and beautiful flavors. 96 —Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Reviews, May 2016