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Awards & Reviews


91+ POINTS – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2014.

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3+ Stars – “Very good quality. This is a stylish, complex Cabernet with medium richness, good balance, and a lightly tannic finish. In aroma/flavor, it tastes of raspberry, black currant, vanilla, toast, and spicy oak. Can be aged.”  – RESTAURANT WINE® Issues #155, #156 & #157

90 POINTS – Anthony Gismondi,, May 2015
Rich black olive, tobacco leaf, peppery nose with cassis, sappy, resin, smoky, licorice, cedar aromas. Dry, round, elegant, suave, juicy palate with light, smooth tannins. Smoky, vanilla, coffee, peppery, cassis, tobacco, cedar, black olive, green bean, resin and earth flavours. Very well balanced for the vintage. Drinkable now but should improve with 2-5 years. A mid-term cabernet likely best from 2018-2022.


91 POINTS – “Cassis, floral, blackberry, tobacco, cedar, vanilla, chocolate, licorice and earth aromas. Rich, ripe, full, juicy, slightly tannic palate but good texture. Black licorice, coffee, vanilla, spicy, cedar, tobacco, cassis, blackberry and herb flavours. Good concentration and balance but quite young, needs two to five years to fully integrate. Modern Euro/Napa Style.” – Gismondi on Wine, December 2013

93 POINTS – “Signorello’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as sweet notes of cedar, black currants, and spice box, medium to full body, and good acidity and purity. Accessible now, it is capable of evolving for 15+ years.” -Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #209, October 2013. Download Review.


95 POINTS – “Massive in chocolate, blackberry, blueberry and cherry jam intensity, this is a brilliant wine. It’s so delicious that you’ll want to drink the whole bottle. The inclusion of Cabernet Franc in the blend may be partly responsible for its accessibility. It’s wonderful to drink now, despite having fine, firm tannins. Give it some decanting, and then watch as it changes in the glass with every sip.” – Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, 12/31/2012, Download Review

91 POINTS – “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate shows more depth and richness than the 2008 tasted alongside it. Ripe dark berries, flowers, mint and spices are some of the notes that flow from this sexy, voluptuous red. There is more than enough stuffing to suggest the wine will drink well for another decade or so. The 2009 is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.” – Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate, Issue #198, December 2011, Download Review

91 POINTS – “Peppery, cedar, roast meat, coffee, tobacco, cassis, blackberry, floral, olive and dried herb aromas. Rich, full, round, dry, slightly tannic palate with medium concentration. Meaty, coffee, peppery, cedar, tobacco, chocolate, cassis, herbal, earthy, black cherry and orange peel flavours. Good effort for the vintage and beautifully exhibits the addition of cabernet franc. Needs 2-4 years as it’s still a bit chunky and warm on the finish.
The mix is 88/12 cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc.” – Gismondi on Wine, February 2013


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90+ POINTS – “The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes from a vineyard planted in 1990 on the hillside of Silverado Trail. A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot aged 20 months in French Oak, it exhibits a deep plum/garnet/purple color as well as a promising nose of charcoal, scorched earth and black currants. Young, rich, full-bodied and dense, it is approachable now, but will be better in 2-3 years and keep for 15-20.” – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue 192, December 2010, Download Review

4 1/2 STARS – “A rich, full bodied Cabernet with excellent character and length. It is supple, complex, and well balanced, displaying wonderful integration of fruit, oak, and tannin. Persistent finish. One of the best-ever Cabernets from this winery. 15% Merlot. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels, 52% new. Unfiltered. 348 cases.” – Restaurant Wine, December 2011,
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92 POINTS – “Blackberry, cassis jam, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, black olive, licorice, savoury, cedar aromas very aromatic and pure. Ripe, round, smooth, suave palate with light, grainy tannins. Peppery, cedar, menthol, dark chocolate, vanilla, cassis, blackberry, earthy, tobacco, meaty flavours. A bit warm but has great finesse and flavour intensity with the ability to improve over the next 2-4 years. An impressive effort for the vintage and likely better than the 2007 in the long run. There is 13 percent merlot in the mix.” –, Download Review


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91 POINTS – “A blockbuster, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, may be the finest Cabernet I have yet tasted from the estate.
Sweet blackberry and black currant fruit intermingled with notions of cherries, earth, licorice, and chocolate aromas jump from the glass of this
dense purple-colored wine. Full-bodied, opulent, and fleshy with impressive purity, texture, and length, it can be drunk now or cellared for
15+ years.” – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #186, December 2009,
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90 POINTS – “Complex and pleasingly earthy, but also quite tannic. Firm, intense and structured, showing cedar, mineral and dried currant, with touches of sage and herb. Veers toward dryness on the finish. Best from 2010 through 2020.”
J.L., Wine Spectator, November 2010, Download Review

90 POINTS – “Shows plenty of good Cabernet varietal character in the blackberry and black currant flavors, with savory cherry and violet notes that must come from additions of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The all important tannins are super soft and mellow, while acidity also is soft.
Enjoy this decadent wine now and through 2015.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast, December 2010, Download Review

90 POINTS, ONE PUFF – “A bit on the berryish side for a Napa Valley Cabernet, but bright and fruity in the bargain, rich and beginning to show layers of complexity, the wine may not quite carry the drama found in Signorello’s Padrone bottling but does a pretty fair job of being deep and attractive in its own right. It is full on the palate, tannic yet nicely fruity and is likely to live for a decade or more.”
Connoissuers’ Guide, December 2010, Download Review

5 STARS – “Pronounced, stylish perfume of cassis, mint, coffee, chocolate, fruit pastille and vanilla. Lush and very classy with spice and complexity, freshness, integrated tannins and a long length. Drink: 2012-2020.”
Decanter Magazine, January 2011, Download Review

91 POINTS – “The latest Signorello cab contains 12 percent merlot and 8 per cent cabernet franc and rallies around the 2007 vintage a perfect year for cabernet. Made to exacting French standards it still offers a Napa signature dark colour and a warm inviting nose of blueberries and mocha notes. The ’07 is slightly more open and evolved than the normal Signorello style with black fruit flavours, more mocha vanilla and pencil lead but not to worry it still practises enough restraint to allow one to finish the bottle, which is exactly what I’m going to do at the end of this review. Then again you can save your bottles and open them in 2017 to even better effect.” – Anthony Gismondi, Gismondi on Wine, Download Review

“Ray Signorello is a guy who gets it. He has one of the most extraordinary personal wine collections I have ever come across (and, err, plundered on one happy occasion), without a single average quality bottle – every wine is a reference point for its region/appellation/grape, so he clearly understands what fine wine is all about. He also understands international markets, and prices his wines to sell, not to finance another sports car. His full range of Napa wines favor finesse and elegance over sheet power and heft, so unsurprisingly his 2007 Napa cabernet has more than a nod back to the old world. This is about structure, complexity and elegance, with superb architecture and depth, and a finish that lingers on endlessly.” – John Szabo, Wine Align, July 2011, Download Review

Highly Recommended – “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, intense, plumy, blueberry and blackberry fruit aroma with notes of cassis and vanilla; full body; forward, rich, textured, cedary, blackberry fruit flavors with a plumy mouthfeel and hints of tobacco and toasty oak; full tannin; rough, chalky finish; lingering aftertaste.Needs several more years of bottle aging.”- California Grapevine. Vol. 36, No. 5, October – November 2010, Download Review


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“The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (75% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc) exhibits abundant
chocolate cassis notes intertwined with cocoa, espresso roast, and subtle oak. Fleshy and medium to full-bodied with good substance, length, and
moderately high, but well-integrated tannins, give this impressive 2006 2-3 years of cellaring, and enjoy it over the following 15 years.”
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #186, December 2009, Download Review

90 POINTS, ONE PUFF – “If not quite so brooding and densely extracted as the winery’s showcase Padrone bottling, this very
solid youngster is long on concentrated curranty fruit and makes very good use of sweet oak from beginning to end. It sputters a touch in the latter
going and loosens its hold on fruit as overt tannins and bitter chocolate claim the upper hand at the finish. It, too, is a wine that demands lengthy
aging and needs setting aside for six to eight years.” – Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine, Download Review

3 STARS – Decanter

91 POINTS – “There’s a bit of Bordeaux worship here that tends to reduce the obvious fruit factor and ups the structure and acidity and that’s a good thing given the result. Signorello cabernet is also built for the long run. The nose is tight with dark plum fruit, cassis and youthful lashings of vanilla and coffee. The entry is firm and somewhat linear with black fruit flavours, coffee beans and a bit of pencil lead. Best to cellar this one through 2014 then serve it with roasted or grilled meats. A solid Napa cabernet in the Euro style.” – Anthony Gismondi

93 POINTS – “Garnet hue with a feathered rim. A minty bouquet of black fruit and clove. Thick and rich with sticky tannins and juicy black cherry and plum fruit. Crisp, spicy finish laden with drying minerals.” – Wine News, Winter 2010, Download Review

90 POINTS – “Black stone fruit aromas are accented by spicy oak. Mouthcoating tannins overlay the dark fruit flavors. This one is a keeper. Lay it down and let it evolve. The tannins will subside and the beautiful fruit will show through.” – 2010 Cabernet Shootout, Affairs of the Vine, Fall 2010


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92 POINTS – “Bold, rich and concentrated. Well-crafted, offering an intense, full-bodied mix of spice, mineral, currant and blackberry fruit that’s deep, concentrated, focused and persistent, ending with a long, full, tannic and structured finish. Best from 2010 through 2017.” – James Laube, Wine Spectator, March 2009

92 POINTS – “Shows all the hallmarks of a wine that will improve with mid-term aging. The flavors leap out now, and are all about ripe, crushing blackberries, red and black currants, anise and sweet, smoky cedar. Yet there’s a tannic interference that’s a little hard and astringent. Decant, if you have to open, but should hit its stride after 2009.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast, December 2008

TWO PUFFS, 91 POINTS – “11% Merlot; 7% Cabernet Franc. An immediate and accessible nose of juicy blackcurrants, vanilla and violets makes for a most attractive start here, and there is no let down in either richness or fruity depth in the mouth. If lacking the solidity and muscle found in its pricey cellarmate, this nicely composed wine gets the nod for its polish and fine sense of proportion, and it will develop very well over the next seven to ten years by dint of its structure and depth.”
Connoisseur’s Guide, August 2008

Decanter California Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 panel tasting, – Decanter Magazine, January 2009

95 POINTS, #7 of top 100 wines for 2009 Canadian Wine Awards
“The long relatively cool growing season that was 2005 in Napa produced wines lower in alcohol and higher acidity, in short more elegant, more interesting and capable of holding your attention for an entire bottle.
Add that to the winemaking philosophy at Signorello and you have a fabulous Cabernet. From the moment you smell the bouquet, you are drawn to this very special bottle. The winery’s 18 years old vines have clicked into overdrive and the wine shows it. Polished black fruit with specks of vanilla and spice captivate the nose and palate along with a vibrancy and tension that is rare in Napa. Love the finesse here, the tannin management the fruit and the acidity. One beautiful bottle for the price and this will only improve over the next decade.
– Anthony Gismondi, Wine Access, December 2009/January 2010

92 POINTS – “Moderate crimson robe. Heady aromas of black cherry, spice and maple. Flavorful black cherry fruit on entry with smooth cedar tannins and the seamless integration of acids. Drying cedar-tinged tannins with light sweet notes and a hint of leather in the finish.” – Wine News

92 POINTS – “Clean, open and fragrant, with almost delicate red and black fruit character. Underlying minerality alongside pure fruit expression. Dry, fullish, tasty, mouth-salivating acidity, generous alcohol, moderate finish. A fine elegant expression of Napa Cabernet.”
– John Szabo, Wine Access, May 16, 2009

92 POINTS – “Along with the 2006 Padrone, this is a solid, full-flavored offering. Its ruby/purple color is accompanied by a slight orange rim which proceeds to scents of a la plancha juices,blueberry/berry, sweets of earth, and underlying incense/smoke. It is full-bodied and dense with a backward personality, a layered finish, and a wonderful lingering of cherry and blueberryfruit. Signorello should not be overlooked with this crammed 2005! Maturity period 2012-2022.” – Alan Duran’s Periodic Review of Wine, March 16, 2010

“Sexy, enticing aromatics…rich cassis and sunwarmed raspberry, saddle leather, shavings of dark chocolate and tobacco leaf…potent silky fruit, molten chocolate and espresso, warm spice, hazelnut…chewy and lush – Bravo!” –, February 2010

16/20 – “Blended with 18 percent Merlot and 7 percent Cabernet Franc, this dark red, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits flavors of raspberry, cedar, black currant and cassis.”– Novus Vinum, December 2008

“Contains 18% merlot and 7% cabernet franc. Aged 21 months in 43% new French oak, it has ripe, soft, sweet aromas of raspberry, blackberry, cherry, and light oak. All repeat as lightly sweet flavors with the additions of some spice at the front and sides and loads of tannin. The finish is a dollup of spice at the front center.”
Colorado Wine News, October – December 2008


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92 POINTS – “Very fine and rich, especially the texture, which is as velvety smooth as Napa Cab gets. The tannins are a wonder, perfectly ripe and soft, which gives the wine a feminine mouthfeel. But the oak and fruit are pure power.” – S.H, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, November 2007

91 POINTS, 2/3 PUFFS – “Every bit as rich in creamy oak as is its proprietary partner, this impressive extracted youngster is solidly
focused on curranty fruit with accents of root beer, vanilla, dried herbs and are scattered throughout…and it comes with the
recommendation for another four or five years.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, August 2007

3 STARS – “Dark, ripe and spicy, very fine. Plenty of fresh, ripe plum fruit. Big layer of tannin. Long, firm finish. Very nice. Drink 2016-21.” – Decanter, 2008

93 POINTS – “Modern Signorello, with its dusty aromas of pepper, tobacco and mocha coffee over a core of blueberry/blackberry fruit. Lean by Napa standards, but with balance, finesse and supple tannins. It’s a terrific cabernet with Euro sensibilities. Only 50 per cent new French oak is used today.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

“Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, in year 17 is really a joy to drink. The ’04 is intense and black, but with a twist of Stags Leap refinement. Look for black currant, vanilla and pepper to dominate with a full, showy mid-palate and finish. The tannins are substantial, but fine grained. It will take a decade of aging to really release the full glory of this wine. A great gift for collectors.”
Anthony Gismondi, The Vancouver Sun

94 POINTS – “Napa Valley hillsides east of the Silverado Trail are the home to Signorello’s low yielding cabernet grapes – now at 17 years of age and around 2 tons to the acre it is settling in a for a long run of quality. The ’04 is intense and black but with a twist of Stags Leap refinement. Look for black currant, vanilla and pepper to dominate with a full showy mid-palate and finish. The tannins are substantial but fine grained. It will take a decade of ageing to really release the full glory of this wine.”
Gismondi on Wine

93 POINTS – “Heady aromas of blueberry, mint and graphite. Forward sweetness with flavors of plum, black cherry and coffee bean. Rich, balanced finish with a youthful, peppery nuance.” – Wine News

“The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $45, is a blend of 75% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, and 7% cabernet franc. It was aged for 21 months in French oak, 45% new, and opens with earth, black tea, oak and blackberry jam before soft, clean flavors of raspberry, black tea,oak, and earth which are laced with light round tannin. The long, meduim-broad finish shows increasing and persistent black tea. Well put together. Tasty.” – Colorado Wine News, October – December 2007

4 out of 5 – “This 2004 California Cabernet is distinct and expressive, rich and well balanced with a show-off finish of supple tannins. The mature colors of red, dark purple and garnet set the stage for aromas of spice, cocoa and vanilla bean that lead to deep, velvety flavors of black currant, kirsch and hints of cedar. The lush palate continues with surprises of ripe cassis and spice. Share it now or cellar ’till 2015. Ideally you want to share and enjoy this with the best of friends, your better half or family, but it’s also great with cheese like ‘Parano’ or ‘Grana Padano’, read more…a Filet Mignon, NY Strip or lamb.” – wine-national,, August 2009, see full review

“Smooth and creamy, well-balanced, with mocha-laced currant, cedar, tobacco and plum. Finishes with mellow tannins and a dash of vanilla and mocha.” – WinoWorld

92 POINTS – “Notes of cocoa, allspice and vanilla fill your glass of this heady Napa Cab. A rush of black currant and tobacco flavors lead to a long finish and a wish for more! Lovely with chocolate, cheese, filet mignon, steak or venison.” –, April 2009


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92 POINTS – “A very good follow up to the excellent ’02, the ’03 is plush and ripe and ageable. With cherry, blackberry, cassis and chocolate flavors it offers plenty of opulence now, but has the tannic backbone to peak and gradually fade for 10 years. Signorello’s Estate Cab is really one of the more dependable bottlings in the valley.” – S.H, Wine Enthusiast Magazine (5/1/07)

TWO PUFFS – “14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc. Slightly closed in but nicely concentrated and hinting at layering in its mildy woodsy, forest-floor and currant aromas and again in its extracted flavors, this fully ripened youngster is built for future enjoyment rather than near-term appeal. It is a gutsy, big-bodied wine with more than nominal tannins, but, at every step of its way, it offers up plenty of fruit and the taste of cassis powers its way past considerable closing astringency. A half-dozen years seems the minimal wait here, but it will not peak drinkability until another decade has passed.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, April 2007

91 POINTS – “Signorello’s low-yielding cabernet grapes – less than two tons to the acre – were the key to transforming this harvest. Cedar, blackcurrant and vanilla mix with supple fine-grained tannins – some of the softest we’ve seen – and chocolate, cassis jam, mocha flavours.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

92 POINTS – “Fifteen-year-old Napa Valley hillsides east of the Silverado Trail are the home to Signorello’s low yielding cabernet grapes, less than 2 tons to the acre. Cedar black currant, vanilla and peppery cardamom notes mark the nose and flavours. Supple fine-grained tannins that are the softest we’ve seen from this winery with chocolate, cassis jam, mocha flavours. A fine effort at fair price.”
Gismondi on Wine

91 POINTS – “Minty aromas followed by cherry and mocha with a whiff of iodine. Supple cherry fruit at first sip with tannins and toasted oak showing a youthful side. The finish is a bit roughhewn and needs time to soften.” – Wine News

“A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, 2003 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon smells of mesquite, rich plum and wood spice, vanilla and tastes of ripe black currants with anise, molasses and baking chocolate. High alcohol and firm tannins keep your attention in this very good example of a Napa Cabernet.” – The Citizen’s Voice, Wilkes-Barre, PA, January 2, 2008

4 1/2 glasses out of 5 – “With some Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Signorello Vineyards 2003, Cabernet Sauvignon smells of
mesquite, rich plum and wood spice, vanilla, and tastes of ripe black fruit with hints of anise, molasses and baking chocolate.
Complex flavors, high alcohol and firm tannins keep your attention. The wine is unfiltered. By not filtering, some winemakers
say they preserve the wine’s flavors. This bottle may be submitted as evidence.” – Times- Tribune in Scranton PA, May 2, David Falchek

“The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. It spent 21 months in Frencho oak, 45% new and has soft, inviting aromas of smoke, caramel, vanilla, and black cherry. All repeat as bright, light bodied flavors laced with juicy acidity and light, fine tannins. The long, medium-broad finish adds a hint of pepper. Well balanced, structured, and integrated, it will be even better with another year in the bottle which will allow it to smooth out more and grow and become even better integrated.
Very Good.” – Colorado Wine News, April – June 2007

“A lovely Napa Cab with restrained style, ripe plum fruit, polished tannins and very nice balance.” – Blue Lifestyle, July 30th – August 5th

16.5/20 POINTS – “When was the last time you had a bottle of anything Signorello? Since the production levels are quite limited, you don’t come across this Napa estate program winery very often. Their flagship label is the Padrone blend ($100) dedicated to winery founder Raymond Signorello, Sr. Now his son, Ray Jr., commands a premium program delivering rich wines with commendable structure, complete with wine club, private reserve tasting program and interactive culinary classes. Assisted by winemaker Pierre Birebent, Ray crafts quality wines that are not over the top and reasonably priced for their level of quality. Just released, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate will take you on a pleasant voyage. Starting with black currant, cedar and vanilla scents, this full-bodied blend of 75 percent
Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 percent Merlot and 11 percent Cabernet Franc, will transport you to a fine destination. On the way, you’ll experience flavors of ripe cassis, blackberries and hints of tobacco. To finish the trip, you’ll be accompanied by velvety tannins. We’d advise you to stop by a steakhouse along the way.” – Wine of the Week – Novus Vinum

“Ray Signorello Jr. is the kind of man who can get things done. And with all he’s got on his plate these days, he’d better be. First, there’s Signorello Vineyards, which Ray took over when his dad, Ray Sr., died in 1998. In the mid seventies, Ray Sr. purchased 100 acres of prime Silverado Trail land with the idea of selling grapes. In the plentiful 1985 vintage they had so much fruit they couldn’t sell it all. So just like that, the Signorellos went into the winemaking business. Twenty years later, Ray Jr. is still at it, dividing his time between homes in Vancouver , San Francisco , and Napa . With Pierre Birebent, Ray makes all the wine by the “vigneron” method employed in Burgundy . In this tradition, which we might call “winegrowing” here, the winemaker takes part in every step of the process—from grape selection (hand sorted three times) to fermentation (native yeasts) to bottling. “We don’t use any consultants,” says Ray; “everything is done in-house. The right way. The old way— where it’s the vineyards and the owner’s philosophy that leads us.” Signorello’s current releases are testament to the quality that comes from this practice, including the elegant and tantalizing 2005 Estate Chardonnay, Vieilles Vignes ($38, 90 points) and the stylishly restrained 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($40, 91 points) . On top of his work at Signorello, Ray has started a side project called Edge Wines with three of his boyhood friends. Meant to be a premium Napa Valley Cab at a far from premium price, the luscious 2003 Edge Cabernet Sauvignon ($20, 90 points) accomplishes precisely that. Add to that Ray’s California Cult Classics project— a private club in which members can make wine in Vancouver (and, soon, other cities) with optimal Napa Valley fruit—and you can see just how full his plate is. But Ray Jr.’s just the kind of guy who can get it all done.” – Blue Reviews


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92 POINTS – “As fine as this Cab is, it’s best to leave it alone for some years to develop bottle complexity. It’s a big, rich, dry wine, with a huge core of black current and cassis fruit, but the sticky tannins kick in right away and don’t quit. Should be very good after 2008. Cellar Selection.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast Magazine, December 2005

93 POINTS – “The ’02 is all about big colour, weight and density contained in an elegant package. Finesse-over-form frees its cedar, spice and cherry-chocolate flavours to really capture your palate. One of the best versions we’ve tasted.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


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91 POINTS – “Dry peppery, saddle leather, black berry jam, cardamom notes mix with dusty chocolate. Supple but grainy tannins with black berry jam, mocha vanilla flavours. Needs time to fully integrate.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

93 POINTS – “Rich, ripe, concentrated and round with supple but grainy tannins. Big dark chocolate, peppery, cassis jam, blackberry, mocha vanilla flavors with some tobacco with a dusting of cherry cola on the finish. Long and concentrated in the finish; should continue to improve for at least 10 more years.” – Wine Access: Canada’s Wine & Food Magazine, Dec/Jan 2005/06


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90 POINTS – “15% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc. Never a winery to skimp on extract and rich oak, Signorello has produced a nicely balanced wine in this vintage, and while it is not a heavyweight, it is filled with deep, focused aromas and flavors of exquisite composition. Supple at entry, and firming up appropriately across the plate, the wine builds on a base of convincing black cherry fruitiness that is seasoned by notes of cassis, crème brulee and mocha. It tempts early drinking, but it has all the parts in place for an easy half dozen years of improvement.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, April 2003

**** (FOUR STARS) – “Excellent wine, especially for the vintage. Round, full fairly rich, with very good flavor (ripe fruit, toast, oak), and a medium long finish. 10% CF. 3,150 cases.” – Restaurant Wine, Issue #93

90 POINTS – “It’s not a monster red, but it has reasonable depth given the vintage. Look for black fruit and coffee, mocha flavours, with fine-grained tannins and smoky oak in the aftertaste.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

90/100 POINTS – “Signorello cabernet has always been one of Napa’s best and with a drop in price in may now be Napa’s best value. Look for the usual big concentrated cabernet/cassis nose with subtle streaks of cedar. There’s 15 percent merlot and ten percent cabernet franc in the blend. It’s not a monster red but it has a reasonable amount of depth given the vintage. Look for black fruit and coffee mocha flavours with fine-grained tannins and smoky oak in the aftertaste. Solid.” – Gismondi on Wine

Regional Winemakers: 92.8

National Critics: 88.3

GV500 Score: 92.2

Global Vintage Quarterly – Volume 6 No. 1


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91 POINTS – “Pretty fancy stuff here. The blackberry and cassis aromas are given complexity by oak, lots of it, new and well charred. It drinks fruity, but with a more austere note suggesting olives and green peppers. This dry, herbaceous note makes it food-friendly. It may be an ager, but it will be at its best in a year or two.” – Wine Enthusiast, June 2002

90 POINTS – “15% Merlot; 10% Cabernet Franc. Never a winery to skimp on extract and rich oak, Signorello has produced a nicely balanced wine in this vintage, and while it is not a heavyweight, it is filled with deep, focused aromas and flavors of exquisite composition. Supple at entry, and firming up appropriately across the plate, the wine builds on a base of convincing black cherry fruitiness that is seasoned by notes of cassis, crème brulee and mocha. It tempts early drinking, but it has all the parts in place for an easy half dozen years of improvement.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, April 2003

ONE PUFF – “Lavish and unrelenting oak is the story here, and, while long on sweet spice, toast and cream, the wine makes fewer claims to fruitiness than it does to oaky richness. Fairly ripe and fairly big on the palate, it toughens up in the finish as its oak goes racing past a quiet note of currants. Allow a half-dozen years of age, and then tag it for service with savory spit-roasted meats.”
Connoisseurs’ Guide, April 2002

**** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – “Open, ripe almost plum and prune nose with fragranced farmyard elements. A dry wine with a good concentration of fruit, which is nicely integrated. Rich and quite stylish finish.” – Decanter Magazine, April 2002

18/20 -“The Signorello 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon tells a different story. This 75/17/8 blend of cabernet sauvignon /merlot/cabernet franc is picked off Napa Hillsides and fermented on native yeasts before spending 22 months in french oak. It is a powerful red although one can argue it is more bordeaux-like in structure than California. Classic cassis, cedar and hints of tobacco are the precursor aromas and flavors to what should be a great wine in ten years.- Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun Newspaper


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92 POINTS – “Signorello responded to the spring rains of ’98 by dropping a lot of poorly set fruit, and the cabernet grapes remaining achieved a beautiful balanced ripeness through the long, cool harvest. The wine show off lively flavors of plum, black cherry and sweet berries without a touch of jamminess. It’s firm and gripping, a heavyweight of a cabernet lifted from blackness to brightness by its fresh acidity. Touches of earthiness and a green edge are taken up into all the fruit, funneled through a crisply lined finish. This should age well.” – Wine & Spirits, August 2001

“Winemaker Pierre Birebent’s first vintage was de-juiced to beef up the flavours after a severe thinning in the vineyard. A subtle shift in tannin management can be detected in its fine-grained textures and earthy, plum, herbal flavours. One of the best from a difficult year.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

90 POINTS – Outstanding – “Has a concentrated bouquet of black cherry, blackberry, currants, green olive, cigar box, violets and vanilla. The flavors of cherry, berry, herb, licorice, clove and toasty oak are complex with good depth followed by a fruity, spicy finish with moderate tannins.” – The Insiders’ Wine Line, 2001 Tasting Notes-Volume 4, Number 3

4 1/2 STARS – “This Cab is signature Signorello. It’s powerful and full, opulent and rich, yet manages to pull it off with style. Blackberry jam flavors pair up with touches of mocha and coffee offering a little intrigue. The tannins and fruit are concentrated and strong, so tuck it away for a few years and allow it to reach its potential.” – The New York Times on the Web, September 19, 2001.

3 out of 5 – “This is a pretty fat and tannic cab. Traditional flavors of anise, currant and plum predominate. Still a little green around the edges but I think that’s about as good as we can hope for. Opened it December 2009 and I don’t think more time in the bottle will help much.” – busyguy744-7,, December 2009, see full review


92 POINTS – “The flavours are of chunky cassis, almost blueberry, fruit. This is the winery’s signature wine and, in this generous year, its dense, powerful, fruity style soars. Well-structured and balanced, it will keep for years yet.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


91 POINTS – “Impressive effort, with more sheen and gloss than any previous year. Ripe, but with fine acidity and balance, and just a hint of that Napa ripe fruit and vanilla. Drink now.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


5 out of 5 – “This wine is out of this planet good, especially on a value basis. I bought a half case 5 years ago for $20 a bottle and every single bottle was unbelievable. this wine plays like a napa cult cab in $20 drag clothing. I remember every night that I opened one of these bottles and I can’t say I usually remember much. Huge blackberry & bramble notes. toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, just absolute heaven in a glass.” – sswentek,, August 2008, see full review


92 POINTS – “The first “estate” offering gets more French oak, and it was good timing given the big vintage. Delicious styling here, with finesse and fruit triumphing over alcohol and weight.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


“Another look into the Signorello mantra of finesse of brute fruit. Bright acidity, ripe fruit and medium-weight dry-ish tannins. Solid, ready-to-drink Napa Valley Cabernet.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


“Much tighter, acidic style here. Awkward entry and mid-palate. A bit out of synch with the rest of the vertical.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


91 POINTS – “More aromatic and lively, with delicious black fruit and cassis flavours. Delicious, full-bodied California cabernet of terrific quality.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


“The first year of bigger, richer, tannins, but without the alcohol and weight of some of its contemporaries. The finish reveals more spice and licorice and that Euro/Signorello dryness.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


“Much darker colour and more intense version of the ’88, but still shows the early footprints of attention to detail and the push toward a European sensibility.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008


“The first unrefined and unfiltered Signorello cab was labelled Founder’s Reserve, a label used through 1996. Now lean, with ripe black fruit flavours. Still in amazing shape. Ripe Napa fruit gracefully near its end.” – Wine Access, Anthony Gismondi, April/May 2008

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