92 Points - James Suckling

90 Points - Wine Enthusiast

93 Insider Points



Aromas of grape skin and blackberries. Full-bodied, rich and savory. Good fruit and earth character. Better in 2020. -James Suckling

Big, bold and brawny, this wine from a very famous vineyard shows off its savory edge with tufts of clove, leather, gun smoke and tea, providing the requisite dustiness on the palate for which the region is known. Medium bodied and integrated well, it represents the vintage and region in all good ways. -Wine Enthusiast

When Suckling tasted this Cab, it was still a young and delicate adolescent. It has since blossomed into a daring teen, with smoother tannin and rounded fruit. By the time this wine reaches adulthood in a couple years, it will be host to what I call the "3 e's": expressive, exquisite and elegant. Drinking very well now but will continue to age through the 2020's. 93 Points - JZ Nov '18

    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Rutherford, Napa Valley
  • SIZE

After this many years in the wine business, uncovering new and rediscovering established producers around the globe, it’s thrilling to find an exceptionally made boutique Cabernet right under our noses.

Frisson is a small-production label that makes a few single-appellation Cabernets each vintage. Taking full advantage of a spectacular vintage in Rutherford (a 96-pointer, according to Robert Parker) and Frisson’s fortuitous holdings of Cabernet vines atop the famed Rutherford Bench, this new-to-us Cabernet is destined to be a new Member favorite. Aged in French barrique, this now fully mature but still rippling with youthful ripe cherry and blackberry fruit is terrific with food or on its own.

·      From the Spectator: “Winemakers in Napa Valley were not only elated by the quality and quantity of the 2012 harvest, but a few see a level of excellence that supersedes past vintages, going back decades.”

·      Unlike many producers who purchase what they can of Rutherford Valley source fruit, Frisson lays claim to a small section of rows in the heart of this must-have appellation.

·      Winemaker Paul Colantuoni worked and studied in Tuscany and Châteauneuf-du-Pape under some of the greats. As assistant winemaker to Ehren Jordan at Neyers on Pritchard Hill, Colantuoni honed his expertise making top-shelf Cabernet.

·      A French word without a true English synonym, Frisson means a bare moment of intense excitement.


From the winery:

Born in one of the most famed vineyards in Rutherford, this complex red wine exhibits an intriguing nose of violets, blueberry pie, allspice and vanilla custard, pipe tobacco.  Refined, dusty tannins along with its balanced acidity complement the blue fruit and spice aromas on the finish.


From the winery:

Frisson is a French word meaning a moment of intense excitement, a thrill; a word which aptly describes our story and philosophy.

Thirty years ago our son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. As any parent would, we sprang into action, getting involved in fundraising events to support research into the disease. It was our love of fine wine and food that lead us to these fundraising gala dinners, where we had the privilege of meeting famed winemakers and chefs. Over these conversations we had the opportunity to explore our dream of owning our own winery.

One evening we met a winemaker who shared our philosophy and vision – to make truly fine wines that exemplify the energy of the New World, honed with the sophistication of the Old World approach. Our Frisson began!

After purchasing a prized allocation of Diamond Mountain cabernet sauvignon grapes our journey as vintners came to life. While we could not have imagined how challenging making wine could have been, it has been an adventure of a lifetime – for which we have relished every moment, every twist and every turn.

Today our wines whisper the magic of where they come from, from bud break to veraison and their ultimate showcase, at home in your glass!

Happily, our son is healthy, with two sons of his own and we continue to give a percentage of our profits to cystic fibrosis research – so that many other children can grow up happy and healthy – expressing their own frisson!



Pair with a variety of foods such as a slow cooked beef stew, filet mignon, or a savory burger with blue cheese.