Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points:
While this cuvée is one of the least expensive in the lineup, it’s often one of my favorites. The 2018 Ontogeny is no exception and should be snatched up by readers. A classic 2018 nose of ripe, pure blue fruits, cassis, violets, and smoked earth gives way to a full-bodied, dense, concentrated Cabernet with beautiful tannins and length. It’s going to evolve for 20 years or more.
About The Wine
Ontogeny is a barrel-selection blend of Bevan's vineyard sources: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. The varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot.
The approach to winemaking has remained constant since the first vintage. They inspect every grape after it has been removed from the stem, discarding every one that doesn’t meet their standards; typically sacrificing six to eight percent of the fruit during this process. From that stage on, every wine is crafted to maximize balance and textures. Each of their vineyards imparts their fruit with such pure flavors that they strive to bring all of the components into harmony.
All of their wines are aged in new French barrels, including Remond, Francois Freres and Gamba for the Syrahs and Darnajou and Taransaud for Cabernet Sauvignon. Bevan evaluates each barrel of wine biweekly, allowing the wines to dictate to them how they are treated in terms of racking, barrel stirring, sulfur additions and bottling.