Ilsley Winery Trade Page

Ilsley Vineyards


94 Points – Ilsley Vineyards 2005 Single Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
A polished and classic Stags Leap Cab, showing the velvet glove quality of approachability but the iron fist of ageability. Firm in tannins and bone dry, it offers lush flavors of crushed ripe blackberries, with oaky notes of butterscotch and meringue. Delicious, and will hold for a good six years.
   - Wine Enthusiast, August 2009
90 Points – Ilsley Vineyards 2005 Seis Primas, Stags Leap District
An interesting wine that's a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe the only one in the state. Dry and sofly tannic, it shows complex blackberry and cedar flavors. Could be a bit more concentrated but it's a polished, elegant sipper.
   - Wine Enthusiast, August 2009
90 Points – Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Single Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District 2005
Deftly balanced, intense, focused and complex with full-bodied dried currant, herb, sage and mineral notes. Ends with finesse, elegance, and grace, with refined tannins. There's a hint of heat. Drink now through 2014.
   - Wine Spectator, June 30, 2009

Ilsley Vineyards Receives 2009 Best of Yountville Award in the Grapes category by the U.S. Commerce Association. WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009  

Medal Winner – Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Seis Primas, Stags Leap District

2008 National Women's Wine Competition, March 2008
Red Meritage Category

James Laube Unfined, Notes from Friday's Barrel Tasting
"The most pleasant surprise at Friday's barrel tasting: how well the 2005 Cabernets showed.

"I tasted some 40 wines at Auction Napa Valley's barrel tasting and the 2005s (along with a few 2006s) impressed me with their elegance, balance, depth and complexity.

"I entered the barrel tasting as it started and before it got crowded and loud. I focused on wines that were either new to me or wines I was less familiar with...using bench- mark wines, wines that you are familiar with and typically like, as a reference point. A couple that I relied on were Shafer Hillside Select and Pride Mountain.

"My favorites 2005s included: Ilsley Stags Leap district (super rich),... Pride Spring Mountain (opulent),... Shafer Hillside select (plush yet elegant)..."
    - Wine Spectator Online, June 11, 2007

94 Points - Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Ilsley Vineyard abuts Shafer's hillside on the east side of the Silverado Trail. Some 90 percent of the family's fruit is sold to Shafer, some of it destined for the winery's One Point Five Cabernet (also part of this Appellation Collection). As David Ilsley is vineyard manager of his family's vineyards and also vineyard manager for Shafer, no one's shocked that Ilsley's Cab has similar features to Shafer's Cab.
In this case, the 2004 Ilsley offers deep dark ripe fruit on the nose and a bevy of stunning, complex flavors on the palate. The finish is magnificent, pushing this bottle over the top.
   -, September 2008

93 Points - Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Single Vineyard Estate, Stags Leap, Napa Valley
Forward, attractive aromas of ripe cherry, caramel and maple. Supple texture with a broad spectrum of flavors, ranging from accessible ripe cherry, to baker's chocolate and allspice. A polished, well made Cab that will continue to improve with age.
   - Wine News, 2008

93 Points – Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Seis Primas, Napa Valley
Complex scents of tar, menthol and blackberry. Syrupy flavors of black cherry and raspberry compote. Big, velvety tannins and layers of blueberry, blackberry and mocha in the endless close.
   - Wine News, 2008

92 Points - Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
This is the kind of wine the late, great Andre Tchelistcheff described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. The glove is the lush, forward blackberry currant and cocoa flavors, the smooth texture and the seductively sweet new oak. The fist is the sheer power. This is an important addition to the pantheon of Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, and one that needs some time in the cellar.
     - Wine Enthusiast June, 2008

93 Points - Ilsley Vineyards 2004 Seis Primas
An unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Melbec, with a splash of Merlot, this is a beautiful wine. It's also a young one, brimming with tight, youthful tannins that give it a lockdown astringency. But the cassis, cherry liqueur and cedar flavors are impressively deep and complex, and should ride out six to eight years of cellaring.
     - Wine Enthusiast June, 2008

National Women's Wine Competition Awards Silver Medal to Ilsley Vineyards
Red Meritage Category
Ilsley Vineyards, 2004 Seis Primas
Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
An all-star panel of 36 women judges chose winning wines for the National Women's Wine Competition. Over 1900 wines were judged in this year's competition, making the National Women's Wine Competition one of the largest wine competitions in the U.S

Ilsley Vineyards, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
"Generously fruited and fit with lots of sweet oak, this well-filled and comparatively juicy young Cabernet is opening nicely and is easy to taste in spite of its nominal tannins. It flirts at the finish with a clear suggestion of heat, but it makes no serious sacrifice to ripeness and is governed first and last by its attractive, always varietal curranty fruit."
    - Connoisseur Magazine

92  Points -  Ilsley Vineyards 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dense, delicious and dry, this Cab comes from between the Silverado Trail and the Vaca Mountains.  It's quite impressive, with deep structure and complex, layered flavors of currants, plums, chocolate and herbs.  Thick furry tannins suggest aging.  Best after 2008 and should hold and improve for another 10 years afterward."
Cellar Selection.
    - Wine Enthusiast November 1, 2006

2002 Ilsley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Less ripe than Some Stags Leap wines in this tasting.  Great concentration with interesting blackberry and plum flavors along with notes of dark chocolate and relatively firm tannins.  Filet mignon.
   - Sante,  December, 2006 

 Ilsley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
" the unlikely event that you see a bottle of Ilsley Cabernet Sauvignon on the shelves of your wine store, by all means buy it... The wine has intensity, balance, finesse, and charm, but it is the story behind it that makes it so special, and it really is a story of land and people.The wine is consummately a Stags Leap District cabernet, supple rich,with nuanced power and complexity, and balanced, soft tannins."    - East Hampton Star, 2007