Ulysses vineyard was acquired in 2008 by Christian Moueix. Situated along Napa Valley’s Oakville bench and extending over an alluvial fan at the foot of the Mayacamas Range, the site was once part of the famed Charles Hopper ranch and it is exceptional for winegrowing. The soil is composed of deep, gravelly, clay loam and is particularly well-suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Since the acquisition, Christian Moueix and his team have pursued an in-depth understanding of the soil and microclimate and have undertaken a lengthy and meticulous vineyard restoration. Dry farming, the foundation of Ulysses’ sustainable farming practices, enhances root depth and resistance to drought, resulting in a wine that is a pure expression of terroir. The winemaking team’s intention is to produce a wine reflecting the exceptional potential and individuality of the Ulysses vineyard. The approach is minimalist, with attentive observation and restrained intervention. Harvested at perfect ripeness with the utmost care, the grapes undergo both cluster and berry selection before a gentle vinification and aging. Ulysses is a distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It should be decanted prior to serving. In 2021, Ulysses received its CCOF (“California Certified Organic Farmers”) certification for organic farming practices.
The 2012 Ulysses (800 cases) is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest other Bordeaux varietals. A structured, dense purple wine that displays plenty of cedar wood, crème de cassis, licorice and graphite, the wine is full-bodied, rich, backward and dense, but beautifully pure fruit and an almost Pontet-Canet-like purity and density are hallmarks of this brilliant wine. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink it over the following 20-25. [93 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr. – December 2015, robertparker.com]