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Cain Cellars, Cain Five 2014


  • Type:


  • Grape:

    Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Country:

    United States

  • Grape Blend:

    51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot

  • Region:


  • Vegan:


  • Area:

    Napa Valley

  • Organic:


  • ABV:


  • Winemaker:

    Christopher Howell

  • Bottle Size:



The tang of crushed blackberry alongside smoke and ash and earthy forest tones, iron-like rocks and then wild flowers and the faint grip of reduction. Mountain herbs, dark berries, saddle leather, shaved dark chocolate and smoky minerals all lashed together with very fine grippy tannins and lovely freshness. This is complex, nuanced yet lithe Mountain Cabernet that like all great wines, remains remarkably easy to drink. Still a bit tight in 2020, should be at its best from 2022…
  • Production Notes
  • Producer
  • Delivery Information

The transformation from grape to wine is magical. 1,000 years ago, alchemists called this process “fermentation.” Although much is understood, much is also misunderstood, and much more still remains a mystery. This is exactly as we would have it.

Nothing that we do at Cain could be called unique—in fact, it could be called classical winemaking. Nevertheless, we believe that the sum of all our choices could still yield a wine that is uniquely Cain. Making red wine can be reduced to the most elemental, timeless recipe—and this is how we approach it. Our winemaking program is simple, and it follows the same path for all our wines: hand picking, gentle destemming, native-yeast fermentation, thoughtful maceration, and intentional élevage.

Cain Five, whose precipitous vineyards high on Spring Mountain have been carefully nurtured by the intellectual and erudite Chris Howell for over 20 years now, continues to fly just under the radar of the trophy hunting Californian wine purchaser. After all, they don't chase points and they don't make blockbusters. Theirs is an endeavour of a more subtle nature. Which is probably why we’re such big fans.

That the recent World of Fine Wine Finest Wines of Californian Book cites Cain as one of the top 10 Bordeaux Blends in all of California is no mistake. Others in the list include Dominus, Ridge Monte Bello, Opus One and Rudd. By anyone's yardstick this is pretty fine company to be in. And yet Cain undoubtedly offers something quite unique.

"Now that the replanted vineyards are beginning to reach maturity, the welcome re-emergence of Cain Five as an estate wine will allow Howell and his team to express the complexity and grandeur of this remarkable site to the fullest degree" World of Fine Wine, 2011

Chris Howell's vision has always been to express the particular characteristics of the site the grapes come from. This he has done through very careful vineyard management and a deeply impressive understanding of the sites he works with. Harvest when it comes is often earlier than his peers, bringing into bright focus the specific terroir the grapes come from, not just the sun they ripen under. The estate wine, Cain Five, a classic Bordeaux blend is produced entirely from a very special hilltop site indeed . 2000ft up Spring Mountain the vineyards are steep and difficult to work. The soils are sandstone, shale and some clay. As the picture attests to, the differing exposures are almost Piedmontese in their multitude - each one producing grapes of a slightly different character and complexity. Wherein lies one of the keys to Cain's appeal.

Keeping manipulation to an absolute minimum and certainly eschewing any of the "corrective" practices you sometimes hear about in Californian winemaking, Chris produces some of the most elegant, complex and refined Californian Cabernet we know of.

We deliver throughout the United Kingdom and the European Union and all delivery charges for these destinations are enabled in the checkout. We also provide the option to collect from any of our shops.

All UK mainland orders should be delivered within 2-3 working days.

For more information on UK delivery please click here and for EU deliveries please click here.

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