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Sloan Estate: The Importance
Sloan is renowned the world over for producing some of Napa Valley’s most exclusive and desirable wines and they are notoriously difficult to acquire outside of the estate’s tightly-controlled mailing list. Their wines have been in hot demand ever since their inaugural vintage, which was met with wide acclaim and described by Robert Parker as “a budding superstar” and "Grand Cru". Fast forward to the present day, and Sloan has established its reputation as one of Napa’s greatest and most exclusive wines, securing a number of 100 point Parker scores and a fervent following.
Sloan Estate: The Insight
There are two wines made at Sloan and the house style is characterised by its dense, extravagant opulence. Parker has called the flagship Sloan Proprietary Estate “extraordinary”, while Galloni has commented that, at its best, it “could easily be mistaken for a top-flight left Bank red”. The second wine, the Asterisk Proprietary Estate, is also highly compelling: elegant but super-expressive, it “punches well above its weight” (Galloni).
The secret of Sloan’s success lies in its winemaking and terroir, both of which are second to none. No expense is spared at Sloan, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Sutong Pan, and glancing down the list of people behind the estate feels much like reading a who’s who of fine wine’s biggest players. Bernard de Laage de Meux, the previous Commercial Director of Château Palmer, plays a key role in the estate’s management, while the wines are made by Pan’s daughter Jenny and Martha McClellan; the latter is the wife of Bob Levy (Harlan Estate) and has been described by Forbes as a "meticulous winemaker" behind some of "Napa’s next wave of cult wines." The two winemakers work alongside legendary consultant oenologist Michel Rolland and master vineyard manager David Abreu, who Robert Parker described as "a world-class viticulturist" and whose own winery is "an irrefutable blue-chip superstar."
Several of Sloan’s wines have brushed with perfection: the 2007 and 2002 were both awarded 100 points from Robert Parker, who stated “The 2002 is indeed one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted from California.” Meanwhile, the 2001 and 2010 secured 99 points apiece. Another one to watch is the excellent 2012, which Parker believes “come closest stylistically to their magnificent 2002.”
Sloan Estate: The Background
Enjoying prime hillside position on the eastern hills of Rutherford in Napa valley, Sloan’s vines were planted in 1997 by founder Stuart Sloan. Sloan managed the estate for over fifteen years, harnessing the terroir’s remarkable natural potential and continually refining practises to produce some stunning wine. In 2011, Sloan sold the vineyard to Sutong Pan and his daughter Jenny, who have taken the reins of the operation while preserving the practices and style that have made Sloan wines so sought-after. Sloan continues to go from strength to strength, producing wines that wow the critics and prove just why.
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