2018 Royal Prince Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. United States. Napa Valley
We pegged this for a $200 Cabernet when 100pt winemaker Maayan Koschitzky served it to us blind. From prime heritage vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, and St. Helena, it’s the best of Napa, for under $50.
Tasted Blind, We Couldn’t Believe the Price
When 100-point winemaker and Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 tastemaker Maayan Koschitzky talks about his Royal Prince label, the excitement in his voice is palpable. It’s telling for a guy who makes super-premium $250 wines on the regular.
Royal Prince gives Koschitzky the chance to do something different, something he loves just as much: scour his deep network of Napa growers and wineries, hand-pick perfect sources, then artfully craft them into gorgeous, overachieving wines.
We first tasted the intense and elevated 2018 Royal Prince Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on Koschitzky’s back porch in Oak Knoll. We were lucky enough to be there for a family-style dinner along with a few other winemakers. Maayan had set up a lineup for us to taste blind, explaining that he wanted some honest feedback on a few upcoming releases. After a crisp, mineral Chardonnay and a wildy aromatic Central Coast Pinot Noir—we guessed both correctly—we approached the final glass with eager anticipation.
From the nose alone we could tell it was Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Bold and inviting, an array of purple flowers, dark fruit, and espresso beans leapt from the glass—this wasn’t just any Napa Cab either. On entry, confected blackberry and black cherry were richly textured, layered with licorice, dark chocolate, and sweet oak. Classic Napa Valley opulence balanced by mouthwatering acidity and buttressed by fine-grained, velvety tannins. The finish was lifted and miles long. We pegged it as one of Maayan’s $150-$200 bottles, maybe Vineyard House or Brilliant Mistake. The other winemakers agreed.
Then Maayan revealed his under-$50 2018 Royal Prince Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. We shouldn’t have been surprised—the Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle alum is one of the greatest winemakers in the Valley and he knows everyone. But this, for under $50?! All we could do was applaud. Suffice it to say we wasted no time locking in an exclusive allocation—the first to be released on the market.
Maayan tasted through hundreds of lots to find the right pieces for his 2018. The final blend is composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Rutherford, and St. Helena—a center cut of Napa heritage vineyards. No one else could do this for under $50, but the deep relationships Maayan has formed while working alongside greats like Philippe Melka, and with estates like Dana, Raymond, and Moone-Tsai have granted him special access to the Valley’s best grapes.
The result is an insider Cabernet Sauvignon that drinks light-years above its price range. We couldn’t be happier to be debuting it to the world. Today, Wine Access members get first dibs.