Wines of Distinction from Unique Appellations

Aiken Wines is the personal project of renowned Napa Valley winemaker Joel Aiken, an evolving portfolio of site-specific Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs from Napa, Sonoma and other vineyards selected for their ability to produce wines of character and distinction. With a career spanning over 30 years, including 27 spent at Napa Valley’s iconic Beaulieu Vineyard – Joel understands what goes into making a wine not just good, but great.

Now, with the freedom to pursue the vineyard sites and winemaking style of his choice, Joel is applying all that he has learned to wines that are the ultimate expression of his personal sensibility.

More than anything my winemaking inspiration comes from the vineyards, and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best. I look for sites that inspire the “aha” moment — where you say “Yes, this is the place, these are the grapes. These are the wines I want to make.”

~ Joel Aiken, Proprietor


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It is a drive for improvement that fuels Joel today as he takes everything he has learned and experienced in his 30+ years as a Napa Valley winemaker and applies it to his own brand, Aiken Wines, which he founded in 2009. Working with vineyard sites he knows are capable of producing the highest quality grapes, and with growers who share his quest for perfection, Joel produces micro-lots of site-specific Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from Napa Valley and Sonoma County.



96 pts – 2014 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

True blockbuster stuff is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, which comes from the Oakville Ranch on the west side of the Valley. Aged 20 months in 75% new French oak with a deep purple color and sumptuous notes of violets, crème de cassis, white chocolate, and...

95 pts. – 2013 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

The superstar in the portfolio is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, which comes entirely from the well-known Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford. Aged in 100% new French oak, it's not a big cuvée (only 105 cases), but exhibits a dense purple color and a beautiful...
Connoisseur's Guide

92 pts, two puffs – 2013 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

In terms of its ample substance and tannic frame, this wine is not so much different than its accomplice below, but where the latter is comparatively tight-fisted with its fruit, this one is close to succulent and juicy with a generous dollop of sweet oak and savory...

92 pts. – 2013 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

The real stars are Aiken's Cabernet Sauvignons, of which there are two, one from Oakville and one from Rutherford. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, which is 100% Oakville Ranch and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 70% new French oak, comes from the red hillside...
Connoisseur's Guide

91 pts, two puffs – 2013 Aiken Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Boasting a generous measure of ripe red cherry fruitiness as its opening act, this full-bodied, nicely concentrated effort adds in notes of strawberry preserves and creamy oak in aromas that stay wholly on point and lead to potent, fully consistent flavors from entry...

92 pts. – 2013 Aiken Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Conservative aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam and toasty oak lead to plenty of ebullient black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors backed by matched fine-grain tannins and a waft of oak. More ripeness, sappiness, oak...

91 pts. – 2013 Aiken Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An array of dark red and black berry aromas infused with graphite and woodland scents greet the nose. The middleweight flavors of dark red and purple berries are framed by wellhoned tannins and judicious oak. Noticeably...
Wine Spectator

90 pts. – 2012 Aiken Pinot Noir Sonoma Mountain

Dense and intense, pleasantly earthy and tarry, with crushed rock, graphite, blackberry, black licorice, cedar, anise and tar flavors remaining complex, distinctive and captivating. Drink now through 2023.  280 cases made.      –JL
Wine Enthusiast

91 pts. – 2012 Aiken Pinot Noir Sonoma Mountain

Waxy cherry and pomegranate invite the senses before a taste of dried cranberry wafts in, layering itself on top of velvety, silky tannins. Juicy and well-composed, it hails from an appellation not known for the variety. In the hands of this producer, also a fine...

90 pts. – 2012 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford is a more elegant, downsized version compared to the Oakville. There are some dusty, loamy soil, cedarwood, tobacco leaf and red and blackcurrant fruit notes. It's lovely, ripe and can be drunk now or aged for up to a decade.